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More Smiles Per Hour

August 9, 2021

I like that title. Life can be about increasing your and other's smiles per hour if you know Who the accelerator is and where the accelerator pedal is. So let me explain using the following story by an unknown author. 

There was a farmer who grew excellent quality corn. Every year, he won the award for the best grown corn. One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned how the farmer grew such quality corn. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors. 

“How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?” the reporter asked. “Didn’t you know?” said the farmer. “The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn.”

This ‘corny’ story applies to our lives, too. Those who want to live meaningfully and well must help enrich the lives of others, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all. Think of it; none of us genuinely wins until we all win. That increases the smiles per hour for you and those you influence. Lift them out, then lift them up, and you will lift yourself. 

Years ago, author and organizational consultant Laurie Beth Jones wrote about a multimillionaire who wanted to take everyone to the top in his organization, in her book, Jesus CEO. Read on.

"In Chicago, there is a multimillionaire who persists in working 18 hours a day developing his people. When asked why he works so hard, since he had already made his millions, he said, ‘My goal is to help create more millionaires out of this company.’ Motivation runs high in his office. People feel empowered and energized. Cynics might say it is the promise of gold. I say that his employees also are responding to the promise of loving guidance and support.”

That millionaire understood he was blessed to bless others. So his desire became lift them out, then lift them up. 

Years ago, a significant pastor and my colleague, Mel Mullen of Red Deer, Canada, started what he called, The Millionaires Club. The goal of this ministry was to create new millionaires in his church, in Alberta, Canada, and beyond. Pastor Mel proposed to take as many as possible who wanted to come to the top. It was a big, hairy, audacious goal, but it was a goal that inspired many people from all socio-economic levels to start.

Pastor Mel gave them what he knew and mixed it with what they knew to achieve their goal. The result was some who never dreamed they would ever reach that financial level became millionaires. Others grew in their faith and income level also. Recently, Mel told me they just ‘graduated’ their first billionaire. 

Where did all this start? A pastor and leader wanted to take as many people to the top with him as possible. Pastor Mel was willing to share his corn (God-given time, talents, character, and treasure), and raised the quality and quantity of the corn in the whole area. Lift them out and lift them up. That’s a win-win for everyone. 

I realize being a millionaire or achieving some other goal is not the only measurement of success. What I desire for you readers to understand is what Mother Teresa once said, "You can do what I cannot do. I can do what you cannot do. Together, we can do great things." In the farmer's case, the Chicago millionaire's case, and Pastor Mel's case, common people working together toward a common vision attained uncommon results. Sharing their corn didn't just bring them up. In varying degrees, sharing their corn brought everyone else up also.   

Similarly, this is what God did through Jesus. A vast majority of people living in Jesus' time had a history of underachieving. So, because God cared, God gave the gift of His Son to the world. God shared heavenly corn with the whole world through Jesus. Jesus was God’s gift to lift us out of our past and then lift us up to a God-type of life. Just like God, Jesus views you and me as a gift also. In his final recorded prayer on earth in John 17, Jesus said to his disciples, “These people were your gifts to me.” God gave Jesus the gifts of Peter, John, Mary, and us too.

Think of this. Some of the people around you are gifts too. Your greatest accomplishment might be lifting someone out and then lifting them to 'bigger, better, greater.' Service is a circle. When you serve others, you are also served. Could it be that God is calling you to find a need and meet it? Think in these terms and ask, “Who is God's gift to me?” Don't think, "What is my gift?"

Giving your corn to others, ladies and gentlemen, is how we all get more smiles per hour. Ah shucks!

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Ed Delph is a leader in church-community connections.
Visit Ed Delph's website at www.nationstrategy.com