A Publix Hug

This weekend has had some pretty cool moments:

  • Friday: A couple of hours at an elementary school celebrating the first quarter results of student’s and teacher’s hard work
  • Yesterday: A couple of hours celebrating the 86-year life of a church member
  • Today: A couple of hours praying with, singing alongside of, and listening to the body of Christ

As good as those hours were, the coolest moment lasted probably less than a minute. And of all places, in a Publix parking lot.

As I walked to my car, I thought I recognized the boy getting out of the car parked beside mine. I was pretty sure he was one of the students from the celebration I attended at the school on Friday where he was recognized for making the Principal’s list and also won a drawing for a new bike and helmet.

I decided not to just wonder and move on, so I said to his dad,Excuse me. Does your son go to Ballard Elementary?”

“Yes.”

“Did he make the Principal’s list and win a bike on Friday and had on a yellow outfit?”


“Yes.”

“I thought that was you.”

“Yeah, what a shock to see him come out of school with a bike.”

To this point his son hadn’t said a word. In fact, he never did. He did something better. When he recognized me, he walked straight to me and gave me a hug.

This isn’t the first time this school year that a Ballad student has spontaneously given me a hug. These Ballard kids get it. They don’t make big scenes. They respond genuinely, with no fear, showing all their thankful, grateful, and humble heart.

I’m working on being more like them. A Publix hug certainly jolts the motivation and inspiration.

Dairy Farm Inspiration

“Have you ever stuck your hand up a cow’s butt?”

Not a question meant for you, really. It’s a question asked by someone on TV.

I just watched an episode of Undercover Boss from 2013 where Menchie’s frozen yogurt franchise CEO Amit Kleinberger went undercover at a dairy farm and a kids birthday party to assess his company. In his work at the dairy farm, Amit met Francisco. Francisco asked Amit that question. By the end of that day at the dairy farm, Amit had a new perspective about his company, and probably about life. What Amit saw in Francisco was a passionate employee. Francisco cares about his cows. “I love these cows. I love my job.” Amit later told Francisco that he left inspired that day. 

So why would a CEO be inspired at the dairy farm? One reason was he was able to help Francisco bring a new calf to the world. Another first for Amit. Francisco let Amit name the calf; he named him Alan. That was a memorable moment, yes. But what inspired Amit was the attitude, perspective, and focus of Francisco. The way he talked about the cows, the purpose he shared about his job, and the model he hoped to show his children inspired Amit.

How we do what we do should inspire others. It’s biblical. We are to mirror the image of God in how we do work. You may think, “But I don’t like what I do. I’d rather be doing….” So why aren’t you? Is it possible God wants to help you but you’re not letting him? How can you follow his plan for you?

You may also think, “I’m doing what I’m meant to do, but I’ve lost the joy, the passion. I’m probably not inspiring anyone.” So where did the passion go? What caused you to lose it? What would it feel like to restore it? Are you willing to do the restoration work?

Maybe we all could use a trip to the dairy farm. And stick our hands where they’ve never been before. Ready?