November 26, 2020

Pastoral Nuggets: The Last Lecture

Brother-Aaron-236x300A couple of days ago I took a book off the shelf in my office that I had read several years earlier. It is entitled: “The Last Lecture.”

It was written by Randy Pausch, a terminally ill professor, who was literally given the opportunity to give one final lecture to his college students before his death. He entitled his lecture: “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.”

The lecture wasn’t about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming all the obstacles life throws at a person and learning how to seize every moment of every day and how to make that moment count. It was about living. It was about realizing that, aside from God, time is really all a person has.

And it was about how the author reacted when he was forced to realize that he had far less time than he thought!

As I thumbed through the book rereading things that I had highlighted from my first reading, I was reminded of several principles that, as a leader, had encouraged me.

I compiled a list of ten of them that I want to share with you in this column today. I want to encourage you to read them with an open mind.

You may even want to cutout this column and read it again later or share with others. As you read or reread this column, whichever the case may be, take to heart the principles it contains. Regardless of who you are or your station in life, I truly believe you will find these ten principles most helpful!

  1.  In the original series: “Star Trek,” James T. Kirk was the Captain of the Star Ship: “Enterprise.”  However, if you are familiar with the series, you know that Kirk wasn’t the smartest guy on the ship.  Mr. Spock, the science officer, was the logical intellect onboard.  Dr. McCoy had all the medical knowledge available to mankind in the 2060’s.  And Scotty was the chief engineer, who could keep the ship running – even when under attack by aliens.  Sounds like there’s a lesson in there somewhere for true leaders!  A true leader is not always the smartest person in the room – just the best leader!  As Kirk, true leaders realize what they don’t know and learn to take input from those who do know what they don’t know! (Reread that last sentence slowly!)

  2.  No matter how bad things are, you can always make things worse.  Don’t!  First, do no harm!

  3.  Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.

  4.  The best shortcut is often the long way.

  5.  Sometimes, the questions are more important than the answers.

  6.  When flying in a plane and the oxygen masks deploy, put yours on before trying to help others!

  7.  When you find yourself in the wilderness, the only things you can count on are the things you brought with you.

  8.  Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.

  9.  Whether you think you can or can’t – you’re right!

  10.  Not everything needs to be fixed. (Wow!)

Remember, whether by our spoken words, the way we live our lives, or the influence we wield upon our family, friends, coworkers, & etc… one day each of us will step onto the stage of life and give our “Last Lecture.”

And that time may be a lot closer than any of us thinks! Death is coming. It’s certain. Are you prepared? If today was your “Last Lecture,” would you step off of the stage of life leaving a legacy worth honoring that points others toward God? Where would you spend eternity? Are you prepared to meet God? Eternity is too long to be wrong!

Brother Aaron

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