Welcome back to New Man New Woman New Week. I am Ben Newman and you know I am fired up to be with you. Today I am going to be a little bit emotional. For many of you that know me, I am an emotional guy. I cry when I watch Extreme Home Makeover.
I want to share a story about an invitation I had to give a commencement speech, the first I had ever been invited to give. For Life Christian Academy in Tacoma, Washington. Not only were the students amazing, but they and the headmaster Ross Jellson, is committed to teaching these kids about life.
Not just a classroom, mission trips to Mexico every year.
The experience blew me away.
To deliver a commencement speech was a humbling honor. I had prepared one speech and then I prepared another and another. Normally I am ready to bring it. I just kept thinking, what is the message? God spoke to me in my heart. God along with my mom in heaven sent a little message down.
I had this question and it was, hey Ben, what do you think your mother would say to these kids if she was there with them now? For some of you that don’t know, my mother passed away from a diseases called amyloidosis when I was seven. The most powerful fighter I have ever known.
My mother was also a teacher. How fitting that would be and that is the direction we went. I brought fire but before we closed I said to each student, if my mother were here with you right now, these are the lessons my mother would share with you. Here they are. The lessons I shared with these children, I believe they will make an impact in your life as well.
My mother would share with you that it is the little decisions and choices you make every day that determine where you go. All about your discipline. My mother would share surround yourself with advocates, with people who believe in you. Have time for those significant relationships. My mother in her journal was transparent.
I actually wrote a book called fight the good fight about my mom and her journal. My mom in that journal was so transparent, why did it take get me getting sick to pay attention more to the relationships in my life? So don’t wait for those times. Constantly surround yourself with those advocates. My mother thirdly would say to each of you and to you, to get up off that mat of life when you get knocked down, there are people watching you. Continue to lead, just like my mother did.
NO matter how much pain, she would come to the dining room table to ask how our days were at school. The last thing, if you have been to keynotes, I shared this in Singapore, Costa Rica, Canada, across the United States. The most powerful lesson and I know it would have been the most significant thing she would have shared. It is not how long you live, it is how you choose to live your life. What would happen if you embraced those four principles in your life?
My thought and prayer for the students was those four lessons will give them a clear path, a little more fire for them to be inspired to do more in their lives.
To make great choices every day. How are your choices, what is your path? What can those four lessons mean for you? My mother is the greatest champion of life I have ever known. Every day I wear this black bracelet, I have never talked about it. On the bracelet it says legacy. That legacy ties me to my mother’s heart every day. That big purpose, fighting for Amy and Isaac, my family. For my mother. Surrendering to that purpose. Get after it in your life. You only get one shot, you don’t get to go back and do it again. You know I am going to bring the fire again, continue to do great things.