This I Believe

gregory - Fort Collins, Colorado
Entered on November 6, 2006

Driving into Boulder on a warm, sunny summer morning, to attend a class at CU, I turned up a street near the campus. The street was lined with tall, green, magnificent oak trees. Red brick houses, some nearly three-stories high, were being guarded by the oak trees. As I crest the gentle slope of the street, the Flat Irons come into my view, with their giant rock formations surrounded by evergreen trees. Above the mountains is a sea of blue with intermittent clouds floating by. As I got out of my car to go to class, I think to myself, “Wow!”

Early on a December morning, my wife and I are among several thousand people sitting inside McNichol’s Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado, praying for peace in our world. Just before the “Hour of Peace” is about to end, the lights in the stadium are turned off and we all hold up lit candles in the silent stadium. I feel an unbelievable power and whisper “Wow!”

He arrives at Sky High Hope Camp that Sunday afternoon on crutches, not wanting to be here. His lower leg has been amputated just a month before. Soon after arriving this nine year old captures my heart and we immediately become fast friends. I am one of the counselors at a camp for kids who have cancer. I watch this brave young boy play soccer with his crutches and one healthy leg. Most amazingly, we climb up a mountain together and an admiring “Wow!” fills my being.

My wife and I spend the day walking around the hospital, holding hands and wondering what it will be like to be parents. Doctors, nurses and other hospital employees share the halls with us. They do not seem at all anxious, as if giving birth was no big deal. Around 7 p.m., in a crowded room, during a shift change for the nursing staff, my son is born.

Three years later on an extremely hot Arizona July day we speed to an Arizona hospital. With just my wife, the doctor and myself in the room, my beautiful redheaded daughter makes her entrance into the world. To witness the miraculous first breath of a new human life. Wow!

I am an elementary school teacher. At the beginning of each year, I spend time getting to know my students. The diversity is fascinating. Some are tall and others short. Some are heavy and others slight. There are Anglos, Hispanics, Asians, and African Americans. Red heads, blondes and brunettes. Each and every year I am amazed and think, “Wow!”

Often, in our busy, stressful lives, we forget to stop and appreciate the magic in our world. What will you see, hear, smell or feel this day? What will you experience that will make you wonder? What will touch your heart and spirit? This journey into the WOW goes on. My greatest hope is that you can find the “Wow!” in your world – each and every day.