Sharing Good Ideas
The human voice can be one of the sweetest sounds welcomed by receptive ears. The fact is especially true when the message profoundly alters the direction of our lives, continually corrects our course, and motivates us to be our best. From my teenage years, no one has consistently supplied all the above qualities like Paul Harvey. Being focused on studies in Florence, Alabama, (now UNA) in the late 1960s, I missed my best opportunity to see and hear him in person. He has appeared in a dream or two. But, I hope to meet him in heaven!
Perhaps you have heard his story about his "submitting to God." At the height of his career in Chicago, he along with his bride, Lynn ("Angel", pet name) took a vacation to Arizona. On Sunday morning, they drove up a mountain to visit a small ("a dozen or so worshippers") congregation. The "country preacher" offered to assist anyone who wanted to "be baptized." Paul came forward in response to childhood exposure to John 3:16 and later in life, John 14:15.
Harvey is a hero who deserves emulation: Married to the same woman till death did them part. Humility, as in the above account. Disciplined, focused, loved, and friend to mainline America. He was dedicated to God, outspoken, and not ashamed.
Fortunately, we can still listen to many recordings like, "The Bird Cage," "So God Made a Farmer," "If I Were the Devil," "A Letter From God." So, on this day September 4, 1918, God blessed us with the birth of a great example in a man who was destined to influence millions to count their blessings, set an example of humble submission to the Creator and show how modern communication can be a real asset.
Life is so precious while it is so easy to take for granted. You may be aware that my daughter, Tara, died early this year on January 5, 2019. She had mentioned numerous times that she believed I would outlive her. We often do not listen to off-the-cuff statements. They come back sometimes to haunt us.
My sister sent this picture to me several weeks ago, suggesting she
wanted it placed on Tara's tombstone. As I reflected on the past, it occurred to me how life contains many surprises, coincidences, and wonders. This picture was taken within a square yard of where I first met her mother in June of 1963. Had I been able to
visualize the future, I wonder how wise I'd have been in playing my part in history. With such impossibility one lesson we might learn. Make the most of life while the opportunity is present. Within two months, one of my best friends, Patsy Andersen-Presley,
lost her youngest son, Dustin. You may recall several previous posts concerning her on this website.
Regardless of how many times we meet and greet survivors of the one-way street of death, no words have been discovered to satisfy our wishes. The only way to fully be relevant and honor the dead is to serve the living with our best. That will be the criteria of final judgment.
After a long-anticipated trip with my brother, we returned from the Oshkosh trip. Always unexpected aircraft and events await the over half-million crowd. I had never been to the yearly event, but as always, positive things happen when one travels. It's been said that world travel for two years is like a four-year college course because of things learned.
Earlier (March 4, 2019) you may have noticed the story of Giles' homebuilt airplane. We visited the Sonex factory where the kit was designed and marketed for a private build. One event especially attracted my attention. The Blue Angels made two or three passes over the airport in Oshkosh. Here are some lessons in life and reminders.
- Be ready for an opportunity. The only chance makes the unprepared look ridiculous. With an iPhone in hand, why not grab a moment in time. With modern technology, we can immediately delete a photo. The accompanying photo is of the famous precision military flying team.
- Be quick. Only seconds are available for an opportunity like this. This fact is one reason for hanging around an airport. The chance to experience any event is so fleeting yet often so memorable. Like life itself, you have one chance. Make the most of it. Live in the moment.
- Ignore senseless controversy. Remember July 4, 2019, about our President's military parade? Trump made it clear before the 2016 election that we need a strong military so strong that no one would want to mess with us? Let that soak in. Government based upon fair principles for human welfare is Biblical as the powers that be bear not the sword in vain (Romans 13).
- Dispell myths. Often we may hear, "practice makes perfect." That's not necessarily so. Aren't we all practicing? Are we perfect? Only perfect practice makes perfect.
- Be thankful. Some of the most valuable things in life are free, such as the air we breathe, love of friends and family, and life itself. Money cannot replace these.
Overall the trip was meaningful and profitable. My motive was more profound than to experience the Nation's number one airshow. My real motive was to experience quality time with my brother!
There are times in life when things do not go our way. With the right attitude, even bad times can be better if you are still alive, that is. Today I was reminded of the loss of John F Kennedy, Jr and revisited my tribute one year ago. You can review it too by clicking "Older" in the bottom right of this page to scroll back to this date last year.
With every person and their story, there is something we can learn to make our own lives and the lives of others better. The story is there for our learning.
I cannot forget the pivotal moment when John should have called a "No-Go" on that fateful day when he crashed his plane, taking him, his wife, and her sisters' lives. I can imagine the pressure he faced knowing the importance of getting to a much-anticipated wedding, especially on the part of his wife and sister-in-law. How do you call off plans like this?
A good pilot knows that you have to be aware of the weather since planes go where the weather happens. We are taught in aviation training to do a 180 when facing bad weather. Any time you have an essential trip, you should not be a victim of what you cannot control. With today's sophisticated system for planning for uncertainty, we have a fortune on our hands. Ask ourselves some intelligent questions such as, "should we leave early?" "Is there a plan B or plan C?" Timing, along with intelligent decision making, could have prevented the Kennedy tragedy.
Proper planning in all critical areas of life takes a little time, but the rewards can be the difference in life and death. Yes, and that means saying "no" to the ones we love for the sake of love.
Always remember the responsibility of the one in charge. He or she in charge must take charge. I have believed for a long time that commercial pilots deserve an impenetrable barrier for the cabin of the aircraft since they are the brains of the machine. We can apply the same principle to life in general, can't we?