We’re in the moment saying hello to an old, balding gentleman. It’s Jon and myself.
The old man is a sociologist and professor and writer who had just made us laugh and think and wonder, along with Mom and Liz and several hundred others in the crowd.
He had just talked about giving. How do we give? What do we give? Is it really possible to give what is the most worthwhile thing, that is ourselves?
And then Jon and I went and waited and then sat beside this old man, just the two of us with this funny man, this rather wise man – he’s written some 30 books – and then Jon laid five on his hand as I introduced ourselves.
‘My boy and I and the rest of our family live in Uganda most of the year but we’re now back in Canada,’ I explained. ‘And I was happy to hear today’s message. And I have to say this – that 25 years ago I heard you share another message that changed my life.’
The man – his name is Tony Campolo – looked at me with his tired, aging eyes and I continued. You spoke about a survey done to a group of very old people.
Looking longingly, or maybe fearfully, into eternity and looking back over the landscape of their earthly lives, they were asked the simple question – If you could live life again, what would you do different?
Tony nodded before I finished. And the top three answers from those surveyed came as follows: I would risk more. I would reflect more. And I would do more to leave something behind.
‘I’ve never forgotten that,’ I said to that funny, balding man, Tony.
‘And whenever I’ve had to make the biggest decisions of my life, I’ve thought about it.’
‘And it brought you all the way to Uganda,’ he said.
‘Yes,’ I said, and looked at Jon.
And even further.