You know, all those headache remedies promise fast relief, of course, but they all actually take time - even the best of them, whatever one that is. I mean, can you imagine someone with a headache and they take two aspirin, and immediately they say, "Nothing happened! My head still hurts. This stuff is bogus!" So they pop three more. In five minutes this person says, "I've still got a headache!" They pop several more.
It was an amazing exhibit - the Titanic exhibit. At that time it had been in a lot of museums in the United States. Actually, what they did was they re-created the Titanic's grand staircase, they got a simulation of one of the ship's cabins, they had artifacts that were retrieved right from the watery grave around the Titanic. And as you enter the exhibit, they would give you this ticket with the name of one of the ship's passengers or crewmen on it. I was one of the crewmen. At the end of the tour there was this large wall. They had two lists of names; a long list and a relatively short list. Next to each name was one of four designations: first class, second class, third class, and crew. But no matter what your class, your name ultimately appeared on one of those two lists, which were under one of two headings: "Saved"..."Lost."
A basketful of eggs and a four-year-old girl. Got any ideas how this might turn out? The little girl was my wife. This little scene played out on the basement stairs of the church her family attended. Her Dad said, "Honey, you should hold Daddy's hand." He wasn't too sure about either his daughter or the eggs she was carrying. As she grabbed onto the stair railing with one hand and gripped the handle of the basket with the other hand, she said, "I'm okay, Daddy." (These are first-borns. Yeah, I know about this.) In an instant, she was tumbling down the steps, head over heels. She had some minor "boo-boos." The eggs - prematurely scrambled.
When disaster as massive as the December 2004 tsunami hits our planet, you know there are going to be dramatic stories coming from it for years to come; the stories of people who survived, and those who didn't. There was this Austrian man who was enjoying a day at the beach in Thailand when he saw the water suddenly being sucked out to sea, virtually emptying the shore right in front of him. He recently had seen a show on the Discovery Channel about tsunamis, and as a result, he knew what was coming next. As he ran up the beach, he yelled as loud as he could, "Run for your life!" knowing full well that in seconds the full fury of a tsunami would hit anyone who was on that beach. He said he remembers one German lady in her beach chair who said, "I think I'll just sit here and watch." He said to the reporter interviewing him, "She didn't move." Then as he hung his head, he choked and he said, "She's dead."
It was a major youth event I was speaking at, and they had several very popular contemporary Christian bands there. And teenagers love to get close to their heroes, even to find a way to get backstage or to their ready room. Let me assure you, speakers have no such problem. It's the bands they want to meet. Anyway, the organizers had to think through security - like who would be allowed to go into which area. Well, because I was a speaker, I wore one of those coveted trophies at any stage event. I had the all-access pass. Security people would glance at those door-opening words "all access" and they'd wave me right through. You can go anywhere and everywhere with one of those things!
If you really want to impress somebody, remember their name after you meet them. It's important, you know, to concentrate on somebody's name and then try to repeat it several times in the conversation, "Yes, George. It's nice to meet you, George, and say hi to your family, George." Because, see, there's nothing someone would rather hear than their own name. And they'll just think you're something really special if you can remember that name, because names are really important to people.
Okay, I wish I had all the time in the world to get to places I need to go. Usually, that's just not possible. I'm moving pretty fast - sometimes too fast. Recently, I was on the verge of being late, and I was driving in a very unfamiliar place. You probably know the feeling of trying to follow directions to a new place, you're looking for your turn, and suddenly you're driving a long way without seeing your turn. This was one of those days for me. And the reason I was driving so far was because I had missed the place I was supposed to turn. And I missed it because I was going too fast. So, of course, it actually took me longer to get where I was supposed to be.
Everyone in our family knows if Dad gets in a checkout line at a store, be sure you pick another line. My line always seems to be the wrong one, the long one, no matter how good a choice it seemed at the time I picked it. The cash register blows up or the one lady who was in line in front of me goes into labor or something. You know? But there's one blissfully happy moment for me when I'm in a slow checkout line - when they open a new checkout line near me. You can be sure I will do my best to start that line.
I was zipping down the Interstate one day, and I came up behind this big, black truck with bright red letters on it. And then I noticed what it said: County Bomb Squad. Woah! Needless to say, I did not stay real close to that truck! I didn't want to be behind these guys, but I'm actually glad they're around.
"China's Lost Girls" - that's what they called the National Geographic special that described China's "one child per family" law that had led, at the time, the abandonment of countless baby girls. But the special went on to describe the growing number of American families who wanted one of those little girls, who otherwise would spend her whole life in an orphanage. That came to life some years ago when some close friends started down that year-long process of bringing together an abandoned little girl with an American family. Finally, that long wait was over, and they were on a plane to China. When they got to their hotel room, there was an empty crib. It wasn't empty the next night. No, they were taken to the adoption center where this precious little girl they were adopting was placed in their arms, and that night she fell asleep in her new father's arms. As the family welcomed them at the airport back home, this girl, who only days before had belonged nowhere, was - and always would be - enveloped in love.