The thoughts behind this particular column have been rumbling around in my head since mid-September. These ruminations began to evolve during my visit to Dallas for the IAFC convention. My buddy Jack Peltier and I spent some real quality time at the Fire Rescue International conference of the International Association of Fire Chiefs. We staffed the organizational booth for our Respondersafety.com group.
I went back and forth about how to bring these ideas to you. I battled myself to a draw and then decided to let these thoughts lie for a bit. I was not sure where I was going to go with them. It was a real quandary.
However, as usual, it took the skillful oratory of Reverend Scott Brown of the Colts Neck Reformed Church to bring some sense and direction to my random musings a couple of Sundays ago. Part of his message to us that day was based upon the Biblical warning that a house built upon sand will wash away at the first sign of heavy rain. That makes real sense if you think about it.
Each of us should seek to build the house of our earthly life upon the solid rock of faith and planning. Unfortunately, too many among us seek to build the house of our lives upon the sands of expediency; rather than the solid rock of knowledge and honesty. This means that far too many of us take the easy way out when it comes to the planning for and living of our lives.
It also means that some folks out there are simply not laying out plans for their lives. They take each day as a separate entity with no thought to the creation of a plan for the living of their lives. All of this leads me to the basic theme of this visit with you.
So here is my question for you. How firm a foundation are you building for the life that you are living? Anyway my friends back to Dallas for the telling of the rest of this story.
The pressure on Jack and I was tremendous, as all of our associates from Delaware were enjoying the annual convention of the Delaware Volunteer Fireman's Association in Dover. He and I had to do the work of many men. Thankfully we had the help of our Director of Training, Jack Sullivan.
Folks, I want you to know that it was tough. Three men were called upon to do the work of a normal cast of about a dozen people (or characters as they say in the movies). The stress was great, but we were tough. We were up to the task. However at the close of business, we also knew how to handle our stress with equal amounts of stress relief.
One of the great stress relief practices which Jack and I have come to rely upon over our decades of convention attendance is a post-event trip to the bar after the exhibit hall closes for the day. Let me point out the interesting part of this particular approach to the living of life. It should be noted that I rarely hoist an alcoholic libation for any reason. My theory is simple indeed. Why waste calories on liquids. Perhaps that is why I look forward to those rare, convention-related occasions when I hoist a libation.
Like I said, normally I do not like to waste calories on liquid refreshments, but what the heck, it was a convention. Anyway, Jack Peltier, Jack Sullivan and I were holding court in the second-floor bar of the Hyatt Regency Dallas. We were meeting and greeting our fellow convention attendees to beat the band. Jack taught me a long time ago to pick a prominent location, park my carcass, and smile a lot. Believe me when I say that this is a great way to meet people.
At some particular point that evening, a young lad decked out in the business finery of a Hyatt representative came up to us and began to strike up a conversation. He asked about our convention and whether we liked our accommodations and the food at the restaurants. We did hesitate to share our views, all of which were quite good actually. Jack and I are fairly forthcoming when asked for our opinions.