Faith & Inspiration
By Charles Towne
A few years ago I flew to Wisconsin for my father’s funeral. After a few days I returned to Orlando, and when my plane landed at Orlando International Airport I caught a cab from the airport to my home. The driver, we will call him Rick, was a heck of a nice guy and, as we had some time we started talking. Curious, I asked him what was the largest tip he had ever received from a fare, and he told me the following story…
He picked up a fare at the airport from a man who told Rick that he was looking for a ride from Florida to Los Angeles, California. As you probably already figured out, that is a very long drive!
Well, understanding that Rick was a free spirit at the time, as well as footloose and fancy free, he said yes to the job.
Additionally, the man had told Rick that he would pay his driver a thousand dollars per week, with a guaranteed minimum of four weeks traveling time, plus all expenses paid.
Rick ended up driving the man across the country on, what to Rick, was nothing less than a dream vacation.
Rick and his passenger rafted the Grand Canyon, and they paid their respects to the presidents in North Dakota’s Black Hills. Plus Rick, at his passenger’s expense, saw each and every other grand sight along the way that one could imagine.
Five weeks later, the travelers arrived in the city of angels where their trip ended.
Yes, a dream vacation came to an end, and Rick headed back across the country, alone.
And now for the rest of the story:
Upon arriving in Los Angeles, Rick’s passenger told him the following story, and the reason for their trip.
In New York, he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. He was dying, and had only weeks to live. As he had no family, he decided to see the country on his own.
He indeed paid Rick his regular fare, plus five thousand dollars as agreed, and with another five thousand dollar tip!
Imagine how that one passenger changed Rick’s life. And how Rick’s “Yes!” brought joy to that one man.
What impact does your life have on those you meet?
Dear Papa God, how that one chance encounter impacted Rick’s life! Perhaps if Rick had been like so many today – unfriendly, aloof, cold – his story could not have ended to his good fortune. Lord, help each of us to be genuinely interested in others, not because of what good fortune might come our way, but because we are loving Christians, and we really, genuinely care. Thank you Father, in Jesus’ wonderful name we ask it, Amen
Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.