For those of you having difficulty reading the sentence above, it is because I used a code designed specifically to reduce word count. The code represents 165 words, and is quite funny. I will decipher it next month.
Why code? The editor of Quick Printing has demanded that all columns be limited to 750 words or less. I wrote her a protest, but she said my protest was too long and she wouldn’t read it.
Making Promises to God
I recently heard from Bob, a printer in the Atlanta area. We were talking about company valuations, and he mentioned he might need my services since he is in the process of selling his house and his business and plans to move himself and his entire family to Ecuador within the next six months. In response to the obvious question of “Why the move to Ecuador?” he told me a remarkable story about keeping a promise to God.
Most of us, I assume, have at some point in our lives probably asked God for a special favor. We ask for his help and promise something in return. Unfortunately, most of us break these promises once the crisis has passed and the problem is resolved. This is the story of one promise kept.
“It was Memorial Day 1997, and my five-year-old son was walking in our old neighborhood. As he crossed the street, he was struck by a drunk driver. The driver was driving so fast that the impact hurled my son up in the air, and he then hit both the hood and the windshield. He then was thrown 18 feet behind the truck, where he landed on the hot Georgia pavement.
“Even after all these years, I remember vividly every detail of that terrible day. I got the dreaded phone call at the print shop. All I could hear was sirens, screams, and the words, ‘Your son has been hit by a car.’ The drive to the accident site seemed like an eternity.”
Please Spare My Son
Bob continued his story. “I remember thinking during my drive that I hadn’t even asked if my son was alive or not. I was weeping, while at the same time begging God to let my son be alive. I remember promising God that if he would spare my son I would spend the rest of my life thanking him and giving back as much as I could.
“When I arrived at the scene, there were around 20 police cars, three fire and EMT trucks, lot of neighbors. I saw my son lying on the pavement surrounded by these amazing EMT guys. I ran down and knelt on the ground to hold his hand. He was breathing, but only semi-conscious.
“They had already dispatched a helicopter to airlift him to the children’s hospital in Atlanta. The helicopter had to be very small so it could touchdown in the subdivision. There was room for only the nurse, my son, and the pilot. We had to race down to the hospital in our car.
“When we got there, he was going inside a body scanner. They scanned him multiple times because they kept thinking they were missing something. They told me that in their experience, with a child of his height, there were sure to be internal injuries. By some miracle he didn’t have any. He did have multiple fractures in of the cheek bone, collar bone, skull. His femur was completely snapped in two. After several surgeries, he was placed in a body cast that covered half of his little body for over six months.
“It took about a year, but thankfully he recovered fully. The power of the body to heal, especially in children, can be amazing. He recovered so well that he played on a college basketball team last year!”
Keeping My End of the Bargain
As for Bob (not his real name), he is now keeping his promise. As soon as he sells the house and business, they are headed to a small town in Ecuador. “Even if I share and give back every minute for the rest of my life, it will be nowhere near enough to repay God for this favor he bestowed on me. One of the key reasons for going to this very poor country is that I feel like I can give back more of what I owe there so I can keep my end of the bargain I made.”
Ahaaaa - 755 words!
Senior contributing columnist John Stewart is president of Q.P. Consulting Inc. Contact him at 2110 S. Dairy Road, West Melbourne, FL 32904, call 321-727-2444, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit his website at www.quickconsultant.com and view four new videos dealing with key industry statistics on SPE, benchmarking, and your chart of accounts.