Friday, April 25, 2008

Some Of The Best Advice I ever Had

Many years ago I was driving, up north I think from Southern California, and it was late. I was trying to get to get to a town that was just a little bit past my capability for driving that day so I had picked up the speed a little bit.

I was going maybe 10 miles an hour over the speed limit and all of a sudden I noticed the red lights flashing behind me - I hadn't seen the police car coming up behind me.

I pulled over and stopped and didn't know exactly what to do but the next moment the sheriff had gotten out of the car and had come up to my window. I rolled down the window and he said, "Step back here for a minute." So I rolled up the window, got out and got in beside him in the front seat. He said, "Lets go."

I didn't know where we were going - I was worried that I was getting arrested but he never said anything like that. He drove down the highway for a bit - quiet - and then he gave me a gentle lecture about speeding and why it wasn't a good idea and he spoke in such a quiet gentle way I really listened to him - I paid attention.

After we had driven for quite a ways he drove across a part of the median, it was a divided highway, and we started heading back in the general direction of where my car was - not driving very fast. He was talking to me and all the while he was looking around the way a good police officer does but what he was saying didn't have anything to do with why he had pulled me over or at least, as far as I knew.

He asked me what I wanted to do with my life and at that time I had some interest in joining the police department in the town in which I lived. He listened to me and he said, "You know, I'm not sure if that's for you." I can't explain how he - he just said that.

He paused for a while and he said, "You know, the secret of life is to find something you like doing. Do it well and maybe it turns into a profession - see. Find out something that you're good at and then make sure that that becomes part of your job or is your job. Then find a good woman, settle down and have a good life."

We drove on for a while and I have to say initially I felt like maybe I was still interested in being a police officer because this person was such a stand-up guy but I brought it up again and he said, "No, I can't explain it to you but I just know that's not for you - that's not your life."

He said, "I have a way of knowing these things and I know that you haven't found your life yet. You haven't found your career and you haven't found the woman you're going to live with - but you will. Just stay with it."

We drove on past my car, he talked to me a little more - talking to me the way a good uncle or grandfather would. Then he swung back around behind my car and stopped and I didn't know what to do and he said, "That's all, you can go now. Slow down."

I got out of the car and walked back to my car and I did slow down. It didn't take that much longer to get to where I was going - maybe an extra 5 minutes. It's really funny - you think when you're going 10 miles an hour or even 15 miles an hour, as some folks do, over the speed limit you're going to get there faster.

I think that that sheriff wanted me to get to my life and wanted me to slow down because he felt I was going to do something important someday. I've tried to live up to his expectations.

Goodlife to you all.