When a person looses a close friend there is a tendency for one’s mind to reflect upon the common interests that were shared. Randy Walden was such a friend. He passed away on September 1, 2018. One important element of this friendship was our shared faith in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.Likewise, just two years ago, I lost another close friend and personal mentor. Dean Fredrikson passed away on October 2, 2016. He too was a devout Christian. He was instrumental in teaching me how to really think, and to think rationally. Both Dean and Randy thought in depth, whether through what they read or through life’s experiences. I am fortunate to know that I will be seeing them again someday.
While pondering over the similarities between these two close friends, a theme emerged that spoke to their personal character. The title of the article uses two of those ‘theme’ words, “Impetus and Drive.” When compared to the words, discouragement and despair, one can readily see how they each exemplified the best of human qualities. Both men’s lives were devoted to being servants of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and epitomized the verse that Paul wrote in II Timothy 4: 7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith” (NASB). They have both left legacies in their own ways.
Both of these individuals were instructors on life. Dean taught at a Bible College, and Randy worked as a counselor with adolescents. Now, if one will look at the comparisons between the two distinct pairs of words, one will be able to see how these men influenced those around them. The definitions presented are from the Merriam Webster Dictionary:
Impetus – a : (1) a driving force; impulse (2) incentive; stimulus b : stimulation or encouragement resulting in increased activity
Drive – a : to carry on or through energetically: drives a hard bargain b : to exert inescapable or coercive pressure on; driven by his passions
Discourage – a : to make (someone) less determined, hopeful, or confident b : to try to make people not want to do (something)
Despair – a : to lose all hope or confidence: despair of winning b : to no longer have any hope or belief that a situation will improve
What immediately stands out about these definitions is that the two sets of words are antonyms and polar opposites. Both Randy and Dean lived lives that reflected “Impetus and Drive.”
Both had a goal to influence others, with an incentive to encourage and stimulate others to becoming their best. Both were driving forces as they carried on energetically toward achieving their goals. They both strove to help others achieve more, not less, to make others more confident in themselves, not less. Dean and Randy helped those around them to know that life’s situations can improve and to never lose hope, just as they never lost hope in the Christianity they professed.
As one looks at the direction our world is headed, one that appears to be on the brink of disaster, seeds of doubt can seep in. Questions like, “what good can come out of the world’s current conditions?” or “what effect can believers have on this world’s course?” can infiltrate one’s thinking. Herein lies the way of discouragement, which leads ultimately toward despair. Do not fall for this trap or any other like it. Believers have an eternal hope, believers are on a mission. It is known as the Great Commission, and it starts right here at home.
Dean and Randy knew this. Their examples and lives have made an impact in this regard. Their legacies provide the “Impetus” to generate more “Drive” and a renewed effort. Each of us needs to live out our lives, doing what needs to be done, reaching out to this fallen world in spite of how things currently look.As fellow believers we are each writing a part of God’s history, of His interacting in the world He created. Let’s not become disheartened, but rather be reinvigorated by the examples of Godly men and women.