When I was growing up (my wife might disagree with the thought that I grew) my dad who is a Lutheran Minister would have a children’s sermon after baptisms.
He would say baptism meant that child had become one of God’s kids. As a reminder, he would stamp our hands with ink the word GOD’s. The message: you are loved, you have value, and as does everybody else–no matter what.
Being one of God’s kids comes with responsibility. Mental fitness means leaving an even better legacy, which means I have a challenge. The legacy I was given is pretty powerful.
Back in graduate school, I had to write a paper explaining what I have learned from my life’s journey in both school and life. In my profession, you do your best work when you are aware of how your life experiences impact the way you show up. It never really stops.
What I wrote back in 1998 (while processing another Vikings disappointment) was that God’s was the basic idea behind my work with people. It remains that way today. If you know me well, you know I am not trying to convert or convince anyone about a certain belief system.
Last week I presented at an event with Clint Malarchuk, an NHL goalie who had his carotid artery severed in a game and came within minutes of dying. Following the game he, very understandably, suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
WATCH: 30 for 30 Shorts: Cutthroat
WATCH: Clint Malarchuk’s TED Talk
In Malarchuk’s talk, he shared that the two most important days in your life are the day that you were born, and the day you found your purpose on earth.
That resonated with me. I don’t know the exact day I found my purpose, but I do know I have found it. My purpose, I believe, is to help people find their purpose, and their own version of being one of God’s kids. I want to help people overcome the obstacles that life brings; in both physical and mental health. I want to help with losses, challenges, and fully enjoy the joyful and fulfilling experiences that life brings.
Being God’s kid brings a great responsibility. Strive to make people better and impact the world positively.
My final parting words would be to watch TNT’s Ernie Johnson speaking to the Alabama football team. Johnson’s son suffers from muscular dystrophy, so he has faced plenty of challenges. But in those challenges he has kept his positivity. His message: everyone has value and has something to contribute. His challenge: be a better human.