It was just another day at work, or so I thought.
I passed through the door to my office, cash till in hand.
As soon as I rounded the corner, a loud, masked man ran down the stairs from the attic storage and announced, “All right, you know why I’m here. You gonna give me all that money.”
He had a pistol and pointed it right at me, close enough that if he pulled the trigger he wouldn’t miss.
I’d thought nothing of the visit from the cops the week before. They were visiting merchants in the neighborhood to let us know there had been a rise in robberies. “It’s Christmas season, and the criminals are hungry for cash.”
They left a set of instructions so we’d know exactly what to do if we got robbed.
Fortunately for me, I read them.
“Get your ass in that office! I want all that. Your phone, the cash, the checks. Gimme all that. Now!”
I filled the bag, putting the new phone I just bought in there.
“Open that safe, now! C’mon, fool. Get down there! Open it!”
I squatted down to see the dial. He kept chattering his demands in my ear. I found it hard to concentrate, especially with the feel of cold steel pressing into my ribs.
I paused, turn to look him in the eye and said, “Listen, do you want me to open this?”
“Then you’re going to have to shut up.”
I put all the cash into the bag. He told me to lay down and stay there until he left.
I felt numb afterward.
All that stuff I heard about being tough went out the window.
But in the days to come I realized I have the courage to rise to the absolute worst situation I’ll ever face. I can stand up to a bully. And most risks in business aren’t as life threatening as this.
But I lived through it.
I learned that you have to make time for what’s important right now. You can’t let fear lead you to put off using your talents. Do it now, because there really might not be a chance tomorrow.
My family is glad I’m still alive. I’m watching my kids grow up. I’m sharing my writing with the people I can serve. And I’m teaching people to engage their readers, sell their ideas, and build a community around their cause.
There is no tomorrow.
Have I felt tired? Absolutely. Sometimes the things I try don’t work, and I want to give up. But I don’t. I’m not happy unless I’m doing what God made me to do, and you won’t be either.
What will you do today? I’m going to take a small step in the direction of my dreams. I hope you will, too.