This is Ron with your Motivational Message:
What do you do when you’re in the middle of a big presentation and your nose starts to run, snot slowly dripping down to your lip? Paralyzed from my neck down, my first thought was to lick it clean, but that wouldn’t make a good impression on my audience—a group of 3rd graders.
This past week I presented to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. It was another awesome opportunity to share with the brave men and women who work hard to keep our streets and communities safe. I can’t imagine the various attitudes they must face. I’d like to thank my buddy, Ed, who made it possible for me to speak for 2 hours.
Because I had an open day during my trip, I had sent out a message to you all asking anyone to contact me if there was a need for a speaker during that time. Not more than a week before the speech, Natalie, a long-time supporter of mine reached out to me. For 10 years, she had been hoping for a presentation at her small Christian school in Chino Hills, but was unable to arrange one due to lack of funds.
As destiny would have it, the speech for the Sheriff’s Department was only a 5 mile drive from Heights Christian School. Even more miraculous, the only day I had free was the day Natalie was responsible for chapel. It’s hard to deny how amazing it was that this lined up so perfectly. Los Angeles County is quite large, and I thank God that we were brought together.
Rolling into the packed chapel of parents and students, I instantly felt a connection. The audience laughed and cried as I described my experiences. “Somebody else brushed my teeth, combed my hair, shaved my face, bathed me, dressed me, and put me in my chair so I could be here. We need each other,” I said, “We’re a team.” Hoping that my words created pictures in their mind, I described the struggles I must overcome on a daily basis.
Suddenly I felt a trickle of liquid exit my nose, rapidly approaching my lip. “Oh, no, what do I do?” I thought. Should I lick it and gross out the kids or stop my speech? The moment was right; I stopped my speech. I blurted out, “Well, like I said, somebody helps me with everything and now I need somebody to wipe the boogers off my lip.” The kids gasped as if I was calling them forward. Natalie grabbed a tissue and quickly proceeded to the front. She wiped my nose, giving my nostrils a good squeeze, I broke the ice. “You can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose…unless you’re my friend. Anyone else want to be my friend?” I asked. The children broke out in laughter. I had given them permission to laugh, and given an appropriate visual example of how helpless we can all find ourselves.
Following the speech, the parents bought out my entire stock of books. I spent the next hour signing and talking with the kids. That night, Natalie brought me dozens of letters that the kids had written me. I read touching words, such as “Mr. Heagy, you changed my life,” “I was amazed at what you could do,” and “I can make a difference.” It was a powerful reminder. In the midst of my struggles, my life has value and an impact on the lives of children.
What were the chances of me being there on that particular day and needing my nose wiped for the first time during any of my speeches in the past? God worked out all things for the good and it reminded me to take one day at a time. So relax, do what you can and don’t sweat the small stuff. Our world can be a mess and it’s easy to get stuck on what we should do rather than what we are doing. Thanks for being my friend, and just think, you could be the next one to help me out. Tomorrow will be a better day. Now go pick your friend’s nose.
By the way, as Natalie told me, “The teachers were amazed that I wiped your nose because they all know that I’m a germophobe. Your snotty nose was meant to change me.”
To your inspiration,