Yesterday, I decided to start The Gratitude Project. It's a daily commitment to become proactive about cultivating an attitude of thankfulness, no matter what problems or issues I'm facing. You can read more about it via this link.
Today, I'm grateful for Jim Linen. I've never met him, but he certainly made an impact on my life. In fact, I've told myself (and my friends) this story several times and yet it still doesn't sound possible.
Recently, our pastor gave every person in our church a copy of his most recent book. After a few weeks, I started reading it. I was highlighting a lot of things and being both challenged and encouraged. It wasn't until I got to page 49 that I realized I was reading about myself in someone else's book.
Let me explain.
As I'm reading the author share a story about Jim Linen and his failed business, I realize that some of this seems familiar but in other ways, it was completely new information. Well, long story short, Jim's story takes a turn for the worse when he dies en route to Wimbledon in 1989. Keep in mind, that I was only one year-old at this time.
But because he had setup a life insurance policy that would roll into a charity, his failing business was soon forgotten because a charity of the same name began investing financially in the lives of pastors, ministries and missionaries.
Des Plaines Publishing Company became Des Plaines Publishing Charitable Trust.
My wife Hannah and I applied for a grant from this company when we moved to DC several years ago but we hadn't heard this story of its formation. (Can you believe that?!) We actually received the grant of $1000 and it helped us meet our support raising goal as I was raising funds to become a Campus-Missionary-in-Training (CMIT) with DC Chi Alpha.
As I've processed this over the past week, I've begun to draw several conclusions while learning several lessons. But one stands out for me.
You may never meet the people you influence most. And that, if we live generously, our influence can't even begin to be calculated.
Jim, I'm grateful for your ability to plan and see a future where, even in your absence and death, life could be given to others. Thank you.
Want to join me in the gratitude project? Go for it! Leave a comment with a link to your blog and download the graphic that I made via this link.