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03-07-16 The Right Answer Image“When you try to control everything, you enjoy nothing. Sometimes you just need to relax, breathe, let go and just live in the moment.” -Unknown

Have you ever experienced a truly magical moment, but you were so preoccupied with something else that you almost missed it?

Me too. It happens frequently.

Including one I want to share with you here.

With On Fire just eight days from being published (yeah, baby!!!), I’ve been in a season of continuous work, travel, speaking, and writing. A pre-launch book tour that means a different city every day for 15 consecutive days.

The media has fortunately taken interest in On Fire, but it requires a great amount of time participating on radio, television, and podcast interviews.

Knowing this would be a busy season, my wife Beth and I agreed to say “Yes” to it. “Yes” to the travel, the time away, the distraction from being fully engaged at home. And “Yes” to the resulting stress on both of us.

But sometimes in the chaos and sprint of achieving professional goals, it’s possible to miss the very reason for the work in the first place.

Yesterday after church and before a flight back out of town, I enjoyed a little family time. After chatting on the screen porch with Beth, then shooting baskets with my boys, I went into the house to shower and prepare for the week ahead.

While packing some shirts in the suitcase, the pitter-patter of little footsteps entered the room. I turned around and a few feet away was my four-year-old, Grace. Her blonde hair pulled back and blue eyes twinkling, her bubbly beautiful smile greeted me with a simple question: “Daddy, will you have a tea party with me?”

My friends, my flight was in less than 90 minutes. There were clothes to pack, files to grab, things to do. So I bent down, looked her in the eyes, smiled and responded “Sorry Grace, I don’t have time.”

Are you kidding me?

I grabbed that little hand and practically shouted back, “Yes!”

Instead of me packing a bag, we ate crackers and poured imaginary tea.

Instead of me writing about inspired leadership, we talked about princesses.

And instead of me getting ready for my week, we enjoyed the gift of an ordinary, special moment.

As is the case with every moment, this one was important because it was the kind that would never come again.

Almost 3,000 years ago the author of Ecclesiastes wrote that there is a time for everything. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to weep and a time to laugh. A time to mourn and a time to dance.

One of the secrets to real success, sustained happiness, and genuine peace is intentionally saying, celebrating and living ‘yes’ to whatever season we find ourselves in each day. [Tweet this] | [Share on Facebook]

Although never easy, surrendering, accepting and celebrating the good and the bad; the mundane and the unforgettable; the busy and the slow changes not only how we feel about the present, but how we live into the future.

My friends, too frequently in life we all are guilty of packing the bag and looking forward to the next trip, the next location, the next big thing.

This is your day to remember that the very thing you are racing toward is in reality the very same thing in front of you at this moment.

It is the gift of your life.

Choose today to say “Yes” to it.

This is your day. Live Inspired.


What ordinary moment will you say ‘yes’ to today? Please share your own experiences in the comments below.

2 replies on “The Right Answer”

John not only leads with his words but also his actions. I was truly blessed to meet John at a Men’s Catholic Conference on Saturday March 12, 2016. While outside getting fresh air John came walking out. I walked up to him and told him what an inspiration he was. He said, I’m in a hurry would you mind walking to my car with me. I did, we had a conversation about my son who passed away 10 years ago, John took his time and talked to me and although he was short for time he listened to me and never once showed signs of frustration or uninterested. We shared several hugs and then he thanked me. John you truly are an inspiration. It was truly an Honor and a Privilege to meet you. May God continue to bless you and yours. Jeffrey Sell, Buffalo, NY

This morning I got back home after my daily workout – and the rush begins to shower, get dressed and get to work in a somewhat timely fashion. There are mornings that I seem to simply not be able to get out of my own way and I’ve tried to give myself extra time just in case it was going to be one of “those” morning. I get in the house and my husband, Craig, says “Do you want to feed the dogs? The food is downstairs and their outside in the backyard”. I sighed internally and said “Sure”. Went downstairs, got the food, went outside and watched our 2 dogs eat. My first thought was “Hurry, hurry hurry….I have to get in the shower and start getting ready”. I could have just gone in the house and let them eat but there is a territorial “thing” about food so we tend to have to referee. One of our dogs, a lovable rescue lab mix – Casey – is a bit of a slow eater. So as she enjoyed her breakfast in a leisurely fashion I started looking around. I first noticed a blue jay making very rhythmic calls I hadn’t heard before. I looked up at the overcast sky and was amazed at how fast the clouds were rolling by. It was almost mesmerizing. When I looked backed at the pups, I realized they had finished their food and had already walked away. Where had the time gone? And I wasn’t in any hurry to get to the next part of my day! Thanks for sharing John. And I wish you all the best with your book – I know it will be a success!

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