After visiting Mom’s co-worker Jean Mudd, we were ready to head back to Colorado Springs where Mom now lives. We said good-bye and started walking out via the waiting area of the assisted living home. As we were about to exit the front door, a lady stopped my mother and said, “You are the one who hung the moon in Flagler. You are the most important person to ever grace the town of Flagler.” Mom and I were stunned as neither of us knew who she was.
She introduced herself as Doris Rowden, and the pieces began to fit together in my mother’s mind. The last teaching assignment for Mom was in the town of Flagler. Mom taught English and Home Economics. Everyone had to take both of those classes during their time in high school, and it so happened that Mother had taught the three adopted children that Dave and Doris raised. The two girls were twins and the boy was described later by my mom as a rebel. He had to take her Home Economics class and recalled that he made a stuffed animal. While he was in her class, he calmed down and never gave Mom any trouble.
Doris went on and on about the impact that Mom had on her three children. She described Mom as a life saver, something that my mom had no knowledge of when she was teaching the teenagers decades ago. Does this story remind you of someone who impacted your life as you were growing up. A teacher. A pastor. A friend. Neighbor. Boyfriend. Girlfriend. First employer. Coach. Relative. Fill in the blank. In this case, Mom was a very positive role model for these teenagers. If you remember someone in your life that positively impacted you in some way, it might be beneficial if at all possible to contact them by letter, phone or in person and tell them what they said or did to help you in your journey.
Unfortunately the opposite is true about someone who had a very negative effect upon us who could be one of the relationships just mentioned. When you think of this person, only negative feelings of bitterness and resentment emerge. If you find yourself in this camp, it might be beneficial to take some time possibly with a professional to help you cut away the negative effects of this person so that you can move forward with the rest of the journey that God has given you.
The writer of Hebrews 12:1-2 talks about the need to “lay aside the sins and encumbrances that so easily entangle us so that we can run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” In order to run the race before us, we need to cut away those things that have negatively impacted us either internally (our sins) or externally (the encumbrances that have been placed on us by others).
This journey we all are running is filled with negative and positive impactors all along the road. Affirm the positive impactors and cut away the negative ones so that we might run with endurance the race set before us.