Warhorses of JOY and Wisdom
Due to the recent events in our country and the close ties to what I write about in my novels, I told my wife I needed to get away, maybe sell a book or two, and go see my old friend George Fields up at Bonclarken. So Friday evening after work, I had to 'get back to where I once belonged.'
I woke up this morning after very little sleep because of vivid dreams and visions of the recent incidents and how they coincided with what I wrote a year prior. George got in touch with me through Facebook, and I went to go see an old friend.
George was staying at the home of Jim and Ann Brice, founders of a summer camp for people with disabilities of various degrees. And when I got to the house, I had brought my trilogy as a gift for George. Before we started talking, George asked me how I'd been doing. I was honest and told him I hadn't been able to sleep well. So George did what he has done for thousands, and he cheered me up and comforted me with words of encouragement accompanied by that trademarked smile. After a while, George got up and got Jim to come and sit down with us; turns out Jim is a big fan of reading thrillers. So we talked about recent events relating to our country, and began to analyze all the evil we saw rising in this world. We talked about this war between good and evil. We talked about how although all three of us felt like sometimes you had to fight violence with violence to stop an immediate threat, intentional violence is not the answer to our problems in America. We talked about the need for something to unite people as the only solution, and whatever or whoever started that unity, they needed to bring the country back to God, back to Jesus.
So there we were, three warhorses, talking about the ongoing fight between good and evil. Not a war fought physically, though we knew that is inevitable one day...but a spiritual war for the hearts of man.
And let me tell you, after I left Jim's house, I had never felt so blessed in my life, getting to hear the 'war stories', and the words of wisdom and encouragement inspired by two men who had spent their entire lives knowing the real secret to life - the secret of JOY, and bringing it to others.
George has been the musical face of the summer camp Camp Joy for as far back as I can remember, and many years before that. And Jim and his wife, Mrs. Ann, helped get the whole thing started. And the driving mission of that camp is to bring the truth, the Word of God, to those campers. They made it their life mission to go against the grain of society by living by the very words of the song I remember singing when I was a teenager and a camp counselor:
'J' is for Jesus 'O' is for Others 'Y' aye-aye aye-aye aye is for You - and you, and you n you n you n you n you! The secret to real Joy!
Imagine a world where we all lived by those words. The service, and hearts of a servant...the sacrifice, and sense of gratitude...the fulfillment of everyone involved...and the peace through it all.
Yep, these men reminded me of that secret they stumbled upon so many years ago, and helped remind me of a time before the current Jason everyone knows came about. And it was refreshing to say the least.
Nope, the three of us didn't figure it all out or have ALL the answers, as we sat there griping about the way things are versus the way they used to be. But we did discuss the one answer to all our problems that this country...this world...needs the most. And that answer is Jesus.
I thanked both men for their time, and the coffee, and the times to reminisce. George had to get back on the road to Kentucky, and I had to savor the few hours I had left of my ME time. It's funny how you take for granted the friends you make along the way, and the people who influence your life in bigger ways than you may ever realize. But I am grateful for my time with the warhorses - guys who knew that there is wisdom in joy...and joy in imparting wisdom. I truly was blessed by the encounter.
And you know what? Instead of giving away a gift to George...I ended up selling a few books to the warhorses. Thank you for reading, and if you get a chance today, the next person you encounter...give them a little joy.