Many follow and comment on my travels. I am often asked, "How do you keep up with your schedule? What is it like to see so many new and exciting places? Do you ever get tired of living out of a suitcase? When will you retire? and many more. My favorite (not really but frequently asked) is "How do you know where your going?"
I would like to think that this digital technology, calendars, reminders, GPS, text messages, electronic boarding passes, and the like will keep me on track. A good old fashioned calendar with notes still drives my itinerary.
To be honest, on the big tours, we see the inside of the concert venue, the green room, and often a day room in a hotel. There is not much time to explore the personality of the amazing cities we encounter. I have the joy of saying, "Yes! I've been to Tokyo, Japan, twice!! Sadly, I never ventured from Narita Airport. The same can be said for other cities in the world also.
This next story about Billy Graham I want to share because, like him, I ultimately know where I am going. Please enjoy.
When Billy Graham was 92 years-old, he was struggling with Parkinson's disease. In January, a month before his 93rd birthday, leaders in Charlotte, North Carolina, invited their favorite son, Billy Graham to a luncheon in his honor.
Billy initially hesitated to accept the invitation because of his struggles with Parkinson's disease. But the Charlotte 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 podium, 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. He looked in his briefcase but couldn't find it. Then he looked in the seat beside him. He still couldn't find it.
"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 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 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'm going." May your troubles be less, your blessings more, and may nothing but happiness, come through your door. "Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil - it has no point."
May each of us have lived our lives so that when our ticket is punched we don't have to worry about where we are going.