The status symbols of today are unbelievable. The different social classes that have developed over the years are quite sickening if you dwell on it. And this is being passed on to another generation. Many believe success is measured in dollars.
But when I was growing up, it didn’t seem as if anyone had a whole lot. Maybe some had more than others, but it didn’t separate them. People who may have had a little money were just as friendly to those with nothing as they were to those who also had a little.
There is a quote that many of you have heard I want to share. It says, “A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in or the kind of car I drove … but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.”
When reading this quote this week, someone came to mind who fits this saying as well as anyone I know. His name is Tim Cavender.
Tim is the public information officer for the Cherokee County Fire Department. But he has many talents away from his daytime job.
Tim is well known to have a special relationship with someone kids of all ages know and love; Santa Claus. He has given a countless number of hours to assisting the jolly old man during the holidays in bringing smiles to the faces of boys and girls far and near.
This job has put him in touch with some very important people with high powered positions throughout the state. But if you were to ask Tim about the important people he has come across, I will bet the house he will tell you about some child he has met. I have heard him speak several times about the blessings associated with his holiday job and his stories always revolve around the life of some precious child.
Tim is also a magician. He has performed his magic shows for years to a number of groups I couldn’t name.
But many years ago, Tim was kind enough to perform his magic tricks for the youth at Chalcedonia Baptist Church. His talent left the kids and adults mesmerized at his ability to pull off his illusions.
You could see his joy in this act came from the smiling faces of the children in the audience. Jesus said if we receive a child in His name, we also receive Him.
So rather than pack his tools and leave, Tim did something different. He talked to all of us about his tricks being no more than illusions.
He then went on to tell us all about the most important person he had ever met during his life. He told us all about meeting Jesus. Tim made sure before he left that although he was able to perform illusions, Jesus could perform real miracles such as the one He performed when He saved Tim’s soul.
So many people today are obsessed with showing the world just how successful they have become. They live in huge homes, they drive the finest of vehicles, their children have the best and most expensive things life has to offer. And they have this real need to feel important.
Some of those people have actually done well and I say good for them. But there are others with the finest of things who are living an illusion very similar to Tim’s bag of tricks. They are actually struggling to keep up with the Jones’s. Somehow they feel in order to be successful, they must maintain an image.
A hundred years from now no one will be impressed with the riches they could or could not afford.
For many, the image of wealth is all they will leave to their children because of vanity.
But a hundred years from now, I can’t help but believe there will be someone who will still remember Tim Cavender because he has truly touched the lives of many children.
Although both Tim’s part-time jobs deal with illusions, make no mistake, the gifts he shares are very real.
And for that, he is the example of true success.
Chris Collett is a lifelong resident of Cherokee County.