Tuesday, April 29, 2014

High Five

This story comes to me from a close friend who for the sake of telling the story I’ll call ‘Jack’, and I share this story with his permission. I share it because I think every man needs to hear it.  Especially the guy who ‘high-fived’ Jack…don’t worry…that will make sense in the end.

You see, Jack  (like all of us) has some struggles in life. Most of the time, he’s feeling good and doing great.  Sometimes he gets down on himself and feels the power of the adversary tugging away at his mind and soul.  Sound familiar?  Yeah, I thought so.  Like I said, we all have struggles.

Well, over the weekend, Jack found himself at a crossroads regarding these feelings and decided that despite the terribly cold and rainy weather he’d go for a run instead of giving in to the negative feelings and urgings of Satan.  (let me just say right here that going for a RUN is one of the best things you can do to fight Satan off. He hates running and will quickly give up pursuing you on the run.)  As Jack ran, the rain worsened and as the weather got worse the harder he drove his body.  In his own words “It felt GREAT!”.

As he ran he noticed another male runner coming toward him.  The man cut a large and formidable shape and seemed like a very solid and strong guy.  Almost scary big.  As they got closer, this man edged his way toward Jack.  Thinking that this guy needed more room, Jack edged closer to the side of the road to make room, but the oncoming man changed course again to intersect directly with him.  This was somewhat startling to Jack and he wasn’t sure what to make of it. As the man approached he was feeling just a little bit apprehensive.  When the man was close enough, he held up his hand in a ‘high-five’ gesture and Jack, smiling, responded by lifting his arm and returning the high-five to the stranger.  They passed each other, high-fived with a good smack, and then they ran their separate ways and nothing else was said.

According to Jack, this gesture from the stranger sent a message to him.  The message was one of “way to go” and an emotional pat on the back for his willingness to get out in the rain and cold and to RUN and push his body and be determined to improve.  It was acknowledgement from a brother-in-arms to help him fight against Satan.  I was a simple gesture that was powerful in its meaning and message of brotherly love.

My friend doesn’t know who this guy was and has never seen him before nor since, but this simple gesture has filled his soul with light and gratitude. It was the encouragement he needed to carry on and continue in the fight for righteousness. To stand in holy places and shake of some chains.

This story made me pause, as I’ve had my own personal struggles and even as recent as today felt like I wasn’t doing much good…this story reminded me that the simplest of gestures can brighten a day.

So my challenge to you and to me is to LOOK FOR opportunities to high five someone (or you can fist bump if that is more your thing, I like both) as a way of showing brotherhood and solidarity that we are all in this fight together.  We are all trying to be better men and when a guy is out there doing it, killing it and otherwise being a warrior…recognize him for that effort and acknowledge to him just how very cool it is that he is ‘doing it’.  Give him that high-five.

The power of a high-five to inspire is something that is hard to describe.  It’s a great way to say “way to go, man…you are killing it…you are an inspiration…etc” to another guy…one that he will truly appreciate.

Be careful not to overdo it though.  Really, you don’t fist bump someone for doing something average…but at the same time don’t be too stingy with your high fives. Don't hold back! You never know who is really in need of that boost from a Brother.  Like my friend Jack...you may just save a guy from falling victim to our common enemy.

Remember too that the power of the Priesthood is manifest through our hands...weather it's a priesthood blessing, performing manual labor in service, in administering to someone who is ill, in teaching or in high-fiving a brother who is in need of a pick-me-up.  We can perform miracles with our hands.