I wanted to share a short story with you that I believe you’ll enjoy. I was blessed to coach my son in football for ten years – all the way through his senior year in high school. I also coached Zach’s best friend, Jake. In fact Jake’s Dad, Randy & I were humbled & honored to serve together on the same coaching staff from the time the boys were in middle school through high school.

After their high school graduations Zach was able to walk-on as a qb at Clemson & Jake walked on as a long snapper at Tennessee. Randy and his wife moved back to Tennessee after Jake graduated from high school so they could watch Jake play at UT.

Zach realized after redshirting his freshman year he was not going to play at Clemson & made an appointment with Tommy Bowden to tell Coach Bowden he would not be returning to the squad for his sophomore year. Zach went on to graduate from Clemson. Jake stuck it out as a walk-on, lettered at UT, and graduated.

Randy died of a heart attack in 2010. The funeral was very sad. Jake asked me to speak at the funeral, which I did.

Both Zach and Jake have stayed best friends all these years.

Last year I gave Jake a copy of One Word. This past Saturday my wife & I attended Jake’s wedding in Pigeon Forge, TN. Jake asked Zach to be his best man at the wedding. An hour before the wedding, Jake’s bride send him a gift via a bride’s maid. It was a small key on a chain (large enough for Jake’s neck). Jake put the chain & key around his neck and shared the following story with me.

After both Jake & Carmen (Jake’s fiancée) had read One Word, Jake took Carmen out for dinner. During the dinner Jake asked Carmen to write her word on a napkin & he did the same thing. They exchanged napkins. They both had written the same word! Trust!

Carmen had found a company called The Giving Keys. The company exists to employ those transitioning out of homelessness to engrave keys that get sold and shared around the world. Each key is unique and carries a message like HOPE, STRENGTH, DREAM or COURAGE. When the wearer of the key encounters someone else who needs the message on the key, they give it away and then tells The Giving Keys their story.

I wanted to share this story with you.

The Best – Ed Higher – 2013

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