ARENA“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt I spent part of my Father’s Day at a friend’s retirement party. To be totally honest, I was a little ticked to leave my lair and five of my six children. We had a great family lunch, the U.S. Open was on the tube, seasoned surf and turf were awaiting the grill, and game five of the NBA finals would be the capstone.  We made an appearance because I couldn't miss my friend's big day.   I am honored to know him as friend and ally.

He had representation from most of the significant arenas of his personal and professional life:

  • Wife and three boys
  • Professional comrades
  • Not for profit friends
  • Brothers from SummitTrek Executive board (Christian business roundtable)

The complement of celebrants across several decades speaks to the significant investment he has made in others. He is obviously a man who has spent considerable time pouring in the lives and successes of many. That is the epitome of being a “good king”…one who uses his gifts, talents, and resources for the sake of elevating others.

Most with the privilege of his generous and well-earned retirement are almost excusably focused on how to make the ensuing decades more comfortable for themselves. This man has a decidedly different focus.  I had the privilege of being one of those on the other end of the phone as he wrestled with the decision to leave all the trappings of the world's success for a determinably purposed path.

The reason for his success and the drivers behind the decision were on display for all to see. He took the opportunity of addressing 75-100 family, friends, and business associates to:

  • Acknowledge the movement of God through his journey
  • Honor the men and organizations that have shaped him
  • Challenged all others to find a life worth living…the beautiful collision of the world’s great need and your unique ability

He has been the man “in the arena” who has “spent himself in a worthy cause”. He has lived a life of significant impact. He has not yet known, however, the greatest season of his significance. A greater arena awaits.

Well done.