Sunday, 13 August 2017 01:06

Making a Difference

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While I was in my twenties, I know I said on at least one occasion, “to make a difference in one person’s life.”  Well, maybe it was more like at least a dozen times.  Even back then I wanted to help in some way.  To make a difference in one person’s life would be an honor, a blessing and enough.  Then I met my wife and we had two beautiful children.  As time passed, together we made a difference in more and more lives as did our children.  What a gift to do so! 

And then tragedy struck, Quinton’s visits immediately demonstrated that there is no death and our lives took a different direction.  So did being of service and making a difference.  Whether we like it or not, we were chosen to be messengers of sort, to help heal and to make a difference at a whole new level. Doing so doesn’t happen in an empty room usually; it happens out in the world more often than not.

As part of my own healing, angels in my life directed me to, no that isn’t right – they insisted I start coaching high school football at my alma mater, Evergreen High School.  Well, I have written about this and discussed it in detail (read Quinton’s Messages), so I am not going to do so again.  But I will share that a young man gave me a letter.  I am going to tell you that I am reminded again – the why I walk this path.

He writes:

Coach Jackson,

I felt a need to say thank you.  You’ve been one of the greatest role models and idols I’ve ever had.  You’ve been through some really rough times and yet you keep a positive attitude.

My freshman year I was planning on quitting when you told me your story.  I doubt you know how much that had an impact on me.  Your story showed me that you just have to put your head down and push through.  I was the slowest, weakest and was my own worst critic.  You showed me that I have everything I need already and I have to do is work.  I remember not being able to throw the ball more than ten yards and I couldn’t pitch the ball whatsoever, but you saw something in me that I didn’t see within myself.

Sophomore year came with another challenge, a new freshman quarterback who could throw better and was faster.  I was nervous that he was gonna start over me until I remembered something that you had told me, “Get out of your head.”  I buckled down, lifted, conditioned and trained harder than I ever have.  It came down to it and I won the job.  I asked the coach why and he said it was because the team wanted to follow me.  At the time I didn’t think much of it until last week.  You pulled me aside and told me I was a great leader.  Then it clicked.

I don’t really like to talk about what motivates me, but over the summer I read your book.  That book is the reason I’ve been lifting so hard, working so much, and been trying so hard.  So, what I’m saying is, Thank You for being such an inspiration to me and keeping me playing football.

With Love,

I am moved to say the least.  What a validation that we collectively can make a difference.  Do you hear me?  Do you feel me?  Even though we have been through tough times (no need to compare and contrast our tough times), we can still make a difference.  I ask again, Is there no greater honor; Is there no greater blessing?

Go forth my brothers, sisters and friends!  Continue to heal yourselves by healing the world.

Blessings!

Ernie and Kristine

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