Thoughts on life from Pat Oaks
It was opening night for the 1998 revival of ANNIE GET YOUR GUN on Broadway, starring Bernadette Peters (my only Broadway credit). We had been rehearsing the show for three months, and the after-party was being held at Tavern on the Green Restaurant in Central Park. I had two complimentary tickets to the dinner, so I invited my landlady Alice to accompany me. We parked in a garage a few blocks from the restaurant and walked up the sidewalk in our best evening wear. My tux was a secondhand ensemble my mom had negotiated for at a Brooklyn tailor shop, but that's another story. As we approached the front door of Tavern on the Green, a stretch limo pulled up to the curb right beside us. Alice said, "Could be somebody important!" I said, "Could be!" The chauffeur exited the driver's seat, and opened the side door. Donald Trump stepped out of the back seat and fell in step with us as we walked in. I said, "Hello, Mr. Trump!" He smiled at Alice and me, and said, "Good evening!" Alice looked at me with raised eyebrows and whispered, "How about that?" As we stepped into the lobby, dozens of flashbulbs went off, so I know there's a picture of me out there somewhere walking into Tavern on the Green with my landlady and future-President Donald Trump.
This blog has no punch line, no morality lesson....actually no lesson at all. Just a memory I thought you might enjoy.
When I was a senior in college, one of my best friends lived just outside Washington D.C. Her Dad was a chaplain in the army and she had lived all over the world. Her name was Joy. Another friend of ours owned a red convertible. Not sure of the make.
I always went home for holidays, but that year, Joy invited Beverly (red convertible owner) and me, to go home with her for fall break. I asked my Mother if I could go and could hardly believe it, or contain myself when she said yes. My Mother was very protective of us and rarely did we get to go anywhere, much less 10 hours away to Washington D.C.!!!
You cannot imagine how excited I was! The only places I had ever been were Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, N.C., Georgia and Florida.
The trip was everything I hoped and dreamed it would be. We stayed with Joy's family, but went into D.C. everyday. One day the other two girls wanted to go study at the library and I said "no way"! So, I went exploring on my own. I was barely 20 years old and here I was walking around the nation's capital on my own. What a thrill! I passed some boys on the street who whistled at me and I just grinned and waved. I had NO fear!
Another day, Joy and Beverly were with me and we were walking around the outside of the White House. They were ahead of me at the back of the White House when all of a sudden President Kennedy himself came out from behind some bushes. It looked as if he were just out for a stroll and some fresh air. I yelled at the girls...."hurry and come back here. It's President Kennedy!" They laughed at me and said, "sure Combs!" (My last name.) So I stood at the fence gazing at the President of the United States, and all of a sudden he glanced up.....and waved!
Yep. I had a small moment in my life with just the President and me...all by ourselves. I waved back and he turned and walked back to the white house.
Needless to say, the girls were upset that they hadn't believe me!
We had other adventures that week but the most exciting was my encounter with John F. Kennedy.
Every Wednesday night you will find us underneath the 640 bypass bridge serving food, playing piano, preaching or doing a multitude of other things. I usually work at the dessert table with two other couples, Becky and Stanley and Alexis and Cameron. Most of the time the five of us are there. We have to cut cakes, put them onto plates and serve them. It takes awhile to cut all those cakes!
Last week, none of the 5 of us were there! A rare occurrence but it happened. Becky and Stanley were on a mission trip to Romania. It was good to see them back and the first thing I asked Becky was, "how was your trip?"
I will try to remember, as best I can, her words...."It was terrible! I was so miserable! We had gone with medical people so everyone had a job but me. They put me with little children coloring and reading the Easter story. I am not good with little children! To make it worse, it was Easter and I missed my family terribly! I felt sorry for myself almost all week until the last day. They asked for someone to give a testimony so I volunteered. While I was talking I saw several people crying. I felt like the Holy Spirit was telling me that this is why He brought me to Romania!"
I know Becky and I know that she has a heart for the Lord and for serving Him. Sometimes though, it is difficult to see what He is trying to do with us!
After that conversation, the next morning I was reading in my "Joyce Meyer Bible" in Joshua. She always makes comments in the margins. In the first chapter Moses had died. The Lord allowed the Israelites to mourn him for 30 days. After that God told Joshua that it was time for him to take his new position. (Joshua 1:2)
The comment that Joyce wrote in the margin was this:
"Because Moses had done many things for Joshua and the Israelites, before he died, they needed to learn how to handle new responsibilities after he died. They may not have felt prepared to step out into new things, but God knew they were ready. It is actually a good thing when we do not 'feel' ready, because then we are more likely to totally lean on God. If we feel self-sufficient , God can't really use us."
New things always seem frightening, but soon they will become old things and God will have another 'new thing' on the horizon of our lives. We need to grow accustomed to stepping out into new things. The more we do, the more we realize that we don't have to be comfortable to be obedient. In order to take hold of a new thing, we must let go of the old and allow ourselves time to get acquainted with the new.
Do not be afraid to release and walk away from what God is finished with; He has wonderful new things waiting for you!"
My prayer...."All you command us we will do and wherever you send us we will go." Joshua 1:16