How to be remembered.

I remember the day and place I first heard this scripture. An evangelist from Japan had come to church and used it to paint his point. "Those who lead many to righteousness will shine like stars forever." There is something attractive about, “…shine like stars forever.”

I like to reflect on my life and tell about a time that visually tells a story for quotes like this. However, for me, I wasn’t led by just one person to better living, more so by many. 

If I must give one person the credit it would be without a doubt Jesus, which in itself is a beautiful mystery. However, the purpose of this isn’t to convert anyone to Christianity, only to share my reality. 

There were many people along the way of my waywardness who have lead and guided to me in the direction of the different chapters of my life. Starting with my parents. 

My mom worked diligently to bring as many positive influences as she could into the globe of my childhood. Richard Bigham was a soft-spoken and rugged firefighter, who was a father figure and friend. He would come over every week to study the Bible and answer questions. I even interviewed him for a career project for school. 

My dad has been there to show me the importance of work. He always went to work. I remember seeing him sit at the top of the stairs putting his shoes on in the dark of early morning. Even as a child I could see the internal challenge. We do things we have to do when we have to do them.  

Coach Albertine and Coach Cape challenged me to find myself and not listen to the haters by taking time to tell me hard truths and having me look into my own eyes and begin to ask, "Who am I?" Great Coaches challenge our character.  

Dannie and Joe taught me what unconditional love looks like by bringing me into their home when no one else would. They fed me and gave me a life back I would not have known. They opened my eyes and lifted me up. 

Sharon Mcgill showed me when you believe in someone you go to bat for them by sticking up for me and ignoring my history. Without her, there is no way I would be in this place I now love to be. 

Doug and Erin Brooks have taught me more about leadership through their example then I think they may ever know. It seems their lives are dedicated solely in service to others. They amaze me daily. 

And Teresa has, has shown me the next level of love. One where dedication, communication, and service are of primary importance. One where two hearts can beat as one together by not relying on a feeling of love, but the building and maintenance of it in service of one and other.  

I will remember them, and many more. Honestly, I can fill up lines and lines of books about the people who have guided me to where I am now. 

When we lead people we are influencing them. A piece of us goes with them. Where did our experience in their life story direct them to? We can be leaders who challenge others to live a better life. A life of excellence, integrity, and virtue. 

To me, leading people to righteousness means to direct people to a life which is loyal, agreeable, joyful, loving, peaceful, forgiving, and controlled. When we reach this point we remember the people who helped us get here. This is why forever we will shine in the darkness like stars. 


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