Mr. Smith Goes to Texas
My first real flying job was managing a small airport in West Texas. I was sort of a jack-of-all-trades -- manager, flight instructor, charter pilot, bookkeeper, etc. You name it, and I did it.
In my role as charter pilot, I met a Mr. H. Allen Smith. He often hired our services so he could indulge his passion as a gadabout. Mr. Smith was a well known humor writer, and we both had fled the confines of New York State.
So we immediately had a common bond, and found we also had other common bonds.
Allen had moved to Texas shortly before I did, although he was semi-retired, and I was just a youngster starting out in my career.
Allen knew how to have fun. After all, he was a famous humor writer. He had friends as famous as he was all over the country.
I met some real characters through Allen.
Iâ€™m dating myself here. But there was Jack Schaefer, author of the classic western tale, Shane. The book was later made into a movie starring Alan Ladd. Then there was Wick Fowler of 2-Alarm Chili fame. Today, Wickâ€™s company sells chile mix all over the country. Then there was that Texas cowboy, Ace Reid, who became a legendary cartoonist of the cowboy life. And there were many more unforgettable folks.
These people and Allen shared one passion in life. And that was to have fun. Lord, they knew how to party!
I didnâ€™t even drink in those days. But they all made up for me, and then some! Nevertheless, I had a ball at all their fun-filled dinner parties which usually ran into the early pre-dawn hours.
Allen and his friends epitomized Josephâ€™s advice to us over the years -- life is supposed to be fun, and our purpose in life is joy.
It was a short, but colorful and unforgettable part of my life. Iâ€™ll always remember it -- and Allen. Iâ€™m deeply grateful Mr. Smith decided to go to Texas. God bless you, Allen -- I miss you!
Friends, weâ€™ve talked many times about the primary purpose of your life -- joy. And weâ€™ve talked many times about how important it is to have fun in your life.
Today, most of you walk in a troubled world, a world seemingly consumed with chaos and confusion. A world that does not seem safe. A world, in fact, many of you have seriously considered leaving, one way or another -- even through what you call suicide.
If you feel that way now, or have ever felt that way, let it be okay. It is okay! You didnâ€™t come here to stay forever anyway.
In one manner or another, you will leave this life, whether by â€œaccident,â€ dis-ease, â€œascension,â€ -- or suicide.
Suicide takes many forms, for all of you decide, at some level of your awareness, the time and manner of your departure from this physical life. As someone once said, â€œYouâ€™re not going to get out of here alive.â€
But our point here today is you are here now, and for however much longer you choose to stay. So why not have fun? Why not indulge yourself in whatever pleasures and passions bring you joy?
Thatâ€™s what your life is all about, friends -- joy!
Joy is your reason for being.
No matter what your physical circumstances are -- no matter how wondrous or horrid your circumstances are from your human perspective -- the potential for joy, bliss, ecstasy is always there. In fact, that potential has never been greater in all of human history than it is today.
But you wonâ€™t find joy unless you first believe what we just said. And, second, unless you look for it.
The best way to look for it, and to find it, is to have fun with wherever you are in your life, wherever you are on your path. Where you are now is simply a step on the way to where you want to be -- nothing more, nothing less.
Fun is the key to your salvation. Not that you need saving, except from your own illusions.
Johnâ€™s friend Allen knew how to have fun. And he knew how to make every day, every moment of every day, a joyous celebration of his physical life. A physical life he knew would end shortly after he and John met.
But Allen had no regrets, no fear of death, no fear of the end of his physical existence. He knew how to have fun. He knew how to squeeze the â€œjuices of joyâ€ from every present moment. Fun was Allenâ€™s salvation.
And so too is fun your salvation from a world which has forgotten what life is truly all about.
And what is life truly all about? In one word -- joy!
Copyright Â© 2005 by Great Western Publishing
About the Author
Since 1992, John Cali has been communicating with a spirit called Joseph. In one of his many physical lifetimes, this spirit was incarnated as the legendary Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce tribe in what is now Oregon.
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