The day I ran into Billy Graham (almost)


Faithfulness and perseverance matter in long term fruitfulness. My wife Jennie and I got married when we were 20. Being from MN, we obviously decided to get married in the middle of winter (said with a great deal of tongue in cheek). Being 20 we didn’t have a lot of money for a honeymoon. My parents helped pay for one in Rochester, MN about 90 minutes away, close to Mayo hospital.

We borrowed my sister-in-laws car to get down there and proceeded to not be able to start it due to the cold. Fortunately, Rochester has a series of underground and above ground enclosed walkways to get us around. This allowed us to get to a shopping area and multiple restaurants.

One of the days we took our hotel elevator to the underground walkway. While walking through one hallway we passed 3 or 4 men walking in the opposite direction. After we passed them I stopped Jennie and said, “One of those men was Billy Graham.” We weren’t sure so we turned around and headed back the way we came. Sure enough as we passed by Billy Graham was getting on the elevator to our same hotel.

We saw him briefly later in the week at a restaurant we both ate. Although I never had a conversation with him it was a fun moment early in our marriage and early in ministry. Almost 18 years later I am grateful for a chance encounter with a hero of the faith.

But when I think of Billy Graham I think of a person with faithfulness, perseverance to the calling of his life. I am sure he has made mistakes over the years, but he has made consistent strides to the things that God has called him to do.

The question to ask yourself before you go on with your day is, “Am I being faithful to what God has called me to do or am I about to throw in the towel?” You may never be Billy Graham, but you can be the best version of you that you can be. Be faithful today and only eternity will tell the impact your perseverance made.

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