Thursday, January 07, 2010

Humility > Servanthood > Destination

Fairly recently I posted something that described how men's and women's brains work. I think that's why I find it so hard to put up a post that is just about one thing, because one thing makes me think of something else and so on. So, I think this is where all this started, but I'm not sure.

I received an annual letter from a family I have been following for several years now. At the moment, they live in North Carolina. For some reason I was reminded of a story about Billy Graham, who was from North Carolina. It has appeared on the internet many times — possibly the first time back in 2005. I love this story very much because it makes several points:
In January 2000, leaders in Charlotte, North Carolina invited their favorite son, Billy Graham, to a luncheon in his honor.

Mr. Graham initially hesitated to accept the invitation because he struggles with Parkinson’s disease. But the city leaders said, “We don’t expect a major address. Just come and let us honor you.” So he agreed.

After wonderful things were said about him, Dr. Graham stepped to the rostrum, looked at the crowd, and said, “I’m reminded today of Albert Einstein, the great physicist who this month has been honored by Time Magazine as the Man of the Century.

Einstein was once traveling from Princeton on a train when the conductor came down the aisle, punching the tickets of every passenger. When he came to Einstein, Einstein reached in his vest pocket. He couldn’t find his ticket, so he reached in his trouser pockets. It wasn’t there, so he looked in his briefcase but couldn’t find it. Then he looked in the seat beside him, and it wasn’t there either.
The conductor said, “Dr. Einstein, I know who you are. We all know who you are. I’m sure you bought a ticket. Don’t worry about it.”

Einstein nodded appreciatively. The conductor continued down the aisle punching tickets. As he was ready to move to the next car, he turned around and saw the great physicist down on his hands and knees looking under his seat for his ticket.

The conductor rushed back and said, “Dr. Einstein, Dr. Einstein, don’t worry, I know who you are. No problem. You don’t need a ticket. I’m sure you bought one.”

Einstein looked at him and said, “Young man, I too, know who I am. What I don’t know is where I’m going.”

Having said that, Billy Graham continued, “See the suit I’m wearing? It’s a brand new suit. My wife, my children and my grandchildren are telling me I’ve gotten a little slovenly in my old age. I used to be a bit more fastidious. So I went out and bought a new suit for this luncheon, and for one more occasion.

You know what that occasion is? This is the suit in which I’ll be buried. But when you hear I’m dead, I don’t want you to immediately remember the suit I’m wearing. I want you to remember this: I not only know who I am — I also know where I am going.”
This story brings to mind an important man I worked a short while for in the early 1960's. I recall someone telling how Dr. Robert Stubblefield attended a formal meeting in Washington DC at which cards were in place for those invited. Despite looking for his place when he entered the dining room, Dr. Stubblefield couldn't locate his assigned seat. He was eventually told – as though he should have known already – that his seat was at the head table. This kind of humility speaks volumes to me when someone thinks less highly of themselves than most people of their position would. Dr. Stubblefield's obituary included many of his honors and accomplishments, yet he was a humble man.

In conclusion ...

I Know Where I'm Going · by The Judds

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Lutheran Airlines

Lutheran Airlines stewardessI apologize if this offends you, but I literally was just about falling out in the floor laughing at this audio when I received it attached to an email.

This reminds me of Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. He used to have such fun with the Lutherans.

In searching for more information, I found an absolutely funny blog that runs in the same vein named The Adventures of Ole and Lena.

Let's do a "let's pretend" here and imagine we have just boarded Luthern Airlines when over the speaker we hear this.

I really don't think I would have found this nearly as funny without Garrison Keillor's many insights into what the Minnesota Lutherans were/are like – at least the humorous side of them.

People who read my blog — anyone out there? — know I certainly hop around from subject to subject, but I feel compelled to say, it's not my intention to single out any particular denomination with this post except for the fact I don't know how to do it without saying what it is.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Frozen Bird Bath

Around 6 AM this morning, I noticed that the water in the bird bath outside was frozen. Naturally, I had to take a photo of it just as soon as it became light enough to capture. More frozen temps in the 20s are predicted for the week ahead.

Magnolia Springs · The Weather Channel

Friday, January 01, 2010

Born Again American

This might be a good way to start 2010. It is similar but different from last year's New Year's Day post – Stand By Me