If you are a timid soul you might not like this story. I
It has been almost forty years since I was a cop. It was a
different world back then. Some things have remained the same in police work and
so much has changed. As a young cop, I loved the old timers. These are the guys
who were cops in the 1950’s and 60’s. One such old timer was Pappy. Pappy was a
quiet presence. Nothing ever bothered him. Nobody ever messed with him if they
had any wisdom. I met Pappy when he was in his 50’s. He was in good physical shape
and tough as nails. Everybody liked having Pappy close by when the stuff of
life hit the fan.
Pappy worked a lot of over time to save his money to buy his
first motorcycle. Over the years, he worked his way up in the quality of the bikes
he owned to finally have enough money saved to buy a full-dress Harley. The
Harley was his pride and joy.
One day after his shift was over Pappy fired up his new bike
to head home. On the ride home a group of outlaw bikers thought they would mess
with the old man on a new Harley. The bikers pulled up and circled Pappy
at a traffic light. The leader pulled up on Pappy’s left side. The leader, in a
cocky and sneering tone said, “Hey old man – we like your bike. I think we will
take it.” At that moment old school cool
Pappy slowly turned his head to the left like he was being
annoyed by the sound of a buzzing little insect. As he was turning his head,
Pappy reached through an opening in the front of his leather jacket where he
retrieved the snub-nosed .38 he carried in a shoulder rig under his left arm.
Pappy pulled out the revolver and shoved it in the bikers face and said in a
calm voice, “Watch the hammer. It will be the last thing you ever see.”
At that moment the biker fainted and fell over along with
his chopper. Pappy quietly re-holstered his .38, put his bike in gear and
rumbled off to his home.
I share this story because it speaks volumes to me about how
we should handle the conflicts of life. There is something in an old school
approach to a challenge that can actually dial down the stress. Pappy was a
confident man because he was a prepared man. I imagine his heart rate only rose
a beat or two when confronted by a gang of overly-confident outlaw bikers who thought
the old man was easy prey.
Someone who is easy prey in spiritual matters is someone who
has not prepared themselves for the challenges of life. They failed to pack the
hope and faith needed to face the uncertainties of life. Pappy did not arrive
at his place of personal confidence that day on his ride home when he was
surrounded by a threat. His cool and confidence was the result of a life of
discipline and training for the “what ifs” of life.
If you live long enough hell will eventually pull up alongside
your life and threaten to take away your peace and rest. When that happens,
learn a lesson from Pappy. Pack the heat of heaven – hope and faith – just in
case. Train with what you carry in the course of everyday life. Someday, when
you need to negotiate a spiritually life-threatening situation, you will have
something to reach for in order to turn the tables on hell. I would love to see
the look on the devil’s face when he threatens you and you draw down on him
with hope and faith. That level of confidence and preparedness really messes
with his plans.