My grandfather, who I affectionately referred to as “Daddy Bill,” died in 1971 when I was a baby. I don’t remember anything about him, but I know him. I’ve studied pictures of his smile, actions on old videos, and hobbies. I looked at one old black and white picture in which he was holding me as a baby a month before he died. He looked proud and the love he had for me was obvious. He was my hero.
God made me. He made you. He made my “Daddy Bill.” He made you to be you. There’s nothing wrong with finding people during your lifetime that influence your mind, because that’s inevitable. However, don’t let anyone steal the personality that God assigned to you. My grandfather influenced me, but so did a guy I saw on the subway in New York City for thirty seconds.
I try to be cognizant of my God-given responsibility to influence in a Godly way. When I’m with my grandbabies, I think about each word, motion and expression I make because I know I’m influencing these kids. I want whatever they inherit from me to be good. When they think of me, I want them to remember that look of love “Daddy Bill” had and I want them to automatically smile at every recollection.
Let’s not force our thoughts on others, but simply “live Godly” so that we allow everyone we meet to be themselves while kindly providing them with a Godly memory of whatever mist of time we encounter together.
Picture God holding you in an old black and white photo when you were a baby. That same look of pure love that my grandfather had on his face while holding me is the look that God would have for you in that photo.
Rick Stanfield is a syndicated columnist, motivational speaker and author. His latest book is “I Can and I Will.” For more information, visit his website at www.rickstanfield.com