I often write about the difference between having riches and being rich. A simple way to understand the difference is that having riches is often accompanied by a mentality that is fueled by making more, buying more and ultimately leaves you consumed by the very money that should bring you freedom. On the other hand, being rich is living a life with financial margin. This creates freedom to live out your dreams while still having the ability to focus on those in need around you.
Recently I was able to experience the benefits of this in a great way. I was given the honor to help guide our injured soldiers on a Spring Turkey hunt through the Wounded Warrior Hunt at Quantico Marine Corps Base. Words cannot express the gratitude I have for the United States Military and after this weekend I have an even greater level of respect and patriotism for these men and women.
This past weekend I was rich! Not only was I living out my own dream, as I love to hunt, fish and spend time outdoors, but I was able to do it while giving back and focusing on the needs of others. The amazing thing is that when your passions align with giving it feels as if you are cheating life! I went into the weekend feeling great about giving back while doing what I love, but I quickly realized that I was the one who would be receiving.
John, the Wounded Warrior I was placed with, gave more while fighting for our country than I could ever repay. John lost both of his legs in an IED explosion. He was only 21. The time I was able to spend with him left me with so many lessons that I needed to be reminded of.
I have had 5 knee surgeries, a hip surgery, a shoulder surgery and I go in for a second hip surgery in another month. I often find myself upset that cannot do some of things I would like. GIVE ME A BREAK! I have both legs! John did not, and he never complained, not even walking half a mile to the hunting spot. We need to stop focusing on what we don’t have and focus on what we DO have!
The loss of both legs didn’t keep John from getting out and hunting. Yet we let rudeness or negative remarks keep us from moving forward in our dreams. We let our pride or emotions drive our actions instead of keeping a strong attitude and getting what we want in life.
Fear is nothing more than a mindset! You choose to let it control you or you choose to overcome. The men and women in the US Military put fear aside to protect us. We need to learn to overcome fear and move towards what God has for our lives.
The hunt was amazing! John was able to harvest his first Spring Gobbler and I was able to shoot one of the three turkeys that came to us that morning. John is 23 years old now and doesn’t feel sorry for himself even though his circumstances seem to permit it. Because he keeps a great attitude and overcomes fear in life he was able to make a great memory. I just hope these young men and women know that by letting us be part of their hunt they are the ones who are still giving back! THANK YOU!
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