While inputting some last minute data…I looked up from my computer and encountered the smiling face and warm eyes of Elias. From the first moment I encounter him…I knew this was a special person. Elias has a peace, joy and happiness that radiates from him.
He offered a friendly hello…and reminded me it was Friday and that the weekend was here. Usually I’m quite focused…and able to tune out distractions…but this time I found myself chatting with this rather intriguing man. I asked how he was doing…and he said that he was feeling better because he was not sore anymore after running the LA marathon with his son.
He then told me that this was his second marathon…that he had run with his son. He had not been a runner until just last year. Now I’d guess Elias to be in his fifties. But I wasn’t surprised to hear that he had beaten his son in last year’s marathon. This year…his 27 year old son beat him by two minutes…both finishing the race in a little over five hours.
There was a definite pride that shown forth. Not a boastful pride…but a pleasure in the commitment and success that he and his son had achieved. But more important is the relationship that they enjoy. The proud dad shared that his son is in college and going for his bachelor degree.
Then Elias introduced himself to me…and showed the E & J on his shirt…the E stood for Elias. He was there to make sure that his cleaning crew was doing a good job. A small businessman who had started his business 20 years ago. He did not take accounts for granted…but was following up to make sure his crew was doing quality, detailed work.
He went on to share that tomorrow he was speaking at church and going to tell a story that he had written. A story that is a picture of the world with it’s temptations, distractions and dangers…and of God who loves us so much…that he reached down to pull us to safety. Elias said he likes write…and when he looks things…he likes to make stories about them.
As we parted company…Elias showed me his I-pod Nano. On it was engraved his name…and the saying “Success is a Choice”. Not just a phrase…but a way in which this man lives and walks each day. As he walked away…he stopped to write down a phrase from a motivational picture about perseverance.
A brief and unexpected encounter…but one that I will never forget. Creative…Motivated…Positive…Radiating the Love of God. An indelible impression was made upon my soul…by this man…just An Ordinary Hero.