THE IDLE AMERICAN
That Little Light of His…
Commentary by Dr. Don Newbury
For several days, I’ve started off humming a certain tune extracted from memories of Vacation Bible School days. (At times, I have broken into song, but retreated quickly to humming–or sometimes whistling–upon my wife’s mention that a continuance of the off-key noises, however joyful, threatens to ruin her day.)
Mine is a modified version of “This Little Light of Mine.” A more accurate title would be “That Little Light of His.”
Such tiny illumination in the darkness pitched around 5 a.m. on a recent Saturday morning prevented a serious accident….
I was en route to Richardson, where several hundred members of Texas Lions Clubs were gathered to observe the 100th anniversary of their founding in Dallas. The men and women of Lions International were festive. They asked me to help waken them with a talk at the 7 a.m. hour.
If there is a next time, my wife and I will opt to accept their invitation to drive over on Friday afternoon to join them for a banquet and a good night’s rest in the hotel before the speaking assignment.
Foolishly, we declined, both dreading the prospect of bumper-to-bumper traffic that is inevitable when millions of workers crowd all freeway lanes on their way home….
It was decided that I could arise at 3:15 a.m. Saturday, dress leisurely and begin a drive to Richardson around 4:30. Little traffic was expected, so some thought-gathering while driving seemed probable. (My wife Brenda, who has endured my speeches several hundred times, opted to “sleep in” at home. She’s in the crowd that professes it has nothing against mornings, unless they begin at an ungodly hour.)
I anticipated arrival in Richardson by no later than 6 a.m., a full hour before breakfast.
The plan looked good on paper, and could have worked to perfection. Thanks to “that little light of his”, (and my reasonably good reflexes) it did….
The drive was 90% complete. The traffic on Interstate Highway 635 was extremely light. Soon I would see signs for US 75 north.
A mile or so ahead, I could see taillights of a couple of cars. Suddenly, perhaps 15 yards in front of me, I saw the tiny illumination of a vehicle’s dome light. The unlighted vehicle was stopped, most of it in the very lane in which I was driving.
The lone occupant of the car had just opened the door, thus activating the dome light. I quickly swerved to the left, barely avoiding him as he attempted to exit. The car would have been in total darkness without the tiny dome light glimmer. Instead of seeking the exit to Richardson, I could well have been exiting life. Later, I remembered my cardiologist’s warning to avoid bleeding, since I’ve been on blood thinner for years, and to stay a good distance away from any car accidents….
Composure was gathered upon my arrival at the hotel, and the Lions’ merry-making seemed to soothe nerves. Further, I could feel my brows unfurrowing.
I told a few stories that were new to me, and got by with others I’d told many of the members at an earlier convention.
One fable concerned the awakening of a lion and a gazelle in darkest Africa. They were only a few yards apart, the former thinking if it didn’t outrun the slowest gazelle that day, starvation would loom. And the gazelle wakened with the realization that if it didn’t outrun the fastest lion, it would be table fare. The moral? Both got up running….
And so do the Lions, and other civic organizations, whose goal is to serve others.
It’s a good plan for all of us.
Let us awaken each day with a sense of purpose like the lion and the gazelle. And by all means, let our lights shine….
Dr. Newbury is a speaker in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Inquiries/comments to: email@example.com. Phone: 817-447-3872. Web site: www.speakerdoc.com. Twitter: @donnewbury. Facebook: don newbury.