“A person may have many plans in their heart. But the Lord’s purpose wins out in the end.”
Engage in a conversation with someone who’s planning to do something special, you might respond by saying, “that’s on my bucket list too.” For those who don’t know, a bucket list is a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime.
Take Larry for example. Ever since he was a child, Larry’s dream was to fly. He joined the Air Force but was discharged because of poor eyesight. When he finished work he would go to his back yard and sit in his Sears lawn chair and watch the jets fly out of LAX. One day he got an idea. He purchased 45 weather balloons from an Army-Navy surplus store and tied them to his lawn chair that he named the Inspiration I. Then he strapped himself into his chair with some sandwiches, beer of course, and a pellet gun. His plan was to shoot some of the balloons when it was time to descend. His plan was simple. He would cut the anchor and lazily float up about 30 feet above his house and enjoy a few hours of flight before coming back down.
But things didn’t quite go as Larry planned. When his buddies cut the cord holding the lawn chair to his Jeep, he didn’t float lazily up to 30 feet. Instead, he streaked into the LA sky as if he’d been shot from a cannon. 45 helium balloons each holding 33 cubic feet of helium didn’t allow him to level off at 30 ft or 100 feet, instead he leveled off at 16,000 feet or over 3 miles above Los Angeles. He felt he couldn’t risk shooting any of the balloons, so he drifted cold and frightened with his beer, of course, and sandwiches for more than 14 hours. At one point he crossed the approach corridor of LAX, where Trans World and Delta Airlines pilots radioed in reports of a man flying a lawn chair. Sensing that he would likely freeze to death, Larry gathered up the nerve to shoot a few balloons and he slowly descended. As he got closer to the ground, the tethers got tangled in a power line, causing a black out in Long Beach for 20 minutes. Finally, Larry climbed to safety where he was quickly arrested by the L.A.P.D. As he was led away in handcuffs, a reporter asked him why he had done it. Larry replied nonchalantly, “A man shouldn’t just sit around and do nothing.” Some foolish choices are dangerous, and some foolish choices are illegal. But some foolish choices have eternal consequences.
We are one week away from opening our winter shelter program. A week after the shelter ended last March, the staff began working on making this season the very best yet. We have already talked with over 100 people and more are coming in every day. With 30 beds for men and 20 for women, we’re carefully screening our potential guests to see if they are really wanting help to get off the street or do they just want a bed and meal. If a person, from out of the area, is wanting to fulfill their bucket list fantasy of having a free vacation near the beach during the winter, they better look somewhere, other than Bread of Life, to have their dream come true.