Know where you are going!


Sometimes I receive a forward on the internet whose title intrigues me enough to read it.  This is one of those that I would like to share:

Billy Graham’s Suit

In January 2000, leaders in Charlotte , North Carolina, invited their favorite son, Billy Graham, to a luncheon in his honor.  Billy initially hesitated to accept the invitation because he struggled with Parkinson’s disease. But the Charlotte leaders said, ‘We don’t expect a major address. Just come and let us honor you.’ 

So he agreed.

After wonderful things were said about him, Dr. Graham stepped to the podium, looked at the crowd, and spoke,

“I’m reminded today of Albert Einstein, the great physicist who this month has been honored by Time magazine as the Man of the Century.

“Einstein was once traveling on a train when the conductor came down the aisle, punching the tickets of every passenger. When he came to Einstein, Einstein reached in his vest pocket but couldn’t find his ticket.  So, he reached in his trouser pockets.  It wasn’t there either, so he looked in his briefcase but couldn’t find it.  Then he looked in the seat beside him. He still couldn’t find it.

“The conductor said, ‘Dr Einstein, I know who you are.  We all know who you are.  I’m sure you bought a ticket.  Don’t worry about it.’

“Einstein nodded appreciatively and the conductor continued down the aisle punching tickets.

“As he was ready to move to the next car, the conductor turned around and saw the great physicist down on his hands and knees looking under his seat for his ticket.

“The conductor rushed back and said, ‘Dr. Einstein, Dr. Einstein, don’t worry, I know who you are.  No problem.  You don’t need a ticket.  I’m sure you bought one.’

“Einstein looked at him and said, ‘Young man, I too, know who I am.  What I don’t know is where I’m going.'”

Having said that Billy Graham continued,

“See the suit I’m wearing? It’s a brand new suit.  My family are telling me I’ve gotten a little slovenly in my old age.  I used to be a bit more fastidious.  So I went out and bought a new suit for this luncheon and one more occasion.

You know what that other occasion is?  This is the suit in which I’ll be buried. 

But when you hear I’m dead, I don’t want you to immediately remember the suit I’m wearing.  I want you to remember this:

I not only know who I am … I also know where I’m going.”

Billy Graham was a truly great man who was a powerful example of how a godly life should be lived.  And then, as he aged, a wonderful example of what our attitude should be when we are looking toward the end of our life.

On this Sunday, I wish for you the peace that Dr. Graham had of knowing where you are going.

7 Responses to Know where you are going!

  1. C says:

    I loved this. One of my favorite vignettes is from Anne Lamott–I think it was in “Traveling Mercies.” She speaks of being lost as a child and the police officer returning her was stopped by her saying, “There’s my church! You can let me off here–I can always find my way from my church!”

    She was speaking geograpically, of course, and it is not the “church” that helps us find our way but the God for whom the church stands. There is a peace, through all the upheaval of life, that we do, indeed, know where we are going. I’m going to quit before this “comment” becomes a “post.” As you can see, you have struck a chord. again. C

  2. Sandra says:

    C — What a touching comment. Thank you. This makes me only more anxious to meet you in a few weeks. I think we have much in common to talk about. (I have a feeling you and V and I won’t get “bored” even if Hubby does! 🙂

  3. lesley says:

    Enjoyable as always!

  4. Sandra says:

    Chrissy — Thank you!

    Lesley — I’ve never read a Billy Graham quote that I DIDN’T enjoy! 🙂

  5. Kerry O says:

    That gave me goosebumps – what a nice story!

  6. Sandra says:

    Kerry — Me too. I am glad it touched you as it did me. 🙂

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