Saturday, December 24, 2016

Learning from "I Didn't"

It was the late 1950s when my uncle convinced his dear friend to move his medical practice to Las Vegas, Nevada. In 1950, the population was only 24,000, but by 1960 it had grown to 64,000--the growing city needed a good doctor.

AG Noorda began his Las Vegas legacy. He delivered me, my siblings, and most of my cousins born after his arrival. He delivered my cousins' children too--even my niece, and thousands of other children. Dr. Noorda even taught me how to waterski.

So when my sister called to tell me Dr. Noorda had passed away at age 89, I rejoiced for the life he'd lived, but my sister was filled with tearful sorrow. Not for his death, but because she had felt impressed to visit him in the weeks before and hadn't done so. She'd missed an opportunity.

"Dr. Noorda would never want you to be sad over this!"

She knew it, but she'd also let herself down--and this is where the pain magnified.

This is how we learn.

This is why in my prayer this morning, I asked what opportunity I might have today, and please help me to recognize it. The mistakes are what drives us to go all out...so we're not nagged by that one thing we missed.

A day later, my sister receives a thank-you email from a teacher of homeless teens. This is the second year my sister has provided Wal-mart gift cards so they can buy groceries, gas, even diapers for their young children. The teacher writes that some of the recipients broke down and cried when they knew their basic needs would be fulfilled with a gift card.

I'm sure my sister joyfully cried when she read about the students, and I'm sure she will do it again next year, and when she receives an impression to visit someone old, I'm sure she will do that too--only because she didn't.

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