Big Dave

Jun 29, 2023

You know how sometimes you refer to the little guy as "big" and the huge guy as "tiny"? This isn't one of those cases. Big Dave is 6'5" and built like a retired offensive lineman who enjoys BBQ and cold beer. He's not just a big guy. He's the type of friend everyone should have, and he's one of my best friends. Surrounding yourself with the right type of people is important. In fact, Dr. David McClelland of Harvard University found that "the people you habitually associate with determine as much as 95 percent of your success or failure in life." This week, I'd like to tell you a little about the person that Big Dave is and why he's the inspiration for this week's thoughts.

David Lockhart and I both have above-average business travel schedules. He works for Kuhn North America and covers a big swath of the lower US, so he's on the road several nights per week. On the days we both start the day in Sterling, we meet shortly after 5 a.m. to work out together. Fun fact – there are a lot of mornings when I would rather sleep in than get up to work out, but knowing that I would be letting Dave down makes me get out of bed and get moving. We alternate between lifting weights and walking. It's the walking days that I look forward to the most because I get a chance to talk with a man who doesn't judge, is a willing listener, is willing to share what's on his heart and mind, and is fun to bounce ideas back and forth with. We usually walk a little over 3 miles in a little under an hour and then go our separate ways to complete our Bible reading and make work happen. That first hour does so much to help me set my heart and mind in the right place to attack the day. In summary, Dave is a good friend who helps hold me accountable.

Another amazing thing about Dave is the way he serves others. He's a volunteer firefighter. He takes turns alternating between running the sound booth and teaching Sunday School at church. He helps with FFA and the Ag programs at our high school. He's the first person to show up when you need a hand. Most importantly, he serves his family well. He puts an enormous amount of effort into supporting his wife and children. Even with his travel schedule, he makes sure that his wife isn't left bearing the load of maintaining the home both inside and out. He begins his travel at some obscenely early times or arrives late so that he can be there to support his children in their activities as often as possible. In summary, Dave loves others through serving.

The final attribute I'll tell you about Dave is that he is fun. If you're having a backyard BBQ, you want Big Dave on your invite list. He'll show up with amazing foods ranging from smoked chorizo queso to ribs to an amazing salad. He's always up for fun. Whether it's a progressive dinner in Old Town Wichita, playing board games, or simply sitting on the back deck enjoying a cold beer with friends, he's in. He's always high-fiving a kid or throwing a laughing child on his shoulder. He tells jokes and pulls pranks. He does things like flipping a picture over or moving decorations in my house to see how long it will take to notice. It doesn't matter who's there, he fits in. You never have to worry about who's going to be on the invite list to see if they'll get along. Dave always brings joy, and that is the right attitude for any group or any occasion.

I'm blessed to have a lot of wonderful people and friends in my life. Even so, Big Dave is one of the most important. He holds me accountable, he's honest with me, he works hard, he loves God and his family, he serves constantly, and he's a lot of fun. He inspires me to be a better person and that leads me to this week's challenge. Take a moment to think about your "Big Dave" and tell them how much they mean to you. I don't do a good enough job of telling my friends how important they are. Be better than me and tell those closest to you how amazing they are and that you love them. Make sure they don't finish this week without knowing how much they mean to you.