Peyton Manning is by far my favorite NFL player – not only because he is the best quarterback of all time but also because he is such an outstanding person.  He recently spoke at the graduation ceremony at University of Virginia.

In his speech, he challenged the graduates to REACH UP AND BEND DOWN by finding a cause that they were passionate about and working hard to reach a goal and then bend down and help others come along with them.

I loved that saying and thought about what it meant to me.

REACH UP to me means to set a goal – a goal that isn’t easy to reach. One that will take a lot of work and effort; one that will take focus off of yourself and put the focus elsewhere. REACH UP means finding something that you are passionate about that will pick you back up when you fall down; that will encourage you even when you face barriers; that will touch your inner soul that you will never give up; and one that you can accomplish something good for which you are passionate.

BEND DOWN to me means to help others and encourage them to come along with you. BEND DOWN may be part of REACH UP. It means you need to balance out WHAT you are striving for with WHOM you are striving for.

So for me, REACH UP and BEND DOWN means to set a goal for something that is going to take work, effort and a dependence on God in order to serve others. REACH UP and BEND DOWN means enjoying the journey and learning as you reach for the goal. Along the journey, keep focused on those for who you are BENDING DOWN. While BENDING DOWN, give a helping hand and bring them along side you to help them learn to REACH UP.

REACHING UP for me is reaching for God and what His goal is for me. REACHING UP is striving to be more Christ-like. BENDING DOWN for me is helping others to see God’s love through random acts of kindness.

My REACH UP was to create a mission to BEND DOWN and make a difference to cancer patients through my Bucket Buddies(R) mission of giving a bucket of gifts to children suffering through this dreadful disease. I set my REACH UP high because I felt God calling me to do it. It has taken a lot of work and persistence and financial resources. But God has blessed that because others have BENT DOWN to help me so that together we can BEND DOWN to help others.

What is God calling you to REACH UP for today? Who is he calling you to BEND DOWN for today? One is not exclusive from the other. It takes both the goal and the servant-attitude to accomplish goals Christ has called you to set. Read Philippians 2:1-16 as Paul talks about Imitating Christ.

REACH UP and BEND DOWN………and I’m not talking about toe touches. It’s never too late to set a goal to help others see Christ. Thanks, Peyton for the Pep Talk! 🙂