For the second time in only a few months, we were privileged to sit at his feet and be taught. The first time he came and spoke, he was given a standing ovation. Today, he would have none of it. He scolded us for clapping for him at his introduction. Chad will be the first to tell you, "It's not about me."
Each time Chad has come to speak to our Monday morning Professional Networking Group at the LDS Business College, he has left us pondering so many valuable life lessons it is difficult for me to summarize them all in the few minutes he has spent addressing us.
He shatters all the myths associated with the job search. Whatever difficulties our candidates are facing, they pale by comparison to what Chad must deal with every morning of his life. Unassisted, he has driven into the city from his ranch to be with us. I know he got up a lot earlier than I did this morning. But you won't hear a word of complaint from Chad.
He chooses to soar on the wings of his generous spirit instead of being earthbound. And he lifts others to the same majestic heights.
The life lesson he embodies most, it seems to me, is his generosity of spirit. He exudes lovingkindness. It was King David who defined its use: "Thy loving-kindness, O Lord, is in the Heavens, Thy faithfulness reaches unto the skies. Thy righteousness is like the mighty mountains; Thy judgments are like the great deep; man and beast Thou preserveth, O Lord, How precious is Thy Loving kindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Thy wings. They are abundantly satisfied with the fatness of Thy house; and Thou makest them drink of the river of Thy pleasures. For with Thee is the fountain of life; in Thy light do we see light. O continue Thy lovingkindness unto them that know Thee; and Thy righteousness to the upright in heart." (Psalm 36:5-10).
Chad is a quadriplegic, but that obvious limitation has seemingly helped his spirit develop in ways that transcend the physical dimensions.
Today he spoke of time. The greatest gift we give to each other, he said, is our time. We validate another's existence when we give our time to one another. It's not about us, he emphasized, it's about them. He is quick to point out the painful ways he learned that lesson from two people -- Melanie and his father. But he learned it well, and now inspires others with his lesson.
When we say we don't have time for (fill in the blank here), what we are saying is that our spirit lacks the largesse of spirit Heavenly Father is trying to bestow upon us.
I know Chad didn't say it in these words, but the Spirit whispered to me while I listened, "David, I have given you so much of My time -- lots of it -- hoping to develop you into the man you are today. And I have been patient with you, oh, so patient with the harvest I have waited so long to reap in you."
Then, I hear Him gently nudging me, "Please go and do likewise with others. . ."
I felt so many times today while I listened to Chad speak that I have robbed God because of the stingy nature I possess. My time is valuable, I have said to myself. I don't have time to serve, I have protested. Each time I have extended myself, however, I feel expanded. It's the very lesson Heavenly Father has been trying to develop in me. Heavenly Father is helping me to learn greater generosity of spirit, but I have not been always been compelled to learn that lesson.
That's why He has had to be so patient with me.
Others are instinctive givers of themselves. That's the way Patsy is. She doesn't have to overthink it like I do. She doesn't do the analysis in advance. She just automatically defaults time and again, year after year, moment by moment to serving others selflessly and giving her time even when it's inconvenient.
I have to do the calculations first, then I serve. I have said before, I am a very slow learner. When I have been so impatient with others, I cringe to think what Heavenly Father thinks of my feeble weak-kneed efforts when measured against His generosity with me.
I am not nearly as generous of spirit as Chad Hymas and Patsy Goates. I've never had a one-ton bale of hay fall on my head and crack my neck to awaken me to my sense of the need to share my time without complaint.
So tonight, I thank Chad for the reminder once again to be conscious of my opportunities to serve and to love everyone without the accompanying smallness of spirit I tend to exude.
His fee for sharing his time with us today?