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It Is All About Who You Are With

My youngest brother hung out with my mother when she painted landscapes. When he was around nine, my mother gave him a set of charcoals, the variety used for drawing.  He took them with a canvas and climbed up a mountain. When he came back, there was a drawing of a beautiful landscape.  If I remember, the charcoals did not come with instructions.  No one went up the mountain with him and stood over his shoulders, telling him what to do.  That prompted me to ask, “How did you do that?” He said it was easy “You just open the box, take out a charcoal, look at a tree, and start to draw.” That is what he said. He didn’t say, “That is what happens when you hang out with an artist like Mom.” 

Dad is still a builder, and his specialty is spiral stairs. His stairs never squeak. The secret is the glue. He places a chime over each tread and glues both sides of the chime. It can be messy and time-consuming because the glue gets on your hands, falls on the floor, and you can step in. Most builders like to skip the glue because it is faster and neater. Yet, after about five or ten years, when the wood dries, the stairs will squeak. I remember when I did my first set of stairs. I knew that mine would never squeak. It is all about with whom you work.

One of the most amazing moments in my life was the day I outfished my father. He asked me what I was doing. I told him that I had a twenty-foot leader. Every fly fisherman knows casting with a leader that long is very hard. So Dad put on a twenty-foot leader and immediately started catching like I was. I would have never known about the leader length if I was fishing alone. It is all about with whom you fish.

Across the street, there used to be a parking lot that would hold about 40 to 50 cars. A developer bought the lot and is now building two skyscrapers. How do you fit two buildings on such a small lot? The buildings extend over a highway and a pair of railroad tracks. The motto of the company is “Making the impossible possible.” How do you do the impossible? You surround yourself with the best architects, the best engineers, the best building supplies, and the best safety personnel.

Jesus tells us that He is with us always. That means we can do things we were never able to do before. Not only do we not kill, but we love enemies and pray for them. Not only do we not commit adultery, but we have a pure heart. Not only do we forgive, but we do it all the time generously. God asks us demanding tasks. So remember, it is all about who you are with.  

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