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I believe irony is the right word. Last year I wrote about my aspirations to be elected into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2008 since it had been 25 years since my first album, which is the minimum amount of time that must have passed before someone is eligible. Of course, I was not serious (well, the 25-year part is true, but my failure to be elected at the beginning of the year had a lot more to do with the musical part than the time part). So the irony is that in April I received the official letter in the mail congratulating me for being elected into the Hall of Fame with the induction ceremony to be held on June 29th. I know what youre thinking, Larry, youre a nice guy but I dont believe you. (Well, maybe at least the I dont believe you part.)
As I write this, I am actually on a plane flying back from the induction ceremony, feeling quite humbled yet elated by the whole experience. The truth of the matter is that I was inducted into the Lloyd Memorial High School Hall of Fame. I joke about graduating as valedictorian in high school because I was homeschooled, but Im actually so old they had not even invented homeschooling back in those days. We didnt have computers or calculators so if we wanted to add, we had to use our fingers . . . if we wanted so subtract, we had to amputate fingers. Those were tough days! My parents had it even tougher. They had to travel 26 miles each way to school and they didnt even have cars in those days . . . in fact they didnt even have legs back in those days. They had to roll all the way to school and roll all the way back. Now I dont want to minimize how tough it was when I was growing up. Todays kids have no clue what we had to go through. When I was growing up I had to walk 5 . . . maybe 6 feet all the way across the living room floor every single time I wanted to change the channel on the TV!
Its hard for me to imagine what todays kids will tell their children someday to convince them how tough it was when they were growing up. Dude, like when I was your age . . . I had a really slow Internet connection!
So where in the
world was I on this digression? Oh yeah, I was not homeschooled but when some people find
out my high school was in Erlanger, KY, they assume that I graduated #1 because my school
only had 9 students, 2 cows, and a chicken. Actually there were more than 1,000 students
attending Lloyd when I graduated in 1974 since Erlanger is actually a suburb of
guest speaker, Doug Pelfry, who was a record-breaking kicker for the
I usually speak to primarily Christian audiences so it was exciting to stand before a few hundred people and share what God had done in my life to bring me to that place. Regarding money, I shared that when you have a teenager come up to you, after hearing you speak, to tell you he had planned to commit suicide that very evening but that your message made him realize God did have a purpose for him to be alive . . . thats priceless, as the commercial says. Then I mentioned that even though I have had songs played on the radio in various states and hosted an Emmy Award-winning TV show for 2 years, neither of those was the greatest thing that ever happened in my life. The absolute greatest thing that happened in my life was when I asked Jesus to come into my life to be my highest priority.
And, of course, I thanked my teachers for showing me how to use one of the most valuable resources Ive ever had in my entire life, which has proved invaluable to me just about every single day of my life . . . the Slide Rule! (Look it up on your slow computer, kids.)
So after the event I had many people come up to speak with me. I heard one person after another tell me how much the life of my mom and my brothers, Terry and Dave, had meant to them back there in KY. Did they tell me what a great acceptance speech I gave? NO! But it didnt matter because I was overjoyed to be reminded what a Godly loving family I have and to hear what an impact their lives had on people I had never met before. It hit me that people are primarily touched by the lives of others and not just a few nice words spoken by some Hall of Fame inductee. That is why Paul invested his life in the Thessalonians (I Thes. 2:8). That is why John said, Let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. (I John 3:18) And you dont have to be in any Hall of Fame to do that!
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