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No one told me to do it.  It wasn’t even in my job description.  But, there is something about investing in people who are innate in what my calling is in life.

I seek out men who are going to “show up” when they are supposed to.  They are kind of guys who are dependable.  Their word is their bond.

Responsibility, priorities and obligations are a part of their identity.  Convenience isn’t their motto.  Loyalty and faithfulness are.

Men who take seriously the role of just “showing up” are the kind of men that are on my list.  Title or office are not the same as showing up.  Rather, influence and example are.

Service is another feature that stands in the lives of men that I seek out.  These men give to others. Often you find men who are looking for a perk for themselves.  Overly concerned about losing something or feeling obligated or fearful of getting stuck in something tha they don’t want, those are not the guys on my radar.

Instead, these men are spending time with others in need.  They are investing in helping those who need help.  There is an intuition about these men that gather others around them and render aid. 

These guys are the down and dirty.  They don’t count hours, worrying about expenses or regret giving up something of themselves.  People look up to them from every strata of life.

Men like this are servants.  Don’t make the mistake of assuming that they have the absence of ability.  They are amazingly talented, gifted and successful men.  Simply put, they lead not to gain anything for themselves; rather they give generously of themselves driven by a gift that they have already received to give back to others.

Men on my search list are sincere.  They want to grow no matter where they are in life.  Humility keeps them hungry to learn, develop and become more effective.

Men like this are teachable.  They have an appetite to learn from someone else.  There are no better students in the world than men like this.

I left a group of seven like this back in San Francisco.  They are fabulous guys.  Spending time with them was a personal highlight of my time in the Bay Area.

Now, I’m in Texas.  I’m hunting for more men like those I left behind in Cali.  They’re here, I just have to find them.

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography

There is something about the road from central California to LA that is unlikable.  It is long, hot, boring, straight, lots of traffic, lots of Chips and the Grapevine.  Of course, who has driven this painful journey and not been shocked by the oder of the Coalinga stock yards?

We loaded up Yoda, did a fun check through our final list and drive two miles to the gas station.  Might as well begin the journey with a short shake down test run.  It would be interesting to see if these Bay Area gasoline prices would be the highest on our journey.

Now, we were really set.  Everything was where it should be.  We set our sights south and blended into the crush of vehicles heading south on 101 to San Jose. 

Even at 10AM the congestion was infamously sluggish.  It was stop and go for miles with no explanation for the slow-downs.  Out of no where the traffic accelerated and we were on our way.

Several times I saw brake lights ahead of me light up like the surprise on a cats face when a dog came into view.  But, there was no canine present, just a patrolling California Highway Patrol car.  Even when we were under the speed limit, people still slammed on their brakes.  There was a sign of a guilty consciences all around me.

Then, we took a country road to head into the valley.  There we would rendezvous with Interstate 5, the big road that poured traffic into the Golden State going North or South.  Along this country highway we paused to look over several fascinating sights. 

One was a local fruit stand.  It had fresh strawberries, multiple types of citrus fruit, cherries of several varieties and plums, nectarines and other varied juicy globes.  We resisted and just enjoyed the color and the aroma.

There were horses grazing in the pasture.  Tiny ponies were what attracted us.  Isn’t there something special about a horse? 

The stallions and mares were out prancing in the fields.  These little colts were in the shade, sleeping and resting away from the hot sun.  Like stars used to the clicking of cameras, our celebrities posed easily for the camera.

A knowledgable Bonsai artist had his creations set up alongside of the road.  His appreciation of these little trees in little pots was self-evident.  Proudly he told of each species and how to care for them. 

If it is the journey that is important, then we are making the most of it.  Stops along the way make for a great memory.  This is starting out to be an amazing adventure of faith and memories.

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography