I am sitting here thinking back on my years as a Lion and I think about the first moment I was asked to a Lions Club meeting/meal. I think about how it made me feel and there are many, many words and phrases that pop into my head but the one word that seems to keep circulating is the word PROUD.
I knew of the local Lions Club and had some knowledge of the larger organization but I knew nothing about who the Lions really were. I guess you could say curiosity took over and I accepted the invitation to attend the meeting/meal.
I was quite surprised when I arrived to the meeting. There was a spirit of joy in the room, there was laughter and conversation everywhere, who were these people? One by one or sometimes two by two they came up to me and introduced themselves to me. There were bankers, teachers, investment brokers, farmers, business men, ranchers, insurance agents, preachers, elected officials, real estate agents, moms and dads, and yes even a few old retired farts.
I began to see that there was more than just a weekly meeting, more than just an opportunity to pass some time, more than just a social gathering there was something more that I need to look into. I learned that these local Lions were part of a much larger District with many small clubs just like the one I visited. I learned that the District was part of a much larger organization in the State and they referred to it a MD2 or Multiple District 2. I learned that MD2 was part of a much larger organization that was referred to as LCI or Lions Club International. I thought that if the members of LCI and the members of MD2 and members of the other clubs in the District had the same spirit, the same fire, the same drive as the club I was visiting then this is something I really want to be included in.
When asked to join the club and be part of the World organization that stands for something, that battles disease in poverty stricken Countries, that feeds hungry families that are less fortunate than us, that rush in after disasters and provide much needed supplies and drinking water, that provide glasses and eyesight to children and adults who are unable to see or have impaired vision, that builds parks in communities that can’t afford to build, I was overjoyed and said yes. That day changed my life forever and I am so grateful to that one person who took a chance, who saw something in me and gave me the opportunity to belong to such a wonderful organization.
Over the years I have not been disappointed in my decision to join Texas Lions and the International Lions family. I think God that I had the opportunity to visit the Leader Dog School and the Texas Lions Camp in Kerrville. I see God’s hand in the work that the Lions do and with that I see favor. You see being a Lion is all about service and doing for others that are unable to do or take care of themselves.
As my journey continued with the Lions of Texas and as the opportunities allowed my hunger for doing more and serving more grew by leaps and bounds. I felt like my life had purpose and meaning and if this is where God placed me then I accept the cup and task that is before me. Now as I move through the ranks of Lionism is realize that it’s about giving back, it’s about sharing with the World what Lions have given me through the years.
Just to think about the friendships cultivated over the years by being a Lion, the lives touched by the kindness and love that has been poured out and the opportunities to go and see and to go and do are priceless.
I am still PROUD after all of these years and would not trade a moment from then until now. I am forever in debit to the one person who allowed me to travel on this awesome journey. When asked to go to a Lions meeting/lunch now it has special meaning, think about it. What will your answer be when asked? The blessings are out there, are you really ready?