Recently, my son, Brodie, and I traveled with some new friends to look at a piece of property to see if there was a way they could use it to help children the way Big Oak Ranch has for nearly 43 years. We left Birmingham at 7:30 that morning and flew to Nashville, Tenn. Then on to Charlotte, N.C. We ended our journey by plane in Virginia. Then we loaded up in a van and drove to West Virginia, where we arrived around noon. We realized after touring their facility it would serve a better purpose being developed for another mission.
On the return trip, we stopped off in Nashville and landed back in Birmingham around 5 p.m. Brodie and I got in his truck and drove through Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee to arrive at our final destination of the day—Arkansas. As we were pulling up, Brodie looked at me and said, “Dad, do you realize that we’ve been through seven states since this morning at 7:30?”
We finally went to bed that night at 10:30 p.m. As I went over in my head where we had been, the people we met and the fruit of the day, his statement got me to thinking, “Did we accomplish today our reason for being on this earth?” I have met so many people in my life who struggle with this each day.
When you get right down to it, you can sum it up in three questions.
Question #1: Who is your master?
A better way of saying it may be: What do you spend your time and thoughts on? Many seemingly successful people cannot tell you who or what their master is. But if you spend time with them, you can immediately see that their master is alcohol, drugs, pornography, etc. Just look at what is taking up their time.
There are other masters that are sometimes even more consuming and destructive to our families and friends. What about anger, selfishness, pride, bitterness or poor self esteem? So many good people are slaves to “inside masters,” and they don’t even see or realize they are trapped.
What if we asked your mate or your children who or what is master over you? What would they say? I try daily to make God my Master, but the truth is I have failed more days than I can count. Yet we can never quit and give up. It takes a big person to know he or she needs help and goes and gets it. We all need help at some point, and He still wishes to be there for me and you, too.
Question #2: What is your mission in this life?
What drives you? What is it that sometimes keeps you up at night? Since I was 19 years old, I have been blessed to know my mission on this earth—simply put, to relieve the suffering of children. Since 1974, every morning we wake up, that is our mission. Now that Brodie, along with our daughter, Reagan, lead Big Oak Ranch, they have a very clear understanding of their mission, and it is exactly the same.
Question #3: What is your method of accomplishing your mission?
Every day at Big Oak, we strive to help our children break the cycle of their pasts. Many of them think they have to repeat history, and most of our children need help understanding that if their history is negative or hurtful, then it must change or they will end up repeating it in their lives and eventually with their own children.
Once you have the answers to these three questions, you can move forward with your life’s plan. Now, you might be thinking, “It’s too late to change!” or “It’s too late to start!” Let me assure you it’s not. It is never too late to draw a line in the sand of your life and say, “That’s enough. I am going to move forward with my life’s purpose and truly make a difference.”
I am now in my mid 60s, and my one desire is to finish strong. Please join with me for 2017, and let’s get even more clarity in regards to our MASTER, MISSION and METHOD.
If we get these in the right alignment, I guarantee you that your life on this earth will produce quality fruit.•