Ecc. 7:2 "It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting...."
I went to a funeral about a week ago honoring someone that had a great deal of impact on my life.  And, ultimately I don't guess I realize just how much impact he had until I was attending his funeral.  I did realize over the years that his guidance and wisdom were important to me at a crucial time in my life, but I never really thought about how much his guidance and wisdom had impacted my life until now.  The counsel he provided me 27 years ago was brief (two short meetings) but it had SUDDEN IMPACT (a career choice) in my life that has ultimately lasted 27 years and beyond. 

Really when you think about the impact of a decision, there certainly are short-term results from decisions but many times, the impact decisions and counsel have in people's lives really takes a while to grow.  And really, do we ever think about the impact others have had on our lives OR the impact we might have on the lives of others too when we give or get counsel?  Let me share some of the lessons I have learned from the funeral I attended and the SUDDEN IMPACT this individual had on my life.

1.  WISDOM.  Listen to the wisdom of others when they are willing to share it.  And, by choosing to listen to what they say their words can have impact in your life for many years to come.
2.  GIVING COUNSEL.  When someone ask for your opinion on something, give your words careful consideration.  You never know, your words could impact someone in their life in a very dramatic way that could last a lifetime.
3.  THE EYES OF OTHERS.  We should be willing to see ourselves through the eyes of someone else.  In getting access to YOURSELF through the eyes of others, they might have the wisdom to see something in you that you could never see for yourself. 
4.  DIFFERENCE MAKERS.  Be a difference maker.  Make a difference in everything that you touch.  Live an active life to the best of your ability and make a difference in whatever you choose to be involved in during your life. 

This man I am talking about, made a difference in my life profoundly when he had nothing to directly gain from investing time, thought and energy into helping me.  This individual was a banker in his career when I first came to know him but he had many careers and professions over his life.  I guess as I think about it, he may have been more aware of me than I realized.  He lived "across the fence" from us in the home where I grew up.  When I needed a student loan, it was his bank that had a loan program that I borrowed from to help fund my college education.  And, then when I needed advice in my career, he was the one whom I asked for advice and he invested in me to provide it.  I am thankful I had the good sense to listen to what this man said.  I have enjoyed much of my business career because of the path he helped set me on when he INVESTED HIS WISDOM in me, never expecting to receive any specific return to himself. 

I also found out while at this funeral that I was not the only one that he had "invested his wisdom" in over the years.  Apparently he knew the value of investing in other people far more than I ever realized.  So today, I asked myself and I would ask you to consider the same question, "are we investing ourselves in making a difference in the lives of others today?"  I have tried to do this over the years but I can assure you that now I will be more committed to listening and helping provide insight I have gained to others as they begin their journey in life.  Make it be your goal to have SUDDEN IMPACT in the lives of others that will last a lifetime.


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