I was recently on a flight to Perth, myself I am not normally one to talk to strangers, even on flights I am usually that person who plugs in their headphones and stares out the window. I guess somewhat in a conversation avoidance stance.
This time was different, I was lucky enough to get an exit row seat, as soon as I sat down I was greeted by an older gentleman seated next to me.
We struck up a conversation about the plane and some of the quirks of travel such as missing flights, not speaking English in foreign countries. This man seemed well versed in this almost art of travel and there was seemingly something else there. Upon delving a bit further, it turns out this man had travelled to a lot of countries far off the beaten track, many Arab countries I cannot even spell and travels to the southern states in the USA very regularly.
It turns out this man, was a missionary from the Christian churches, he had begun his line of work when he was 20 as it was his calling to help and inspire others. He mentioned that he received inspiration one night, almost a gift from god, in the way of lyrics for a song. Not being a musical man he started writing the lyrics on a page based in the bible. It turns out this song became one of the top 50 Christian songs of all time and has featured in many movies. This is the only song he has written and has paid for much of his recent work.
Now by no stretch am I am religious person, for that point I am not even quite sure what I believe or even if what I do aligns with any major religion. The man was not a bible basher that I had begun to naively stereotype, but quite the opposite. He made no reference to his religion apart from the fact it was a Christian song and his work is based from churches.
This experience makes me wonder about my own beliefs and whether they have been shaped by my naivety towards religion and it’s followers.
But more to the point you can often achieve something which you didn’t think you were made for. In this mans 30’s would he ever of beloved he could write one song and become a top 50 of all time? If not then would it have happened? I am not even sure this is about optimism as much as being about open to new experiences and telling yourself what you can and can’t do. This man was truly an inspiration to me for the work he does with help other people selflessly.
EDIT: The gentleman’s name is Les Garrett, additionally he is a published author and many of his songs are on YouTube – Les Garrett – This is the Day.