Here’s one of my favorite stories about how we settle for a life of success instead of a life that counts. God spare us from this fate:
Rick Smith was a VP of a large pharmaceutical firm. I met him on a mission trip to Mexico. We walked around the downtown square in Matamoros. It was a fall night and getting cool. We walked by vendors and people sitting on benches.
Rick had seen a lot on the trip. He was telling me the difference it had made, “I’ve seen how much I have in contrast with the poverty of those we were helping to build homes for. It put things into perspective. God has given me a lot, yet I get caught up in the details of my life. And I have to wonder if there isn’t more?”
Months later he was in line for a flight with a friend of mine, Clint Bokelman, who was at that time in his early 30’s. Rick was telling this story to him. “I was able to make a difference,” he said. “It felt so good to give that family a house and to see the smile on their face. And I sensed that it’s not too late for me.”
In front of them waiting for his first class seat was a sophisticated businessman in a black Armani suit and a leather briefcase and he was listening to their conversation.
“I don’t care who this guy is – your brother, your Dad, your friend or a stranger. You listen to him. I’ve been chasing the American dream for 40 years and it’s all empty! I’m enslaved to it! It’s too late for me, but it’s not too late for you!”
With that, he picked up his briefcase, boarded the plane, and sat in his first class seat. When Clint and Rick got on board and passed him, he was still sitting there, red-faced and fuming.