What a grand beginning to 2015! BCH has been reaccredited by the Council on Accreditation; we continue to achieve regional victories in our Sharing Hope… Changing Lives Capital Campaign; our affiliate Guatemala Orphanage is growing and thriving; we’ve added another Family Care Home in
Marston, NC, and our Culture of Excellence continues to provide hope and healing to residents and staff.
The BCH ship is a true Ship of Faith, and I invite all of you to join us as we set sail on our 130th year. You’ll need only a few things: a gritty spirit of persistence, an exquisite sense of timing,
and an unrelenting positive attitude.
In 2013, Diana Nyad made headlines when she swam 110 miles from Cuba to Florida. She
did it without benefit of a shark cage. Her lips were swollen from stingray bites, but she never
gave up. What is remarkable about this feat of then 64-year old Diana Nyad was that she first
attempted to make the swim 40 years earlier. She failed, but never quit. She tried again 30
years ago, then 20 years ago, then 10 years ago. Finally, around Labor Day 2013, she came
ashore – triumphant – having done what no other person had ever done!
What I really liked was that after she was in her recovery tent for an hour, the first thing she wanted was a Dairy Queen Blizzard. Now, there’s a woman after my own heart.
You and I won’t be swimming from Cuba to Florida. But, I know beyond a doubt that a lot of us are swimming as hard as we can right now. We’re swimming upstream, against the tide, against the current. But, we keep on paddling! We’re going to keep our heads above water. And, we’re not going to sink, not going under – ever, ever, ever. What seemed impossible for Diana Nyad soon became improbable. Then, it became inevitable! It’s the same with us – never give up and keep your eye on the prize. Keep up that gritty spirit of persistence and determination.
As we walk through life – and at times, it seems, as we stumble and stagger – let’s always be ready to seize those magnificent moments of opportunity when destiny taps us on the shoulder.
The older I get, the more significant the Serenity Prayer becomes: “God, grant me the Serenity
to accept the things that cannot be changed…the Courage to change the things that can be changed…and the Wisdom to know the difference!”
The brass ring will come around for you. It will have your name on it. Be ready for it. Seize it, grab it, don’t let go of it. Don’t look back and say why, look ahead and say why not. Constantly ask yourself, “What did I do to make life better?” Too many people go to their graves with their music still inside them, with their poetry yet to be written. Don’t let that happen to you. When opportunity knocks, don’t knock the opportunity. Grab the brass ring. Hear the music before the song is over.
John Mills, the founder of the Baptist Children’s Homes is a perfect example of exquisite timing.
Although he had founded the Oxford Orphanage, he felt Baptist people needed to do something about the plight of orphan children. He became obsessed with the idea. It was his magnificent
obsession. He said the idea kept him awake at night, filled his every thought and finally began to scratch at his skull until it bore a hole in it. Now, that’s passion. The mantle of a great cause rested on his big shoulders and in his big heart. He knew God was in it and he had the courage to change things that needed to be changed. The brass ring came around for John Mills and he grabbed it and hung on to it until the Baptist Orphanage opened in Thomasville on November 11, 1885.
We have a lawyer in the Triad who advertises widely on television. He only says six words in the commercial: “You’ll know when you need us.” When destiny or love or God taps you on the shoulder, know that somebody, somewhere, needs you. Step in, step up, step out, and make a difference. That’s what exquisite timing is all about.
In a world filled with mistrust and pessimism, I challenge you to keep an unrelenting positive
attitude. People are drawn to those with energy, enthusiasm, belief, and conviction. Most people
walk through life anxious, worried, distracted, stressed and overwhelmed. But when they encounter people – like you – who speak with a light in their eyes, an energy in their bones, and a
fervor in their spirit, it makes others feel better just to be around that kind of passion. You can be
that can of person! And, if you don’t know what your passion is, then answer this: What is it that makes your heart sing; makes your spirit soar. What is it that gets your motor revved up! That’s your passion – follow that star on your Voyage of Faith!
And the best part is that you are not alone. God is with you, in you, for you. God is on your side
because you are on God’s side. When the storms of life come, God is there. When we feel alone and depressed, God is there. When we feel we don’t matter, God is there.
For those of you who are weary in well-doing, who feel a heaviness of spirit, and are tempted
to give up, I say, “Hold on, keep your eye on the prize and never give up.” For those who still
want to live life to its fullest and make the most of every day, I say, “Hold on, keep your eye on the
prize and never give up. Never, ever give up.”
It’s time to lift anchor. The wind is at our back. Sail on, brothers and sisters, sail on. The best is yet to be!