” . . . a major life lesson from the commitment of Fred Rogers . . . deals with passionate longevity — not merely hanging around for a long time, but genuinely bringing our best selves to people for a sustained stretch of time. Life impact takes time.”- Jeff Manion
Jeff Manion begins Day 3 (“Mister Rogers”) of Week 1 of Dream Big, Think Small with the observation that Fred McFeely Rogers opened his program the exact same way for thirty-three years. As Pastor Manion puts it, Mister Rogers “embraced redundancy.”
Above all, Jeff stresses, Mister Rogers embodied dependability through faithful presence. Furthermore, each time he laced up his sneakers, Fred donned the wardrobe of a servant. Also, Mister Rogers poured himself into the program, exuding love, skill, and grace in each episode. Certainly, Pastor Manion notes, it takes time to:
- build trust
- refine a skill set
- build a solid reputation
In addition, we must not miss the challenge embedded in this type of life influence. For life presents its profound impact when one views the collective sum of repeated moments. Therefore, we need deep commitments, rather than opting to dabble or flit from one interest to another. Pastor Manion explains:
“We quickly lose interest, or patience, and fly to the next new thing. Someday and somewhere, though, we’ll need to land. We’ll need to find our calling and then start doing the slow and steady work of building a legacy. Big dreams are only powerful when anchored in daily discipline. . . . trust God to work in extraordinary ways if and when he chooses. Commit yourself to acts of daily service, and trust God with the results.”
Finally, Mister Rogers ended each program with his promise to come back. And he did — day after day, week after week, month after month, decade after decade. Surely a human model to emulate.
Today’s question: How do you faithfully live out passionate longevity? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Random activity – or persistent movement?”