“Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.” Bill Keane
My friends, this week I would like to share a story I recently heard during a sermon at church. It truly reminded me how grateful I am to be alive, to live where I do, and not to take the simple things in life for granted. This is a story that inspires me to think differently about all the worldly things I have, and even life in general.
Each day when you get up in the morning, you have a choice to make in terms of what kind of day you want to have. Do you want to have a day filled with joy and gratitude, or one dictated by worry regret and excuses? Each day, every minute is a gift.
Don’t focus on the past or worry about the future. Be thankful for what you have at this moment, and use that gratitude and appreciation to pave the way forward. Just like the character in this story, we all make mistakes; some major and others more insignificant.
Life is a gift, live and be grateful in the present moment. Make the most of today, and tomorrow will always be a new day, where the best is yet to come!
Here is the story of Leti…
This is a story told from a man named Scott Harrison. After years of living in NYC promoting top nightclubs and fashion events, the Lord led him to start Charity Water (CW) — a ministry dedicated to bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries.
While in another village in Africa, Scott heard the story of a girl — a 13-year-old named Letikiros (LetEE -KEROS) Haliu (HI LOU). Leti had lived her whole life in a rural village in Ethiopia called Meda. Ever since she was 8 years old, four days a week, she’d get up early, grab her clay pot, tie it to her back with a rope and spent the day (8 hours) walking and waiting to get water for her family — dirty water — for them to cook with and drink.
Imagine yourself, and your life, with this daily task.
On one particular day, Leti did just as she’d always done; up early, heavy clay pot tied to her back with a rope, walking and waiting for 8 hours to fill her pot with water for the family.
But as she finally made it back home, as she is nearing her house, Leti slips & falls — her clay pot breaks and all the water spills out into the ground.
Leti didn’t go back for more water. She hung herself from a tree in the village.
Scott, despite all he’d seen in Africa, all he’d already done with CW, thought this story was made up. It wasn’t. He found the village, went there and verified it for himself. He saw firsthand, the tree Leti hung herself from.
Those who knew her well believed she must have been overcome with shame. She knew her mother and sister were at home waiting for the water. She knew they needed her water to cook dinner. And now, even the clay pot was destroyed— a valuable resource for the family.
So rather than continue home down the path empty-handed, 13-year-old Leti slipped the rope from the pot through the branches of a tree, then around her neck and hung herself.
This story stayed with Scott. It haunted him. As he reflected on his upcoming birthday and the abundance already present in his life, Scott had an idea. Scott, the club promoter who threw birthday parties, asked himself, “What if I donated my birthday?”
So he asked for his age in dollars. $32 dollars. He raised $59,000 dollars to bring clean water into the lives of others.
Then, a 7-year-old kid in Austin heard about what Scott did and decided to donate his 7th birthday. No party. He accepted no gifts. He went knocking on doors and raised $22,000.
An 89 year old did the same. Telling people she’s lived double the life expectancy of so many people in the world because of the privilege she was born into, she donated her birthday to saving the lives of many — with the promise, the opportunity to have clean water.
So what are you going to choose to focus on each day as you get up in the morning? Will it be the things that happened in your past? The endless maybe’s of the future? Or will you focus on the blessings of the present, and do something to make a positive difference in this world?
Perhaps, like me, you might be thinking differently about how to celebrate your birthday this year.