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Inspired Moments

 

A young man learns what's most important in life from the guy next door.

It had been some time since Jack had seen the old man. College, girls, career, and life itself got in the way. In fact, Jack moved clear across the country in pursuit of his dreams. There, in the rush of his busy life, Jack had little time to think about the past and often no time to spend with his wife and son. He was working on his future, and nothing could stop him.

Over the phone, his mother told him, "Mr. Belser died last night. The funeral is Wednesday." Memories flashed through his mind like an old newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days.  "Jack, did you hear me?"

"Oh, sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It's been so long since I thought of him. I'm sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago," Jack said.

"Well, he didn't forget you. Every time I saw him he'd ask how you were doing. He'd reminisce about the many days you spent over 'his side of the fence' as he put it," Mom told him.

"I loved that old house he lived in," Jack said.

"You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make sure you had a man's influence in your life."

"He's the one who taught me carpentry," he said. "I wouldn't be in this business if it weren't for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me things he thought were important...Mom, I'll be there for the funeral," Jack said.

As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his hometown. Mr. Belser's funeral was small and uneventful. He had no children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.

The night before he had to return home, Jack stopped by to see the old house next door one more time. Standing in the doorway, he paused for a moment. The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture, then he stopped suddenly.    The box is gone!  There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. He must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he'd ever  said 'the thing I value most,' now It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered, except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had taken it.  Now he’ll  never know what was so valuable to him," Jack thought and returned to his mom’s house to get some sleep. He had an early flight home.

Weeks after Mr. Belser died. Returning home from work one day a package his wife signed for was on the table. The small box was old, but the return address caught his attention. It was from Mr. Harold Belser.

Jack ripped open the box. inside was the gold box and an envelope. His hands shook as he read the note inside.  "Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett. It's the thing I valued most in my life."

A small key was taped to the letter. His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack carefully unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch. Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the cover.

Inside he found these words engraved: "Jack, Thanks for your time! Harold Belser."

"The thing he valued most...was...my time." Jack thought.  He held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days.

"Why?" Janet, his assistant asked.

"I need some time to spend with my wife and son," he said.

"Oh, by the way, Janet...thanks for your time!"

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away,"

Thank you for your time...

 

For all the things I said and didn't say. I'm Sorry For all the mean things I might have said. I'm Sorry For all the things I did or didn't do. I'm Sorry If I ever ignored you.

I'm Sorry If I ever made you feel bad or put you down. I'm Sorry If I ever thought I was bigger or better than you. I love you Don't ever forget that please! You are SO important to me! Through bad times and good, I'll always be here for you. I

'm Sorry For everything wrong I've ever done. I'm writing this because what if tomorrow never comes? What if you never get to say good-bye or give a BIG hug to the people you care about? What if you never get to say I'm sorry or I love you?

A college professor had each of her students bring a clear plastic bag and a sack of potatoes. For every person they refused to forgive in life, they were told to choose a potato, write on it the name and date, and put it in the plastic bag. Some of their bags, as you can imagine, were quite heavy.

The students were then told to carry this bag with them everywhere for one week, putting it beside their bed at night, on the car seat when driving, next to their desk at work.

The hassle of lugging this around with them made it clear what a weight they were carrying spiritually, and how they had to pay attention to it all the time to not forget, and keep leaving it in embarrassing places.

Naturally, the condition of the potatoes deteriorated to a nasty slime. This was a great metaphor for the price they pay for keeping their pain and heavy negativity!

Too often we think of forgiveness as a gift to the other person, and while that's true, it clearly is also a gift for ourselves!

So the next time you decide you can't forgive someone, ask yourself…

Isn't MY bag heavy enough?

And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is iin heaven may forgive you your trespasses.  But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.    - Mark 11:25,26

The young man had lost his job and didn't know which way to turn. So he went to see the old preacher. Pacing about the preacher's study, the young man ranted about his problem. Finally he clenched his fist and shouted, "I've begged God to say something to help me. Tell me, Preacher, why doesn't God answer?"

The old preacher, who sat across the room, spoke something in reply - something so hushed it was indistinguishable. The young man stepped across the room. "What did you say?" he asked.

The preacher repeated himself, but again in a tone as soft as a whisper. So the young man moved closer until he was leaning on the preacher's chair.

"Sorry," he said. "I still didn't hear you."

With their heads bent together, the old preacher spoke once more. "God sometimes whispers," he said, "so we will move closer to hear Him."

This time the young man heard and he understood.

We all want God's voice to thunder through the air with the answer to our problem. But God's is the still, small voice . . . the gentle whisper. Perhaps there's a reason. Nothing draws human focus quite like a whisper. God's whisper means I must stop my ranting and move close to Him, until my head is bent together with His. And then, as I listen, I will find my answer. Better still, I find myself closer to God.

A daughter complained to her father about how hard things were for her. "As soon as I solve one problem," she said, "another one comes up. I'm tired of struggling."

Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen where he filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In one he placed carrots, in the second, eggs, and in the last, ground coffee beans. He let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

The daughter impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing. After a while, he went over and turned off the burners. He fished out the carrots and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them a bowl. He poured the coffee into a bowl. Turning to her he asked, "What do you see?"

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

He brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. She smiled, as she tasted its rich flavor.

She asked, "So, what does it mean?" He explained that each of them had faced the same adversity — boiling water — but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting, but after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.

The egg was fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. By being in the boiling water, the beans changed the water.

"When adversity knocks on your door, which are you?"

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About Bishop Hampton

James W. Hampton was born on August 5, 1940 in Crugar, Mississippi to the late Dave Hampton and the late Mother Elma Hampton.

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