I slid around the edge of the roof of the house removing the gunk that had collected in the gutters. Being a musician my hands were such a vital part of my life, I always came away with them skinned up from the adventure.
Cleaning out gutters didn’t phase me at that time and I often hopped right up there no matter how high it was moving around easing the path for the rain water.
It had become a nice supplementary business to the lawns I mowed as a kid. I started those when I was around 10 and pretty much continued through college.
Even as I had achieved some notoriety performing for the Grand Ole Opry and major concert events around the country, I still mowed, raked and cleaned gutters for those long established clients I had built up through the years.
I once heard Tennessee Ernie Ford say as his career was developing, one of the criteria he looked at before moving on from something to bigger pastures, was to make sure that there was more cows in that field than the one he was already in.
I don’t think that is what kept me doing for those folks. Many of them were like family, some older and I knew it would be hard for them to find someone to replace me after so many years of my helping them. But eventually I did have to phase out of all those extra jobs and move on in life.
I even recall feeling a bit of guilt in leaving a couple in particular to find someone else to meet those needs.
While I think back fondly on those times sitting up on the roofs working with my thoughts about what I would do with my life flooding through my mind as I looked out around the neighborhood, unlike my younger self, I am no longer anxious to jump up on the roof to think.
However, I still spend time each day, thinking about what God has in store for me in life.
Dreams never seem to fade; there is always something new that is just over the horizon.
A new record, a new book, a new job, a new friendship, a new way to serve and accomplish something for someone else.
These days I still like to look out over the neighborhood as I think. Instead of sticking my hands down in the muck and filling up a bucket with it, now I find a high point on a mountainside, sit there with God’s word and take in the beauty all around me as I read, think and pray.
Perhaps it is something in the genes that I discovered as a kid looking out from those roofs, that there is an almost innate desire within me to be high up – in the mountains looking out and drinking deeply from God’s creation. It seems to renew my soul and provide a perfect backdrop to dream and ask for God’s guidance and His inspiration to know how to illuminate the path that He has in store.
Have you found your rooftop? Do you know where you can be inspired to make a difference?
If you do not have a place, I hope this week you will take some time and find a place to restore your soul as you dream for your future and what you can make happen in your family and community that will make our world a better place.