• Dr. Hal Kitchings

Be Like Mike - Dr. Hal Kitchings

Do you remember the “Be Like Mike” commercial in the early 90’s? It was a Gatorade commercial featuring one of the greatest professional basketball players of all time—Michael Jordan. It featured various children playing basketball with Jordan and wishing they could be more like him. I may be prejudice but I think there are still those that wish they could play basketball like he did “back in the day.” He’s still my favorite basketball player…

I want to be like Mike. No, not the basketball player. (I’m a little too “seasoned” to resurrect my Jr. High basketball playing days. J). I’m referring to my recently deceased father-in-law, Mike Vaughn. Throughout the last week or so I have been reminded of how many friends he had. I even asked those that were able to attend the funeral to stand up if they felt he was their close friend. You know, the one they could talk to about most anything. The majority of the people in the rather large sanctuary raised their hands. It was astounding, folks! And I wasn’t really surprised. Mike Vaughn was just that kind of man. He loved people. The primary reason is because he loved God. It’s what we are all supposed to do according to Jesus—love God and love people. He did. There was a constant flow during the visitation, prior to the funeral service, that talked about their love and friendship with “Pox.” (That was his grandpa’s name.)

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “The only way to have a friend is to be one.” Pox constantly put aside his own needs in order to focus on the needs of others. He liked people and was just so likeable. Proverbs 18:24 says, “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly.” Mike Vaughn seemed to wake up every day pondering how he could bless other people. How he could make friends with those that might be “invisible” to most. His warm smile, genuine love for others, and easy-going attitude was like a magnet. I watched him for decades in all types of situations and that was just who he was. Yes, I want to be like Mike! Mike Vaughn!

I read recently where Queen Victoria once shared her impressions of her two prime ministers. She said when she was with William Gladstone, she felt she was with one of the most important people in the world. But when she was with Benjamin Disraeli, he made her feel that she was one of the most important people in the world. Pox always made me feel like I was one of the most important people in the world. If you knew him at all, you felt the same way. He could put on his tombstone what I heard Dr. Johnny Hunt say he wanted on his one day—Others.

Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” ~Matthew 22:37-39

I want to be like Mike. Don’t you?

Until next time…

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