Is there someone you always look forward to seeing? Hopefully there are several “someones”! Have you ever taken the time to consider exactly what it is about certain people that makes them so easy to be around?
What is the actual foundation of a joyful and magnetic personality?
It can’t be “looks.” We’ve all experienced beautiful people whose Misery Index was high enough to encompass everyone around them. And we’ve enjoyed the company of the “less beautiful” who were awesome company.
Have you ever encountered a rich person from whom you could not get away fast enough? Yep, me too. On the other hand, some of the most influential, absolutely enthralling people I’ve met didn’t have two dimes to rub together. Quite obviously, money is not the answer either.
So, if the foundation of a joyful and magnetic personality is not physical beauty or financial abundance, could there be a particular age group that is more likely to produce these wonderful people? No, unfortunately, the gloomy and the grumpy seem to exist at all ages. But the smiling and the satisfied are all over the chronological map as well.
I have come to believe that those people whose company we enjoy the most have one HUGE thing in common. They possess a Spirit of Gratefulness.
We are drawn to them and for our own sakes we must join them! Know this: a Spirit of Gratefulness is not necessarily an attitude one has. It is a way of thinking one is able to choose. That particular way of thinking not only changes how others feel about us, it literally changes how we feel…period!
One can allow thoughts of discontent with a housing situation or food being served to depress or aggravate our feelings. Or one can choose to remember that there are more than a couple billion people on this planet who will go to bed tonight without a roof over their head or any food at all.
Perceptions are often at the root of ungratefulness. Similarly, a Spirit of Gratefulness is also a product of perception. Do you have to go to work tomorrow? Or do you get to go to work tomorrow? The first way of thinking yields complaints and fatigue. The other way of thinking displays a Spirit of Gratefulness. Which “thinking” do you want to be around? What kind of spirit do we want others to see in us?
If you do not know Gordon Mote, you should. Allow me to introduce him to you now…
Gordon was born blind. He has what many perceive to be a handicap so overwhelming as to be unimaginable. Yet, Gordon is one of the most grateful people I know. He is joy-filled and exciting to be around. Curiously, even a quick examination of Gordon’s current circumstances will show that his enthusiastic determination shaped everything he has accomplished and everything he is.
To say that Gordon Mote is a keyboard player would be like saying Rembrandt painted pictures. Many people think Gordon is the very best. (I am one of those people!) The Academy of Country Music names him Instrumentalist of the Year…year after year. In fact, if you listen to the radio at all, you’ve probably already heard Gordon. He is the most in-demand session player working today. Artists like Lionel Ritchie, Carrie Underwood, Alan Jackson, Kid Rock, and many others literally schedule their own recording sessions around Gordon’s availability.
During one week a couple of years ago, the top 10 songs on Billboard magazine’s Country charts all had something in common…Gordon Mote was the keyboard player on every single one of them. Gordon toured for several years with the Gaither Homecoming Concerts in arenas all over the world.
Gordon is a great example for me. When I talk sports with him, I could swear he has seen the game we are discussing. He is exciting and excited. And amazingly, he is married to Kimberly, who looks like a model. I tease Gordon about Kimberly occasionally. “Gordon,” I’ll ask, “How did a blind guy marry a woman that beautiful?”
When you have a moment, look on iTunes or YouTube and check out the song he wrote about Kimberly: “If They Could See You Through My Eyes.”
Another of my favorites is “Don’t Let Me Miss the Glory.” I think of that title often. It is a song written by a blind man who is determined to wring every last drop out of every day.
The song—and Gordon—inspire and challenge me to live with a Spirit of Gratefulness.
I urge you to get to know Gordon Mote, the artist and the man. And for you, here is a little head start. His new Christmas CD—The Star Still Shines—is available at record stores everywhere and at GordonMote.com. Here is a video from the studio with a song from that album. You will enjoy Gordon’s take on this old classic.
A last heads up: Yes that is Michael English you see in the studio watching Gordon record. And…finally, I have video proof of what I have been telling friends for years! An arena audience is usually well below the artists on stage and, in Gordon’s case, they almost never see his hands as he plays. But I have been close. And I have seen the man turn his left hand over and play with one hand right side up and one hand upside down! No one ever believed me, but watch for it near the end. At last…proof!
When I watch this video, I am filled with a Spirit of Gratefulness that God made Gordon Mote just as he is. What an amazing addition he is to the world in which we live!