You are reading the archives for January 2014.

The Ol’ Bull

A big-city lawyer was representing the railroad in a lawsuit filed by an old rancher. The rancher’s prize bull was missing from the section through which the railroad passed. The rancher claimed that the bull must have been hit by the train, and wanted to be paid the fair value of the bull.

The case was scheduled to be tried before the justice of the peace in the back room of the general store.

As soon as the rancher showed up, the attorney for the railroad pulled him aside and tried to get him to settle out of court. The lawyer did his best selling job, and finally the rancher agreed to take half of what he was asking.

After the rancher had signed the release and took the check, the young lawyer couldn’t resist gloating a little over his success, telling the rancher, “You know, I hate to tell you this, old man, but I put one over on you in there. I couldn’t have won the case. The engineer was asleep and the fireman was in the caboose when the train went through your ranch that morning. I didn’t have one witness to put on the stand. I bluffed you!”

The old rancher replied, “Well, I’ll tell you, young feller, I was a little worried about winning that case myself, because that darned bull came home this morning.”

Apache

SEVEN ENCOURAGING SIGNS A PERSON WILL MAKE IT THROUGH THEIR SLUMP

26 January 2014 at 19:55

     My parents own a cattle ranch in the pine trees of Northern Arizona. One of the most memorable horses on the ranch through the years was a horse named Apache. Let me explain.

 

In his earlier years, Apache was raised on a ranch in New Mexico. The ranch was on a high plateau with very few trees. While there, Apache had the horrible experience of being bitten on his nose by a rattlesnake. As a result of the painful bite, Apache developed an avoidance strategy.

 

Every time Apache saw a tree limb on the ground or anything that resembled a snake, he would instantly side step. He was fast. The problem was the rider on Apache, when he thought he saw a rattlesnake, would instantly be stranded in the air four feet from where Apache had side-stepped. A rider, stranded in the air, with horse and saddle missing, is a problem. As far as I know, Apache didn’t like to share his problems with the rider, but he did anyway.

 

Apache eventually came to my parent’s ranch from New Mexico. There are fallen pine bows’ everywhere and every pine bow looked like a snake to Apache. He had never seen so many snakes. We had to inform anyone riding Apache about his avoidance strategy. You never know what is going to look like a snake to a horse with an issue…and the rider on board. Apache was in a slump.

 

There’s a lesson here. Many people are like Apache, bitten by bad stuff happening to them in life. Maybe they have had a divorce, business failure, lost their best friend or loved one. Maybe they have just lost hope in life. Like Apache, they are side stepping in life, trying to avoid ever hurting again. You can’t blame Apache. What happened to him was tough, real tough. The saying goes, “a cat that jumps onto a hot stove will never jump on a stove again.” The problem is that the cat will never jump on a cold stove either. That’s called a slump.

 

But, through the years, I have seen many Apache type of people, get out of their slump. I’ve noticed seven encouraging signs that are present when they have gotten back into circulation.

 

The first encouraging sign is they were willing to change, to do something different, and to take the first step. It takes time to do that. Second, they were willing to face the reality of what happened and accept what has happened. Third, they were willing to learn about their issues. Fourth, they were willing to reach out to others, get counseling, or join a small group with others with similar challenges. They were willing to give up being the lone ranger.

 

The fifth encouraging sign is they were willing to start replacing destructive habits, attitudes, outlooks, and thinking with constructive ones. The sixth sign is they were willing to accept that getting out of their slump will be a process, not an event. They were willing to give time…time. And finally, they were willing to let God help. They are willing to give up their self-sufficiency for God’s ability.

 

If you or someone you know has a number of those signs, be encouraged! Incidentally, Apache became the one of the best horses ever on the ranch. You see, you can teach can old horse new tricks.

 

Ed Delph    January 20, 2014

A Most Wonderful Cab Ride

A NYC Taxi driver wrote:

I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked.. ‘Just a minute’, answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90’s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940’s movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.

There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard
box filled with photos and glassware.

‘Would you carry my bag out to the car?’ she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.

She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.

She kept thanking me for my kindness. ‘It’s nothing’, I told her.. ‘I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.’

‘Oh, you’re such a good boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, ‘Could you drive
through downtown?’

‘It’s not the shortest way,’ I answered quickly..

‘Oh, I don’t mind,’ she said. ‘I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.

I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. ‘I don’t have any family left,’ she continued in a soft voice..’The doctor says I don’t have very long.’ I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

‘What route would you like me to take?’ I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.

We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, ‘I’m tired. Let’s go now’.
We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.

Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move.
They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

‘How much do I owe you?’ She asked, reaching into her purse.

‘Nothing,’ I said

‘You have to make a living,’ she answered.

‘There are other passengers,’ I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug.She held onto me tightly.

‘You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,’ she said. ‘Thank you.’

I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life..

I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk.What if that woman had gotten an angry driver,or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life.

We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.

But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

PLEASE SHARE THIS TOUCHING STORY