Some of the books I have authored were a product of the ‘road’. Having over one million miles with Delta alone, my second home was in the sky. For twenty seven years I conducted meetings in all fifty states and numerous other countries. There was a fresh audience each weekend. After twenty years of local work, I retired a few years ago and now speak locally by invitation; most of these are ‘pro-bono’. The time to retire is before people want you to or asked you to. If you wonder what it is like to live out of a suitcase, wake up in a strange bed and lay there a moment and wonder where you are, just get ‘on the road’ for about three decades and you’ll know.
The last meeting I held was number one-thousand four hundred and twenty seven. Saying good-bye to those you love more than life, making plane connections, drive through the winter time and eat wherever is a part of that schedule. What doctor or what hospital would I enter in case of emergency? The ‘ROAD‘ is no picnic and no price can be put on such a sacrifice without a genuine message and love for people.
The first meeting on schedule had the following themes. “Getting a Balance on Grace”, “How the Holy Spirit Works in the Lives of Believers today”, “How to Stay Married and Love Every Minute of it”, “The Marvel and Freedom of Giving”, “How to Handle Your Parents (designed for kids eight years old and older), and “Dealing With Bitterness.” All seven hours of teaching eventually made their way into book form or on tapes and CD’s. The next time you see a man devoting full time on the road give him a smile and a kindly word.
Public speaking, teaching others, or preaching the Word, all demand a single quality – SINCERITY. When an air of professionalism is relived on in teaching, a false concept of the teacher himself is established and perpetuated. He may develop a special brogue or a simulated smile and eventually practice an artificial laugh. Being ‘on the road’ invites a loss of true identity.
An optimist is a ninety year old man who marries a twenty one year old woman, and takes out a thirty year mortgage on a new house – near a school. That is the kind of person you enjoy being with. George Bernard Shaw said, “A pessimist is a person who thinks everybody is as nasty as he is and hates them for it.” Is the glass half-empty or half-filled? When your shoes have holes in them, are they wearing out or are you just getting your feet on the ground? It’s all a matter of attitude and concept. The road has a way of purifying you.
Our lives are not determined by what happens to us, but how we react to what happens. Success is not what life brings to you but the attitude we bring to life. A positive attitude and optimism causes a chain reaction of powerful thoughts, events and outcome. It is a catalyst, a spark that creates “Extraordinary results”. Years ago in a lectureship in Montana, an old man who had lost his mind was there in the care of his son. He had been a preacher there, and later was one of the church elders. The son was called out to receive a message. The old man rose, began shouting in meaningless words and red faced with anger, moved directly toward me. I stopped speaking and just waited. We came face to face, and I put my arms around him and whispered in his ear, “It’s alright brother, you have served well and the church here loves you.” He looked at me with pitiful eyes. His son rushed down the aisle and took him away. I turned to the audience and after moment of silence, I said, “When I get old and worn out and lose my mind . . . Will you love me, will you be kind and gracious and understanding?”
I received a letter recently from a friend in Austin, Texas. She writes about her husband, hardworking yet poor of earthly goods. No big diamonds or matching pearls had even been given. No big houses with vast acreage, or new cars to show the neighbors. He gave me something far more valuable than material things. He is my best friend that I can talk too and trust. I have a lover who cares for me and my needs. I have a husband who believes in and abides by the vows we took on our wedding day.
My children have a father who loves them and tells them so. You can also see it in his gracious words and actions. I have a partner for life who does romantic things like taking out the garbage, cutting grass and planting flowers. He even ‘stoops’ to rocking babies, washing dishes at times and holds my hand.
In generations past, men were expected to be strong, gentle and responsible. I thank God my husband has chose to be that kind of man.
An orphan boy, who had been shuffled from one family to another, was caught putting a note on the mail box bordering the road. It read, “WHOEVER FINDS THIS, I LOVE YOU.”
Go ahead, put it on your calling card – it’s on mine.