Monday, January 12, 2015
I wrapped up my quiet time with a short, half page journal entry. I usually finish the entire page, but I was in a rush to get in my car and head to the office for our Monday Morning Meeting that I lead each week with our corporate team.
“What if my life was a continuous risk-taking plunge, that forced me to live a life dependent on God? How different would I live compared to how I live now?
That’s it! I am going to take one risk this year for the sake of The Gospel, that is dependent on Him with no guarantee he will deliver the result I’m hopeful for as I take this risk.
I often look at so many of the unfortunate situations in the lives around me, wondering ‘Why not me?’ People I know have died much too early from cancer and other, more abrupt causes… Yet, I am still here?
For what? Why? How can I leverage whatever time I have left to make the most of it for those that I am able to touch?
This unknown time that I have remaining on this earth, must be my bankroll for this risk I am going to take for Him, without knowing how He might return my investment.”
I began my daily 20 minute drive into Birmingham, to our Iron Tribe HQ near Southside’s Pepper Place. As I drove in, I continued a tradition I began a couple months ago, listening to Kevin Elko’s Monday Morning Cup of Inspiration.
Kevin has helped countless college and professional sports brands, from their coaches to their athletes, focus on keeping their ‘eye on the prize’ with his motivational sports psych expertise. He’s worked with ‘Bama Football, The Yankees, The Steelers, The U (Miami) Football and so many other groups of coaches and athletes.
He also was the keynote speaker at our recent TribeCon14 annual franchise conference event that we hosted here at The Westin Birmingham for our Iron Tribe franchise partners, and he pushed us all quite directly to ‘stop wishing to receive the blessing and instead, go out and BE THE BLESSING.’
His Monday Morning Cup on January 12th left me with two takeaways. First, ‘be comfortable being uncomfortable.’ Second and more importantly, ‘stop wishing life was easier; just GET TOUGHER.”
[Click on either of the two Monday Morning Cup links above to listen to this one – it’s worth it]
A few us meet each week to discuss a book we’re reading (What’s Best Next? by Matt Perman) and before we began our Monday Morning Meeting with our entire team, I played them Kevin Elko’s Monday Morning Cup and then we prayed for God to help us focus on being desperate for Him and inviting Him to make things tougher, so we will only rely on Him more to be able to GET TOUGHER.
Because we introduced a new format for our Monday Morning Meeting, it ended in 32 minutes, instead of lasting for its usual 60 minutes.
The team walked out of the conference room on the 3rd Avenue/27th Street South corner of our building, and I walked into Forrest’s office to put a game plan together for an important project we would be working on side-by-side all week.
An extremely loud, thunderous sound occurs, which is not unusual because accidents happen weekly on the 3rd Avenue/27th Street corner of our building.
Then the thunderous sound (with slight millisecond moments in between it as you heard it) became louder and louder, with Kelli (who works at the front desk which has all windows facing the 3rd Avenue/27th Street South corner) screaming “Oh my God… Oh No!” louder and louder intermittently.
Then… IMPACT into our building… Power goes out… Lights off… Vibration felt… Forrest and I rush out of his office to see a truck stuck inside of our building.
Before I keep going, let’s list off the realities of physics here;
- The gym side of our building had no classes going on, so the only people in that side of the building were in their offices (our manager, Josh Taylor, and coaches Mike Collins and Alex Brigham).
- The gym side of our building is a low-bearing, concrete wall, that directly supports the roof of our building.
- The corporate office side of our building is nothing but glass and sheet rock.
- There were ten of us in offices on this corporate office side of the building.
- Our TribeMobile Tahoe truck that Tra Griffin (VP of Birmingham Gym Operations) drive, was parked in a spot that was directly in line with the corporate office side of the building, which caused the truck to veer toward the gym side.
- The semi-truck did not have a load. An empty load would have been 5-10 more tons of weight behind the truck, while a full load would have been twice as many tons of weight behind the truck.
- The semi-truck hit the power line directly and missed the gas line by mere inches.
Thus, the potential results;
- The truck goes deeper into the building because it is carrying at least an empty load or at most a full load, and the ceiling collapses on everyone in the building, because the low-bearing support wall is totally destroyed by the increased impact.
- Tra doesn’t park his TribeMobile Tahoe in that spot and the truck goes into the corporate office, destroying the mere glass and sheet rock that primarily make up this side of the building, running us all over.
- The truck hits the gas line and an explosion occurs.
I’m not going to go one step further and talk about what the news stories could have been, which you could have read last week versus this personal blog article of mine.
But I can tell you this, they would have been life altering for a lot of different groups of people.
I finished that page in my journal. It’ll be a page of two different, but united tales, that I will hopefully re-read for how many years I am left on this earth. It’s context. It’s perspective.
“Why does God give us challenges? Why is life so hard? How can we believe in an all-powerful, all-knowing, sovereign God, as our Creator and Eternal Lord, when things like this don’t always have this blessed ending? With the horrors of man that are continuously prevalent in this world?
Well, all that God has created is good. Through our sin, we each continuously take great creations from Him and disfigure it in ways that mutate these things He has blessed us with. Look no further than ways we have abused sex, alcohol, or even the environment, etc.. We think we know what to do with those creations, to the point that we abuse them in ways where they have power over us.
Life is supposed to be hard! Challenges are supposed to come our way! If you think it’s easy, it’s probably because you aren’t trying hard enough!
We ARE NOT called to face every challenge on our own. We ARE called to “Get Tougher”, not merely by OUR own strength, but the strength that comes from our relationship in HIM.
And when a situation like this Monday morning happens, you take the extension on life that you’ve been blessed with, and you use it to invest into the opportunities around you.
Jim! Wake up! What are you going to do with this extra time? You can’t complain! You can’t grumble! Be thankful your heart is beating and beg God for strength to stop wishing things were easier, but GET TOUGHER.”