I am always surprised at how often I have the opportunity to make a difference in someone's life. However, the opportunities can sometimes be easy to miss.
One such encounter happened on Saturday as I was checking into a hotel with my wife and one of our daughters.
The young lady behind the counter looked to be in her early twenties. She rattled off a memorized set of questions ... Name? Address? Phone number? Tag number? As she neared the and of her list, without hesitation, she added, "Name of your first book?" with an attempt at being funny.
Having no idea I actually wrote a book, she was caught off guard when I said, "Wait right here," and walked out the door, back to the parking lot. I happened to have a copy of Finding Your Way in my car.
Realizing something was up, she had a puzzled look on her face when I reentered the lobby. Opening the front flap of the book I picked up the pen on the registration desk and said, "I'm going to need to know your name." By this time she was smiling. "Kayla," came the answer. "Kayla with a K?" I replied. That's right," she said. “What do you want to be when you grow up, Kayla?”
Not that there's anything wrong with working behind the desk in the hotel lobby, but most 23-year-olds have grander aspirations.
“What's your dream Kayla?” I pressed.
“I wanted to be a zoologist, but I got a little off course along the way. I need to get back on track.”
I closed the book, and handed it to her. “Kayla, I think this might help get you back on track.”
You would have thought I was John Grisham from the look on Kayla's face. In that moment a few things became clear to me.
- I’m glad I took the time to write the book with my friend Dan Webster. Being faithful on the front end positioned me to make a difference on the back end. The same will happen for you.
- Little things can make a big difference. Truthfully, you could argue that my gesture was small. However, to Kayla, having someone remind her there is greatness in her could prove to be very big. That is my prayer.
- When we seek to make a difference in someone else’s life, the biggest difference occurs in us. I walked away feeling good about myself for not being in a hurry and for encouraging a fellow struggler. Walk slowly through the crowd this week.
Today, don’t be surprised if you are given the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life. It will be easy to miss, or even ignore. Don’t!
Choose a different way. Be a noticer and a doer. Someone needs for you to remind them they are great. Now go and make a difference.
When was the last time you went out of your way to make a difference in someone’s life?