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Are We There Yet?  vol. 193 Thumbnail

Are We There Yet? vol. 193

Last night, I was in a bit of a panic because my Christmas tree farmer canceled on me. As background, I oversee my church’s Christmas tree sale ministry. Each year, we buy 200 premium Christmas trees from a farmer in Vermont and sell them to our congregants and the local community. The trees were set to arrive next week, but now I don’t have any trees. Naturally, I was anxious about how I could pull this together or how I would disappoint my church and people who have bought trees from us for decades. Then, this morning, I attended the funeral of a friend, Skib, who died unexpectedly after a very brief illness. He was just 64 years old and will be missed by his family, friends, and anyone fortunate to have had contact with him.

The funeral put things into perspective for me. With the Thanksgiving holiday only two days from when I’m writing, the priest in his homily noted that the funeral was a Thanksgiving service for Skib. We were there, giving thanks for the life he lived. Another friend of his provided some thoughts on his life. His work was hardly mentioned, nor was there any material accumulation. What was highlighted was his kind and generous spirit. In one anecdote, his friend noted how, when Skib was coaching his son’s soccer team, he noted that he had some talented boys but that he also had some boys who just needed to be given a chance. So, he promised the boys a pizza party once everyone on the team had scored a goal. The friend noted how the boys worked together to make sure that everyone got the opportunity to score. That was the kind of person Skib was, making sure everyone was involved and everyone got a chance.

I don’t always think a lot about the giving thanks part of Thanksgiving, but I have to admit that the celebration of Skib’s life has made me more thankful for the people around me. As for the trees, I’ve realized that, while disappointing, it’s not that important in the grand scheme of things. It’s out of my hands, so I have resolved to let it go. I hope you had a nice holiday.

Take care and stay safe.



Rory Stewart and Alastair Campbell, hosts of Britain's biggest podcast (The Rest Is Politics), have joined forces once again for their new interview podcast, ‘Leading’. Every Monday, Rory and Alastair interrogate, converse with, and interview some of the world's biggest names - from both inside and outside of politics - about life, leadership, or leading the way in their chosen field. Whether they're sports stars, thought-leaders, presidents or internationally-recognized religious figures, Alastair and Rory lift the lid on the motivation, philosophy and secrets behind their career. Tune in to 'Leading' now to hear essential conversation from some of the world's most enthralling individuals.