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Investing in Lives

December 23, 2011

Note: I wrote this 2 years ago, but I rediscovered it recently and it’s still just as true.  

Last night we watched “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  I walked away from the movie and fell asleep comfy-cozy in my bed  while the temperatures outside dived below zero.  And I thought about it before I fell asleep and when I woke up this morning I was still thinking about George Bailey.

The man gave everything away.  Not just his money, not just his time, but his dreams too.

I love the part when he’s getting ready to leave on his honeymoon and he gets delayed because of the bank run.  As soon as his wife shows up with his life savings he runs to begin distributing it to people in need.  And not because they really NEED the money.  After all, as he’s already informed them, they could walk into Potters office and get half their money in 5 minutes.  He does it to save his father’s business (which he hates) and to save these people from making a bad investment with Potter. My sisters and I looked at each and asked “Do you think he ever got that money back?”  I don’t think he did.  Maybe eventually… over time.  But, did he ever have that $2000 lump sum again?  I highly doubt it.

Countless times he gives up what he wants or plans in order to do something that appears to be the best thing at the time… for everyone else.

I was struck for the first time with George Bailey’s attitude.  He so obviously does NOT want to make a lot of the sacrifices that he makes.  But, he makes them in spite of himself.

And that brings me to Do Hard Things.  We’ve been reading this book in our Bible Study lately and I’m finding something inspiring in every chapter.  But, mostly I’m convicted by the entire of concept of those three words.  Do. Hard. Things.

In other words, Don’t do the easy thing, when you have an option to do something harder.

George Bailey’s hard things just kept piling up, making the hard things he did harder and harder.  But, every hard thing he did was an investment in another person’s life.  Every hard thing HE did made someone else’s life a little better and a little easier.  He was making investments in people’s lives.  The kind of investments that aren’t easily forgotten because they start as tiny seeds and grow and grow.  Little by little he bought the kind of friends that are just waiting and watching for an opportunity to give back.  So, ultimately, though everything he did was for others, HE was the most blessed in the end.

And as Clarence says: “No man is a failure who has friends.”

What kind of investments are YOU making?

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