It’s important for me to say, right here and now, that I HAVE NOT ceased my daily search for meaningful happiness AND I HAVE NOT failed to find it. I have failed to get to my computer the last twelve days to share the joy with those of you who read these postings. I’ve been amazed at how much there has been to be happy about and I’m happy to be able to spend a few moments today getting you caught up on my Mission To Be Happy.
Since my last entry I’ve been to Portland, Oregon to share an evening of stories and songs at the Time Out For Women Conference. Flew to Arizona to join my friends from the Nashville Tribute Band for a show in Show Low. Made it home in the nick of time to help navigate the mother ship through stormy seas. Picked up the pace promoting the upcoming FORGOTTEN CAROLS tour by making a quick trip to Sacramento and tonight I’m off to the airport to collect the talented and always joyful Gili Getz who flies in from New York to shepherd us through rehearsals. Been crazy busy, but I haven’t confused business with happiness. Some of the most remarkable moments of my M2B:) this year were found in-between the anchor activities. For example:
Waiting for Delta airlines to get me back to Utah from Phoenix I met a women who lives in Layton traveling with her 75 year old mother who lives in Orem. They’d been on a get-a-way weekend in Arizona (the husband works for the airlines and so the two ladies were flying stand-by to get home). We started chatting and quickly developed a bond. Neither of them were familiar with The Forgotten Carols and so I did a little tap dance there at the airport to encourage them to check out the show. They endured my genetic pre-disposition to try and talk anyone into listening to my songs or attending my concerts and before I could mention how to order tickets online the older woman began sharing her love for Jesus with me. She gave me a book she was reading about the 91st Psalm and quoted that scripture to me with great enthusiasm and joy. She told me her father was a preacher and that spiritual things came naturally to her. She praised the Lord almost every other sentence as we talked about things we had in common and ways we’d all been blessed. I think we sort of adopted each other as we said goodbye.
A couple of days later I found a message on my voice mail that had come early that morning. It was my new friend who said she’d been thinking about me and wanted to pray for me…and she did. That voice mail was, without question, one of the sweetest things I’ve ever heard. I don’t know if it’s right to say someone offered a “great” prayer, but that’s what I heard. A really great prayer!!! I felt blessed just listening to it, and then put it on the speaker phone and played it for my wife. I don’t know if this will make sense, but I kinda wanted to replay the voice mail prayer during my own prayer time and just point to my cell phone, look heavenward, and say, “what she said!!”
I found that after hearing that prayer I discovered others who’ve been praying for me. Dear friends who fasted and prayed for me on my drive back to Vermont. Others who’ve been pouring out their hearts to heaven in our behalf as we’ve been learning how to care for our ailing parents. And for our kids…and grandkids. All the prayers have been felt, completely, but perhaps best of all, they’ve changed the way I pray for others. I’m not sure I’m offering “great” prayers for those I care about, but they’re more sincere, more specific and more…often.
As I enter into the consuming task of sharing The Forgotten Carols from Sacramento to Seattle, Spokane to Boise, Idaho Falls to Logan, Ogden to Provo, Salt Lake City to Richfield, St. George to Las Vegas and finishing up the tour in Phoenix I’m going to be praying a lot. For the cast and crew, the weather, the pizzas, the late night visits to Dennys (or whatever’s open after the shows)….but most of all, for the audiences. At Christmas time M2B:) moments abound but, like the Innkeeper who turned away Joseph and Mary, we’re often too busy to recognize them. My prayer is that midst all the craziness in all our lives, we don’t miss what really matters.