Seth Godin is an incredible author. In his book, "The Icarus Deception," Godin says "The world is filled with ordinary people doing extraordinary things." I began to think about the people I know who by the world's standards are "ordinary," yet they do "extraordinary" things.
I thought about my own life and the "ordinary" people who helped me along the way. Their faces came flooding across my memory - many of them forgotten and most of them unacknowledged. They are now part of history, many having felt the sting of loneliness as they departed this world.
I found a Rolodex recently in a box that was hidden away for many years. For those who may not be familiar, a Rolodex is a rotating file device used to store business contact information. Today it would be "Contacts" in an e-mail service or on a mobile or cellular phone.
Nevertheless, I found a seat in a quiet corner and began reading the names on the cards. It seemed as if they walked across the room to say hello. Faces long forgotten, yet their lives were imprinted on my heart. These were the names of men and women whose lives guided and blessed me.
For the most part, the world would call them "ordinary" people. I remember them as "spiritual giants." I am taking time to remember because God is so good!
Some of the spiritual giants I remember are Mr. Fuller who taught me to drive the church van; Tennie, my RA leader; Mrs. Morgan, the pastor's wife who taught me to speak "proper" English; Messa, an Ethiopian student with me at Toronto Baptist Seminary who shared his winter coat; and Dr. and Mrs. King, Southern Baptist liaisons to Canada, who supported and loved me during my years in Toronto and were instrumental in providing support for my trip to the United States.
These are but a few of the hundreds I could mention. All of these were some of the spiritual giants I encountered before immigrating to the U.S. I could mention Southern Baptist missionaries who went the extra mile to train leaders for ethnic/language churches; the church members who loved and supported a young pastor; supervisors, co-workers and friends who mentored and taught me.
It is important to remember the past. I say that often because it is so easy to forget. Have you given any thought to the many who helped build the spiritual foundations in your life? Someday each of us will be a vague memory in another's thoughts. Hopefully, we have invested our lives in others and helped them in some way on their spiritual pilgrimage.
So to those spiritual giants in my life, I say "thank you," and I remember you today.
Click here to read previous issues of Perspective.