Here is Part II of Mike Hartmann’s powerful story of faith, hope, and wisdom. LIFE Leadership isn’t just our business built on purpose; rather, it’s our purpose built on business. Wisdom and truth cannot eliminate pain in this fallen world, but it does provide the perspective and perseverance to overcome instead of succumb to the challenges life presents. Unfortunately, in modern culture’s pursuit of happiness, many have forgotten that true happiness is an inside job, not an outside one. LIFE Leadership intends to change this one life at a time. Here is part II of one family’s life-changing story.
“But, a word of warning: if you don’t go to battle, if you actually listen to him, if you actually allow Goliath to stop you from going to where you know you not only should go but you need to go, he is going to grow in strength and he is only going to become more relentless for the rest of your high school career and the rest of your life. If you think he’s bad now, I promise you this: he will only get bigger. He won’t get more powerful because he never changes: he’s only a sheet of paper and you can overcome him at any point of time. But right now is your opportunity. This is your moment in time. This is your opportunity to stand up to him and knock him square on his back so that you can prove to him, and more importantly to yourself, the man you truly are.
“There’s no shame how you were feeling earlier. That’s normal and totally expected. And I promise you this: there are probably many of your peers feeling the same way tonight because he’s trying to stop them too. Trust me and go to battle and knock him down!”
Spiritual Truth & Spiritual Warfare (and What was Really Happening):
Jesus Christ is the one and only Son of God and He died for my sins. He completed all the requirements of God’s law when he hung on a cross at Calvary some 2000 years ago. After laying down his life after taking the punishment for my sins, He rose from the grave on that glorious Easter Sunday. And He provides me with everlasting salvation which has been given to all human sinners through His Grace.
The devil, who is very real and exists in our everyday lives, cannot take away Christ’s victory. Those who accept Jesus Christ as their Savior have everlasting salvation. And there is nothing the devil can do to change that fact or take that away from us. But this is what he can do: he can steal the joy of our victory and he does it every day with those same tactics with which he attacked my son, specifically: doubt, fear, & worry.
Why would we listen to such an evil, self-defeating thought process? We’ve read it and heard it thousands of times: the fact that we are human beings is a miracle all by itself. The fact that we live in North America in the time in which we do is an absolute blessing. The fact that we were born or maybe we had the opportunity to immigrate to United States of America and live here is nothing short of incredible. And in spite of these facts, so many trade-in the greatness of what we can truly achieve at any moment in time for the lies that the devil sows in our heads which hold us back each day.
As a father, I felt incredibly blessed to have been able to share the leadership lessons that I’ve learned through the association of Life Leadership and its personal development material (specifically, lessons were taught through the following sources: Self Talk by Orrin Woodward & Chris Brady, Goliath is Calling by Orrin Woodward, A New Label by Bill Lewis, The Magic of Thinking Big by Dr. David Schwartz, the All Grace Outreach subscriptions, and countless live speeches and testimonials). Without the books I’ve read, the CD’s I listened to, and the association of the great friends & mentors (Marc Militello) I’ve gained through this incredible journey, I would have only been able to respond in my original authoritative “because I said so” style. And I would’ve forced my son to go on a trip without equipping him mentally on how to fix his thought process. He would’ve gone reluctantly, but he would’ve been overwhelmed with the doubt, fear and worry that was there to begin with. Ultimately, those forces (and my original mishandling of the situation) would’ve had a radically negative effect on his experience and our relationship.
Well this is how it turned out: Kyle went to battle with Goliath and knocked him flat on his back! Kyle started talking to himself during our conversation over the phone, repeating what I was coaching him on; repeating and believing the positive uplifting and encouraging message that we all should be repeating to ourselves each and every day. He got up that Sunday morning at 4:30, ate breakfast and went to church. By 6AM, the kids, including Kyle, were in the vans and trucks heading down to Tennessee. He spent a week away from his family, for the first time in his life, and he had an amazing experience! Kyle loved it and made a ton of friends. He (along with the entire volunteer army from Keystone) helped make a huge difference in a family’s life and grew tremendously as a young man for the entire experience. Kyle learned skills of construction, he grew closer to Christ, and most importantly he learned the truth about Goliath: that he falls down quick and he falls down hard when you show the courage to stand up to him. As the old saying goes, the bigger they are the harder they fall.
Kyle (In Red) with his friend Griffin, just before departure.
In closing, I ask you the following:
- What Goliaths are calling you and filling your life with self-depreciating thoughts?
- What affirmations can you begin saying out loud to combat this merciless, yet truly powerless, foe?
- What information can you tune into to prepare you for the battle?
- Who can you count on to stand in your corner as an encourager in your life?
- When will you begin?
Why not begin right now? Your brighter future is waiting. I’m cheering for you! Just like I did for Kyle. . .