Use the disappointments in life

It is amazing how disappointments can take various forms in life.

I think often our childhoods are filled with little disappointments such as not getting something we really wanted – that pony.

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What’s in a dream?

I am walking across what seems to be an endless stretch of desert, with each step I hear my feet sink further and further into the sand. Each step is harder to make. The heat is unbearable as I stop and wipe my brow and replace my hat as I look up at a cloudless sky.

I am walking towards a mountain range. I don’t know where I am headed but I know the journey is one of life and death. If I don’t make it to where I am going I will simply fade into the sand that envelopes my feet never to be seen again.

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Where did I put you?

Do you ever go to the back of the house, and when you get there you don’t remember what you went after?

How about do you ever go to the store without a list, only to return home with everything but what you went after?

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Suffer no foolishness

Do you ever find yourself looking around wondering what happened to the world around you?

The lenses through which you have looked at life become skewed by some new information you learn, the action of another, or simply a mistake that you have made yourself.

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A moment in the mountains

I stood at the edge of the mountain and looked down at the green of the fields below.

The fields were cut neatly into the shapes that the farmers had cultivated them in for years. The blue sky around me seemed to almost envelope me as I stood amongst the rocks and trees listening to the wind whipping the bark of a pine tree nearby creating a faint whistle.

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A reflection that shimmers in the glass

I walked up the street around the Square in Covington, Ga. looking in the windows at the items on display in the store windows.

It was warm that September afternoon as I took a few minutes from the set to find the peace in my mind away from the sounds of the assistant directors calling over their radios “Quiet Please, Rollin’, Background” and the booming voice of whichever director was guiding an episode saying “Action,” as the actors emoted and conveyed the story the screenwriters had placed on the page.

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What does it mean ?

There are many times in my life when I have searched for the reason someone that I care for becomes ill or suffers through some series of events.

I have sat by the bedside looking at tubes connected to someone’s body; and watched people struggle to find a new normal while coming back from a change in health.

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Leaders, are you one ?

Have you ever wondered who your walk each day impacts. Are you a leader in your community or your church? How about in your family?

Do you set the pace that everyone else follows?

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Rejection lessons

I took the antique cedar box and polished it until it had a shine like a brand new nickel.
In the inside of the upper lid, I pasted a photo of me playing the fiddle on the stage of the Ryman Auditorium. It is amazing what we might think will serve to convey the feelings within our hearts. I was still in my teens and this was meant to win the heart of a young lady that I thought had hung the moon. At least she did a pretty close job of it for me at that time. But once again I found myself on the end of a spear called rejection.
I spent so much of my youth punctured with that thing; I thought I was a ready made shish kabob waiting to be cooked on the grill of life.
I always thought I peaked early. I had a beautiful girlfriend when I was in kindergarten but it was all downhill from there.
Overcoming rejection though took a great deal of toughening. As a pre-teen, I sometimes found myself sitting on the back porch with my dog Track resting his head on my lap and me resting my head on his crying my eyes out over some girl who wouldn’t have anything to do with me.
The names of most now not even a memory, but at the time they made such an impression in my world.
As the boy moved towards manhood, I realized such a reaction was really not manly,
and the pain seemed to move from the outside in. Of course, my dad taught me some lessons as well as he introduced me to the stories of two young men whose rejections pushed them into reacting desperately – one harming another and the other harming himself. Those lessons early in life helped me put things in prospective, that no situation warrants such a response.
While some found high school and endless trial period for relationships, that was not my experience, even my prom dates thought coming with me was just a slightly better option than staying at home and washing their hair.
Unfortunately, even as I reached the world of adult dating, I still managed to always pick someone who would – to steal a line from Lewis Grizzard – “tear out my heart and stomp that sucker flat.”
One of the first made such an impact that totally restructured my life, body, appearance, and wardrobe, to win her back. It took over a year but I did win another chance, only to discover that what I was trying to win was no longer part of my heart. I had moved on in the effort to change.
I guess it was another phase in the toughening.
I think years of rejection prepared me for my life in entertainment. Acting and music is nothing but a string of rejections that build you to the point that you understand that it often takes 99 negatives responses to receive the positive that will change your life. At least that is sometimes how it feels, trying to get a role or another opportunity to perform musically.
Does rejection get any easier as life progresses? That has not been my experience. I have found that God does provide us the ability to better cope with experiences that impact us negatively. By a closer walk with Him I have been able to understand those challenges no matter whether the rejection came in my professional or personal life.
The greatest lesson I have learned on the personal side is people are often not on the same path and rejection simply is directional sign to send us another way in life. The same I think is true on the professional side.
Does that make it easier? No. Does it make us better and stronger? If we desire it.

 

 

Golfing with Chi Chi

I am not a golfer by any means. To say my drives are short would not be an exaggeration.
One time I attended a celebrity golf tournament and my golf game was so bad it became the topic for the comedian who entertained us that evening at dinner. How he made it into a 20-minute monologue I will never know. I have stood on the links with stars from Michael Jordan to Charlie Daniels.
No matter how poorly I play, giving time to help various causes such as Ronald McDonald House and other great programs has given me the opportunity to meet and play with some of the elite of the golf world.
One of my first celebrity golf tournaments was the Rose Classic in Shreveport, La.
I was scared to death. I went out and practiced and practiced so I could at least not look ridiculous when the local NBC affiliate cameras rolled to carry my tee off.
I stepped to the tee, addressed the ball: “Hello, ball,” and delivered the swing in perfect form to carry the ball around 40 feet down the fairway.
While it was not a great beginning, at least I did not hit any of the innocent bystanders watching the event.
Luckily, I joined a gracious foursome including the owners of a major mid-western radio syndicate. They took my deficiencies in account and we had a terrific day together.
The highlight of the event was spending time with the charismatic Chi Chi Rodriguez.
It turned out that Chi Chi was a huge fan of “In the Heat of the Night” and especially Alan Autry’s “Bubba” character.
Chi Chi has won eight times on the PGA tour and had logged 22 Senior tour victories.
As a child he carried water through the hot, dusty sugarcane fields of Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. There he toiled with his father who was tending the cane.
I was asked to join with Chi Chi when we went out to do his special golf clinic for inner city children in the community. Of course, all I had to do was help talk with the youths and give them some encouragement. I was a fine example of how not to be a golfer when put up against Chi Chi and his flamboyant approach.
He has truly given his heart and talents to make a positive impact through his Chi Chi Rodriguez Youth Foundation based in Clearwater, Fla. Its mission is simple: to give kids a chance. Visit www.chichi.org.
“I figure kids are the future,” Chi Chi said. “If I made it, anybody can do it. I think I can be a good role model for them because they can look at me and say, ‘Look, he’s a small guy, very poor, and he worked hard and made it.’ If I can help one kid become successful, that’s all I ask for.”
Chi Chi got up close and personal with the children of Shreveport, encouraging their interest in golf. He imparted to them his strong beliefs about how things should be in society. I remember him asking one of the children to remove an earring, telling him, “real men do not wear earrings.”
Using his club as a sword he swash buckled the children with his unique ability to craft golf balls to his will and mesmerized the youths with his performance. Like a magician, he was able to amaze and delight with his sleight of hand.
Although it has been nearly 29 years since I met him, each time I look at my golf clubs, I think: “I got to hit the ball around with a World Golf Hall of Famer who won eight PGA Tours. Wow, isn’t life amazing?”
For those of you hitting the links this week, may each drive go the distance, may each putt be steady and sure, but most of all may you all have fun. Above everything else, I think that is what Chi Chi brought to the game of golf. He took it and made playing it more than fundamentals, more than technique; he made it fun.