A friend passed on the book “The Last Lecture” for me to read. I wasn’t familiar with it and always feel out of the loop when someone passes on a book that says “National Bestseller” on it. For those who aren’t familiar with it, I won’t give much away. I’m not quit done with it, but it is an excellent book.
The synopsis of the book is that a professor of computer design (virtual reality kind of stuff) who has a wife and three young kids finds out he has cancer. He is not going to survive it and goes about the task of preparing thing for his family for life without him. During that process, he has the opportunity to give a last lecture…to go to the school where he taught to give a final address. His book is based on that.
What has come to the surface for me is that as this gentleman faces his near departure from this life, he focuses on the simple things. He emphasizes the importance of how we relate to one another and how other people help us achieve the dreams and desires we have for our lives. At the same time, we are also able to help other reach their goals. He highlights things like….
…when working with a group, let everyone talk
…praise each other
…look for the best in everybody – even if you have to wait to see it
…write personal thank you notes
None of that is earth shattering or a revelation. I find it interesting that as this guy was talking about the life he lived and what he wanted to leave for his children, he focused on the basics.
Sometimes we can get so caught up in our agendas, projects and priorities, we forget to say thank you, to listen to others, to see the best in others. Our relationships sometimes are sacrificed on the altar of our busyness and drive to achieve.
Of course, Jesus modeled that so well. Even when all the pressures to be everything to everyone and meet all the needs around Him, to fulfill His Father’s plan and redeem all of humanity, He stopped to meet people face to face, to speak to those who were ignored. Relationships were not rejected. They were a priority. A good reminder to us about what matters.