Worlds Colliding: The Gabriel Luis Acotsa Effect

The sudden loss of good friend and colleague Gabriel Luis Acosta has me giving a closer examination to how we go about living our lives.

One of the biggest things I have had to deal with was the colliding of two worlds.

In our everyday lives and interactions with people we have spheres of influence. Our friends and family, work, school, etc.

There are people we know that travel in multiple circles, but for a lot of us, those worlds remain apart. As the 90s song suggests, “you gotta keep’em separated.”

I worked with Gabe for 16 years at the San Bernardino Sun newspaper. But we also attended the same church, sitting in worship services and Bible studies together.

Last week I watched as my worlds collided. Church people, family, friends and co-workers all gathered in the same place, interacting with each other.

For some, that kind of event can be a scary thing. A lot of people like to keep their worlds apart because they tend to act differently depending on who they are with.

I have witnessed family and friends tell stories about someone, and co-workers tell their stories, and you have to stop and wonder whether they are talking about the same person.

But as I sat and listed to the everyone tell stories about Gabe, I realized he never had to worry about that.

All of the stories — whether they came from friends, family or co-workers — had a central theme. Gabe was an upbeat, encouraging guy who had three main passions in life — his work (photography), his family and his God. Though not particularly in that order.

You see, it didn’t matter which circle of Gabe’s life you came from, he was the same guy in all of them.

How many of us can say that?

Over the years I have tried to let it be known who I am and what I stand for without beating anyone over the head with it. Something I learned from my Father.

But I am now looking at things with a new perspective. Am I really being my true self with everyone I meet. Or am I holding back for fear of being rejected or ridiculed. Afraid of having that sometimes awkward conversation about God and Faith.

I don’t want to be the guy that when my time comes, people are sharing stories and have someone say, “I never knew that about him,” when it comes to my Faith.

So I leave you with this thought …

If your friends, family and co-workers got together to share stories about you, would they be talking about the same person?

Let your Faith eclipse any fears you might have, you will be amazed what God can do.

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