Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Lessons from Sam: Just Plain Sam

I've spent the week sharing stories about my friend and neighbor, Sam Wiley. He's been astonished by your reception of the Sam-stories. 

When I told him someone said he was a national treasure, he rolled his eyes and shook his head. "I don't know about a national treasure. What I am is just plain Sam. That's who I've always wanted to be and that's who I am."

Every once in a while, my family and closest friends will tell me, "You are being so Leanna." They don't usually mean it as a complement, but I take it as one, because I've learned from Sam.

Be who God created you to be.

Not long ago, Sam was worried that he might be getting uppity or putting on airs. He's getting forgetful, and he's worried that he might have forgotten himself a little bit.  Just to be on the safe side, Sam checked in with the man who runs the store where he likes to drink coffee. 

"Am I being Sam?" he asked the man. 

The man didn't quite know what to think, but he smiled and said, "Yes. You're always Sam."

"No. I mean I want to be sure I'm being just Sam Wiley, same as always, all the time."

That conversation may sound confusing to you, but not to me. I've known Sam for nearly 30 years. Sam has never wanted to be called Mr. Sam or Mr. Wiley. He's wanted to be just plain Sam for as long as I've known him. 

Sam says being "plain Sam" helps him remember, "I'm nothing special. Just plain ole Sam." He wants to be who he is, every day, all day long. Nothing put-on. No pretensions.

The important thing about being plain ole Sam is that he never has to worry about what "side" he showed you yesterday. You get the same view of him every time you see him. He's never uppity and he never puts on airs. (He checks with his buddies just to be sure.) 

Sam's as humble as they come, and it's served him well over the years. He's also the most loved and respected man I know. 

I'd like to be a lot more like Sam than I am. Simple. Humble. Gentle. Kind.

When Sam gets to heaven and hears those blessed words, "Well done, Good and Faithful Servant," I think he'll be surprised. He's been plain Sam so long, he'll find it hard to be GFS (Good and Faithful Servant). 

I can hear him now. He'll stare at Jesus, give him a little frown and shake his head like he always does. "What're You talking about? You know I ain't been nothing but Just Plain Sam, all my life."

In the words of Sam Wiley, "Be who God made you, and do it every day." 

"Be completely humble and gentle..." Ephesians 4:2 niv

"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom." 
Proverbs 11:2 niv

In case you missed one of the Sam stories, here are the links:
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#humility #Sam #faithlife #linesfromleanna