Archives For Travel

ColdSprayIs there a cure for the common cold? Well, not exactly. But we all wish there was. And there are some things you can do to prevent from getting one. If you don’t do those things, you are likely to get a cold. When do colds tend to hit you? At the worst possible time.

While Carol and I were in Rome, just before we were to come home, I came down with the dreaded common cold. Thankfully it was not as bad as it could have been and did not interfere with the things we wanted to do. However, I still wanted to be prepared in case it got bad, so I went to a local pharmacy and picked up some nasal spray. Fortunately, they had one bottle written in English so I knew what I was getting.

When I’m at home, my game plan for curing the common cold is to not get one in the first place.

Not long ago my son Gabe came down with a cold. Now, everyone in our house knows I get paranoid when someone gets a cold.  Actually, they would say that paranoid is an understatement.

After all, I have to speak every Sunday and I want to be at my best. Plus, I just don’t like colds.

So in my typical fanatical fashion, I questioned everyone to check up on how often they were washing their hands.  And I monitored what they were touching.  I don’t even touch door knobs when this kind of thing hits our house!

To top it off, Gabe was banned from using my iPad.  Yes, I go a little over the top. But, hey, I don’t get very many colds.

Sadly, most of us are not very fanatical about things that contaminate our marriages, our health, or our finances.

We could sit down and come up with a long list of things that destroy us and our relationships or our physical health.

Things like sugar, but who wants to cut down on sugar?  And no one is touting it as a great food source.

I can’t believe how many marriages have been affected by an unhealthy overdose of sports.  For many, sports is contaminating their relationships.

My spiritual walk with God can be contaminated by busyness, overcommitment, bad attitudes, and irresponsibility.

We could go on, but you get the point.  Go radical on contamination. We allow way too many things into our lives that should not be allowed.

And don’t forget that even good things can contaminate.  It could be a person, a food group, or a thing.

The bottom line is this:  Are you taking contamination seriously?

 

AncientOlympiaWhat’s my ONE thing?  That question is much easier to ask than answer.

This past fall Carol and I took a couple of weeks to celebrate 30 years of marriage. While traveling we visited ancient Olympia. This is where the first Olympics were held. They took place every four years from the 8th century B.C. to the 4th century A.D.

The athletes actually had some amazing facilities for their time. This was before electricity and running water to be sure, but ingenuity ruled the day. There was an indoor gymnasium, an outdoor stadium with a track, and bath houses. Also, there was a temple to Zeus right in the middle of the sports complex.

The early games consisted of events like running, wrestling, and horse and chariot races. In today’s Olympics the site changes every four years, and athletes come from all over the world.

When they show up it is typically to participate in only ONE event. The fact is, it is very difficult to compete and excel in multiple sports. Swimmers swim and runners run. Ice skaters skate. And if the ice skaters decided to run, they would be considered failures. But as long as they skate, no one will notice that they cannot run very well. Stick to their ONE thing, and they look exceptional.

We admire people who have chosen to excel in ONE thing, yet we fall into the trap thinking that we can excel in several things.

As great an athlete as Michael Jordan was he never could excel at baseball, even in the Minor Leagues. So he wisely decided to stick with his ONE thing, basketball.

Now you may be asking, What is my ONE thing?

This is not an easy question to answer. It involves a number of things like honesty, clarity, understanding, choices, and time. There is no magic formula.

Olympians get this. Think about it.

1. Honesty: They start out being very honest about their strengths and weaknesses.

2. Clarity: That brings clarity as to what they will work on. Hint-It’s not their weaknesses.

3. Understanding: Over time they understand how to excel, improve, and increase their skill level.

4. Choices: They learn to say yes to some things and no to others. It may be saying no to TV and yes to fruits and vegetables. Those are hard choices for many, but not Olympians.

5. Time: In due time others notice their high level of skill, sponsors step in, and their journey to the Olympics begins.

These five things do not represent five easy steps. They simply illustrate that sometimes finding your ONE thing is not as easy as it sounds. But it also illustrates that you can begin the journey.

What’s your ONE thing? Why not start the journey today?

IMG_0089Several years ago our family took a road trip out west. Actually we have taken several. On this particular trip we were visiting the Badlands in South Dakota. To set the stage it was hot and unbearable weather to camp in.

So we planned to leave and drive east until we found a hotel to stay in. Unfortunately as I returned to the car, anxious to leave and get out of the heat, I noticed we had a flat tire.

Of course, flat tires are not a big deal.  That’s what spare tires are for. However, I’m not a fan of changing tires in 100 degree temperatures.

I was able to talk the rest of the family into leaving, much to their chagrin. We had brought along a 12-volt air pump so I was able to put some air in the tire. I knew that with the heat, if I kept driving the tire would stay hot enough to retain adequate air pressure.

Now I am not recommending you try that unless you have the heat in your favor as well as the size of the hole in your tire. Let’s face it, if you have a slice in your tire this will not work.

Be that as it may, we pumped up the tire and jumped on to the interstate. Exits are not close together, but I did stop at the first exit to check the air pressure. It was fine, so on we went.

We finally found an exit with a really nice hotel. In fact, we actually fell in love with the place. It had very clean rooms, large indoor swimming pool, and a nice breakfast.

To top it off there was a full service gas station right across the street which made it easy to get the tire fixed before anyone got up the next morning.

Too often in life we allow setbacks or unfortunate circumstances to dictate our mood. Yes, I have actually succumbed to such things.

But if we had not had the flat tire we would not have found a hotel chain that we wound up staying at again at a future time.

Not only that we had a great time and all of agreed that the flat tire turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

We are several days into 2014. Like me you have your trip planned out, but have you thought about the setbacks? They are coming, and you may have to rewrite your travel plans.