“Aaron, one of the most important things in life is to be able to look in the mirror at the end of the day and be able to look at yourself in the eye and be ok with who you see”
I received this advice from a good friend/mentor of mine, Todd Appelbaum. I hold a tremendous level of respect for him and the belief system he maintains. This advice has been something that has stayed with me for several years, and has been one of the filters for which I have executed many actions.
Todd also told me “Leadership is lonely.” and it’s a very true statement. For those of you hoping to be leaders, don’t expect that others will like you. Leaders are often the ones who have to make the difficult decision that many don’t want to make. Christian leaders are also placed in difficult situations, as they must filter their actions through several additional layers that many might not consider; a secular businessman has no moral boundary to pressing litigation against one that’s harmed them, while the christian man has to consider whether forgiveness and grace ought to have a buffering role between litigious actions. This can make seemingly simple choices much more complicated and demanding of intense scrutiny.
This blog isn’t about Todd, nor is it about litigation. I have to take my hat off to Todd, however, because Cup O’ Joe coffee blows my current cup of SwillBucks out of the water. Highlander Grog…it has been far too long.
This week, I have been somewhat reeling in the fact that things in my life are going the way they are. Sure, it would be nice to have been a multi-millionaire by now; a previous goal of mine to have executed by the age of 23. However, things don’t always happen the way we plan for them. And if I have to wait until 30, so be it. What does astound me, however, is that as I step back and take a look at the person that is developing, I really like what I see. This is not an arrogant statement, but one that comes from appreciating the steps, trials, and risks that have led to the moment where I have been able to write this blog. Even the iPad I’m writing on would not have been possible had I not taken a very specific risk this past February.
I’m also realizing that the person I’m becoming is quite different than the person I thought I’d be; of the many occupations I dreamed of, I did not expect things to turn out the way they have.
While there wasn’t enough time to share my thoughts entirely, I wrote a few of the FCA students I taught during the past few years at our weekly Tuesday night Bible study. Even here in California, I cannot help but realize the great blessing that Fellowship of Christian Athletes was for me during the past few years. Getting to teach a bible study was something that taught me more than the students listening. More than anything, it was teaching lessons that were very recently learned, often through trial and error.
One of the occupations I imagined, as a younger me, was that of youth pastor. While it’s not something I will be able to do full-time for quite some time, I cannot help but thank G-d for the number of opportunities that have been presented that have enabled me to work with the youth.
He is faithful. Period. This next period of life will be the greatest adventure of my life so far. I cannot wait to jump into it.