Wednesday, January 9, 2008

New Jersey, November 26

Last June, Noelle and I went to Stanford to attend our MBA 25th year reunion. One of the most outstanding moments was when Mike O’Brien, who had survived the Twin Towers attack on September 11th, stood up in front of the entire class and with enormous courage told us all what he had been through since that date. When he finished his speech, I approached him and said. “I want to tell you my story”, which I did. I thought that sharing my story with him would help us both see life with hindsight. I was eager to show him that 35 years after my ordeal, I was totally recovered and that I had been able to live an “ordinary life”. I told him that when I came to Stanford for my MBA, that was too fresh for me, I just couldn’t share it the way he had just done it.

And when I got back home, I sent him an email saying that if he wanted, I would go to New York, and share my story with his people. I really wanted to do it. And that is why we got to New Jersey, where Mike and his great family live. And we learned so much from him and his family. When they say they have Jesus in the center of their life, they really mean it. I was impressed by their children, young teenagers, so mature and so honest with their religion.

I gave a lecture at his Church. There were about 150 men and women who came to listen to my story. They listened in silence, shocked and with enormous interest. When I finished, I started answering questions.Then Mike invited them to discuss my testimony in small groups and to share their thoughts. They were all very inspiring. I remember they were touched by my remark that “after climbing a mountain we had another one to climb, and that is what life is all about.”

I finally asked Mike to tell me what he had learned after his own ordeal, and he said to me: “that we are not here for ever”. I was expecting a very complex and sophisticated thought, but I loved his answer, it is so compelling, it says so much.


Anonymous said...

Hi Pedro & Noelle,

I wrote out this thank you note Wednesday morning on the way to NYC after my 6 AM men's group. I'm finally putting it into the computer to send to you! Thank you for a magical evening. By sharing your story you tocuched the lives of many others and helped them on their journey. You helped us all see that we need to focus on one day at a time, one moment at a time. Through prayer and using our gifts we can make a difference, touch the lives of others, make this world a better place. We need to embrace our challenges and our opportunities one day at a time. We need to climb our mountains one at a time and not alone. We need to turn to God and each other for help and help each other along the way. God bless you on the rest of your journey!


Anonymous said...

Living a Fruitful Life

Trust in God and trust in yourself. God has given you the tools you need. Remember that to use them is to honor Him. He’s not going to do it for you but you can do it with His help and guidance and your gifts.

Trust in community. Don’t try to do it alone. We need each other and we are more effective and powerful in doing His will as a group. Love one another.

Focus on today. What is God calling me to do today? How can I best use my gifts and talents to serve Him today? Don’t over analyze. Just do it!

Celebrate today! Celebrate each other! Celebrate our gifts! Use them wisely.

Climb the mountain we have before us today. Don’t worry so much about the mountain we were on yesterday or the mountain we will be on tomorrow. Always do your best and put all your energies into today

Anonymous said...

Climb the Mountain

We lived simply in the plane,
On the glacier, between the tall white mountains,
One day at a time
With the hope, that one day,
We would be saved
Working together as one.

We prayed,
We joked,
We spoke of food we would eat,
And we smoked.

And we watched the mountains,
In awe,
And fear,
Until one day, we decided we needed to climb
The mountain.
With hope,
With love,
One day at a time,
One moment at a time,

Taking one mountain at a time, one day at a time,
One step through the deep heavy snow at a time,
We witnessed,
The hope,
The love,
And the strength,
We could have
If we stayed

And then we were found.
Because of our efforts
Our hope,
Our love,
Our togetherness.

We believed in ourselves,
And in being saved.

And together, we realized,
And then the world realized

The amazing power of the human spirit.

That can stretch beyond our earthly expectations.

If you live one moment at a time,
With hope,
With love,


Go climb that mountain.

With hope,
With love,

And you will never be alone.

Keep climbing.

There will always be mountains.