Professionals often have opportunities to attend out-of-town meetings. I attended one just after I moved to a new church. The timing is never convenient. However, I found the setting both comfortable and comforting.

We were hosted by a famed author-speaker (whose name the reader would recognize). He had not only best-sellers to his credit but also apparently friends with deep pockets, our sponsors. In our pristine setting in upstate New York, well-fed as we were, our suitcases became more filled with free stuff, mostly books. It was like going on a cruise. There were success stories, but not for hero worship. We smiled, we laughed (at ourselves), we applauded. It was a break from the unfinished move back home, where my wife’s job search had kept her.

It turned out to be exactly what I needed. Our host couple mixed right in with us, more than necessary for the retirees that they were. I hoped I could be even a little like them in my older age.

As the time drew near for our departure, I don’t know what we expected, except that our host, the Rev. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, would give some kind of benediction, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, that we wouldn’t mind even if he were long-winded.

It seemed he was looking each of us in the eye as he intoned . . . “Get going.”

These two words have always come to mind, especially when I have needed a way to start to begin. Nothing fancy, however you want to frame it, just get going.

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