If you're like me, you turned on the water this morning and never gave it a thought. You probably didn't grow up in the middle of a desert, then. Some years ago Hollywood produced an Oscar-winning movie about the life of the legendary Lawrence of Arabia. After some of the victories that made him famous, this British hero took some of his Arab friends to Paris with him. since they had grown up in the desert, they were amazed by the running water in their hotel room. On the day there were packing to go home, Lawrence found them trying to remove the bathroom faucets. They wanted to take them home with them - so they could have running water back home! Lawrence explained to them that the water actually came from the reservoirs in the mountains outside the city, not from the faucets. They thought the water was coming from what it actually was coming through.

Not long ago, I saw two police cars, blazing down the highway, lights and sirens going strong. Chances are, they didn't decide to go wherever they were going - the dispatcher did. All day long, an officer cruises in his car, listening to the crackle of that police radio. Then suddenly he or she hears something like this - "Unit 3 - disturbance at Franklin and North Ave. - respond immediately." And he's off! Just because the dispatcher told him to.

I have some friends who live near this industrial area - steel mill type of industrial. You could take me there blindfolded and I'd know where I am. The mills produce this distinctive aroma - OK, smell. OK, stink. All day long you can smell this sulfur-like, rotten eggs type of odor. When you go there for the first time, you sniff and say, "What's that?" Funniest thing - the people who live there answer, "What's what?" They have lived around that stench so long that it doesn't even register anymore. It's gross - but they've gotten used to gross.

Several years ago our whole family had to go for blood tests - the doctor said it was time to check everyone's cholesterol. Which means needles. Which meant one of our sons decided to leave us for a little while. He had just had some blood drawn, and he said, "I'm feeling a little weak." Yup. He proceeded to pass out. Now he might have been the strongest person in our family - but each person's reaction is different to this little exercise. A few moments later he came to and muttered that famous question, "What happened?" Then he passed out again. Later, he told us what he remembered from opening his eyes that first time - his mother's concerned face - and, in his words, "seeing this real old nurse." It's funny how strong those just-waking-up impressions are.

I guess those TV talk shows must run out of material sometimes. You can tell they're desperate. I hardly ever see them, but one day not long ago I turned on some talk show that demonstrates my point. They had four women on the show who were - lets say, average looking. But they sent them backstage for a while to get what's called a makeover. That woman puts herself into someone else's hands - someone who can skillfully change her eye makeup, her coloring, her lipstick, her hairstyle, her wardrobe. And voila - out comes this no-longer-just-average-looking person. The difference can be amazing. Funniest thing, though - I've never heard of them giving a man a makeover. Although some of us could really use one.

When Walt Disney animated the story of Snow White, he created seven memorable - if short - characters - the Seven Dwarfs. Yes, you can be short and memorable. No, I'm not going to ask you to name all seven dwarfs - I don't think I can. But I can remember that little song they sang on the way to work. Now, they didn't exactly work in a climate-controlled office building. They worked in a mine all day. But each day, they would merrily march off to their job singing, "Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to work we go." What a great way to approach your work each day.

Anyone who can tackle their responsibilities with a song is no dwarf. He or she is a giant!

I will never forget my Grandmother Irene. She was one funny lady. She laughed a lot, she gave me money a lot, she was the life of the party. Some people in our family think she was a big influence on my personality. That's not a very nice thing to say about a woman who is no longer here to defend herself. But there's no doubt my grandmother had a great impact on my life. But I almost never got to meet her. She had a serious bout with cancer before I was born.

I've ridden with a lot of people in a lot of elevators - but none quite as unusual as the young man I met there a few years ago. Actually, he wasn't unusual - what he carried was - a wadded up tuxedo and wedding gown. He must have noticed the bemused look on my face. As the elevator door closed in front of us, he smiled and said, "Last night was a life-changing experience." Pretty perceptive for a newly-married man. Then he added, "Probably more than I know." He's got that right.

It was another crazy day in my life of crazy days. I was speaking in downtown Philadelphia early in the morning and then out in the suburbs later in the morning. The Billy Graham team members had organized all this had arranged for the committee chairman to lead us from one meeting to another. The only way we could make both meetings was to race out of Meeting 1 and take the fastest possible route to Meeting 2. We got behind the chairman and began what turned out to be a modern version of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. He really knew how to get around that city - including skillful maneuvering in and out of lanes. We had only one hope of getting to our goal - staying very close to the man who was leading us.

When you get into Missouri and Arkansas, you are entering cave country. And the tourist signs prove it, believe me. You could spend an entire vacation just touring caverns, using your imagination to see how that stalagmite looks like Snoopy or an Indian chief. As we were roaring down the Interstate one chilly day, we saw this sign that said, "Fantastic Caverns - a warm 60 degrees." In winter, 60 sounds pretty warm, I guess. What do you bet they change the sign in the summer. "Fantastic Caverns - a cool 60 degrees." And in summer, 60 degrees sounds pretty cool. Interesting - the seasons change; the cave never does.

            

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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
(870) 741-3400 (fax)

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