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Want to be happy? Be dependable

A math teacher named David Benke was on parking lot duty outside Deer Creek Middle School in Jefferson County, Colorado when he was faced with a split-second decision.

A man with a Winchester bolt action rifle was standing many yards away from the parking lot outside the school entrance. He had shot one student and was busy reloading his gun so he could take aim at another.

What was Benke going to do?

Benke, 6’ 5”, immediately raced across the street from the parking lot, sprinted up the path toward the gunman, and tackled him with help from another teacher, Norm Hanne. In all, two students were wounded before the shooter was pinned down and assistant principal Becky Brown grabbed his rifle… but how much worse it might have been.

Dependability mark of true character

Following the shooting, Benke said courage came without question because of the training that has become standard for teachers and administrators since the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School -- and because he remembered that he had vowed to do whatever he could if he were ever confronted with a dangerous situation.

"What was going through my mind," Benke said, "was that I promised."

Dependability.

It is one of the key ingredients of true character, divine character.

Dependability critical to our happiness and inner peace

Dependability is not only critical if we are to handle these troubled times effectively -- it is also critical to our own inner happiness and well-being.

Not all of us will find ourselves in a life-and-death situation requiring immediate, spontaneous action on our part.

But as far as life is concerned -- as far as God is concerned -- we are on the spot in every moment to be dependable. It doesn't matter whether the moment seems important or not.

Life always asks the same question. "Are you going to be dependable? Are you going to be true to the true nature of your own being?"

It's part of our contract with the universe, you might say.

The fruits of dependability

Want to have a good feeling at the end of your life? Want to feel that your life was worthwhile, that you made a difference in the world?

Heck, want to have a good feeling at the end of the day or the end of the week?

Don't get too hung up on how important your role is, or how many things you've accumulated in your life.

Water the seed of dependability that is in you. Care for it.

Be dependable in big things and little things, because dependability is a very special kind of seed. It grows slowly, like all seeds, but it is one of the most potent seeds there is -- and if we care for it properly, why, we will discover that its fruits are the most beautiful fruits that there are in all existence.

An apology to readers

A couple of months or so ago JoAnn and I woke up one morning and realized that it was time for us to downsize and move back to Denver so that we could be closer to her family. It was a big turning point for us, and preparing for this move has inevitably put pressure on other priorities, such as my blog.

I have managed to still bring out one post a week, but my schedule has been a bit uncertain and erratic, for which I am sorry. I want to be more consistent from now on so that you know where you stand. Eventually, I hope to write a minimum of two posts a week, but for the moment I intend to publish a post each Thursday.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Durwin Foster March 1, 2010 at 8:58 pm

Hi Dad:
Nice thoughts here.
Look forward to hearing from you regarding whether or not you listened to the Matthew Fox talk.

Reply

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