Kami Mueller contributes to the Dan Forest Profiles series as we commemorate people, places, and things that show the greatest parts of North Carolina: Hope in the Future.
Lately, I have had the pleasure of spending a good bit of my free time in our new Dan Forest Raleigh Campaign office. We have maximized the utility of every inch and cranny, building many materials from scratch. And some of the first inhabitants this summer have been a few really great interns.
Two nights ago, I stayed up to burn the midnight oil with two of these interns stuffing and hand-addressing envelopes for a Dan Forest event. After a long work day, God gave me the gift of a quiet mind while working alongside them…and I soaked in a conversation I may never forget.
There was some initial talk of what they hoped to do next in life, where they would like to live, etc. And somehow the dialogue changed into something far more poignant. They talked about their love for history and our nation’s past. Outlining what their professors would cover and how far they knew it to be from the truth. They listed their favorite books, spouting off authors, case studies, and how they see such-and-such political theory applied in a recent television series’ storyline. They talked of veterans—and how they are often moved to tears when they read about their sacrifices and watch movies that attempt to replicate their experiences, because “it doesn’t even do them justice. They deserve so much more respect than they are given. I wish they knew how I valued their work and their selflessness.”
I faced the wall as my eyes welled-up with tears. Was I hearing this correctly?
It’s easy to identify what is wrong with the world we live in and how it has changed so much in the last 100 years. In many ways, knowing the problems at hand equip us to innovate the proper solution. But with this comes an unintentional element of hopelessness.
Hope is still alive and well in the Dan Forest office. Be encouraged to know there are two smart young adults in a closet-sized office, humbly stuffing envelopes without complaint, sharing their passion for North Carolina and for America.
And I pray there will be many many more, because THAT is worth fighting for.
Have you ever experienced one of those moments where you have an instant sense of clarity of where you are in your life?
Not work, not family, not pleasure or pain, just a moment, where for a split second you stop and think about your life itself, your role and place in it, and how one day it will all end. I have only had these moments a few times in my life, but when I do they are very strong and profound. Usually they come in the most unusual and unexpected places.
Last week, one of those moments hit me. I was traveling back to the United States from London, with Dan. We were on a moving conveyor belt walkway in Heathrow Airport headed to our departure gate. As we approached the end of the walk way, a computerized voice in a woman's British accent said: "Please prepare yourself for the end of the conveyor." I don't know why that phrase struck me the way it did, but it did. I thought of how I chose to get on the fast conveyor walk way rather than just slowly walking through the airport. When given a choice, I chose to get there faster. This is just like life, so many times we choose the fast way. Always in a hurry. Always in a rush. Always pushing ourselves for this accomplishment or that one. I guess my point is, why the hurry? Why the rush? Life is precious. Every moment counts. In all the hurry, in all the rush, in all the day to day pressures and decisions, sometimes we need to stop cold and realize that the conveyor will end one day and we must prepare ourselves for the end. That woman's voice was telling me that the fast walk forward will come to an end one day and I needed to prepare my feet for a return to a normal speed.. a speed and pace that God gave me when he created my body, my gait, my walk in life.
I can speed it up and slow it down, but in the end, I must prepare myself for the end of the walk. So should we all.
Hal C. Weatherman