Once more my thoughts focus on Thanksgiving and the unbounded blessings
that has enabled me to reap so rich a life harvest. Beyond gratitude for the
abundance of material blessings, my physical journey has taken me to the far reaches of our planet while my metaphysical journey
has taken me on cosmic adventures of faith to the far corners of the universe and to worlds unimaginable, where “eye
hath not seen nor ear heard” the things prepared for me. Via the books that have inhabited my mind, principally the sixty-six books of the Bible, my horizons expand with each
new insight into the unfathomable love of God.
My wanderlust may have had its beginnings in
the fourth grade when George Ann Carpenter regaled our class with her travels in Mexico.
Mrs. B. B. Bailey and Hazel Vaughan taught me to love literature… Poe, Wordsworth, Longfellow, Shakespeare. How often have I found mirth by quoting from memory the witches in MacBeth, Act IV,
Scene 1: “Double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble”,
knowing intuitively that Romans 8:28 offsets the witches brew. Evan Settle
seared into my mind the value of practical math - as practical as common sense itself. How innumerable have been the colleagues
with whom I have worked in my Air Force, Red Cross, and Peace Corps careers who have been examples of patriotism, altruism,
and faith with their dedication to duty, honor, and country! All are blessedly
a part of who I am.
I find myself likewise in debt to other special
mentors down the years. These are writers all from whom I’ve drawn inspiration
to share their gifts and wisdom via my journals. Among them are James J. Kilpatrick,
whose words showed me the eternal theme that marks the changing seasons; E. Stanley Jones, whose books set me on the trail
of discovering the riches of Christian faith; Dale Turner who taught me grateful
living; Malcolm Muggeridge, erstwhile agnostic whose BBC coverage of Mother Theresa
inspired him to embrace the Christian faith late in his life with great enthusiasm; David Grayson, the pseudonym of Ray Stannard Baker, who taught me that I can possess all worthwhile things without title; Henry David Thoreau whose observance
of nature taught me wonder; James Michenor whose narratives of far away places
with strange sounding names urged me to go there too insomuch as opportunity presented itself;
Paul Tournier, eminent Swiss Christian psychiatrist who wrote The Adventure
of Living and Sarah Patton Boyle, whose book The Back Together Heart, taught
me the importance of loving God with all my heart, mind, and soul. I honor
them all with unbounded gratitude for enriching my life.
““Our crowning reason for believing is immortality:
the best Man who ever lived on this planet believed in it, practiced it, and proclaimed
it…..Earth’s blackest day and earth’s brightest day are only three days apart.”
E. Stanley Jones, The Way..