I read a story once 'bout a man who had done all the prerequisite geology and tests and was sure there was gold ore on a piece of land to which he had acquired the mineral rights.
He found small amounts of gold and decided to go in full force. He bought excavation equipment and started to dig, and dig and dig. Well, to cut to the chase, after many more days of futile digging with no particular reason to go on, he decided to cut his losses, stop the excavation, give up the lease and chalk it all up to a very expensive experience.
He sold his excavation equipment to a junk dealer who, after consulting a mining engineer, took over the lease and continued to dig and found a rich vein of gold three feet from where the first man had stopped digging.
It had to be a frustrating experience for the man who stopped digging, but the story did go on to state that he learned a valuable lesson about perseverance and went on to be a very successful man, vowing to never again give up digging just three feet before reaching the gold, or his goal as it were.
I was impressed with the obvious lessons this story teaches and try to remember, metaphorically speaking, never to walk away from any kind of project you believe in without exhausting every possibility and exploring every nook and cranny - and to never give up until you know you've done your very best.
My mentor was a man named Bob Johnston, a record producer who worked with legendary artists like, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Simon and Garfunkel, Aretha Franklin, Pete Seeger, Flatt and Scruggs, Marty Robbins and Johnny Cash.
But, I met Bob in his salad days in 1959 when he was working a daytime job at Bell Helicopter in Fort Worth and spending his nights writing songs and recording local acts, working with minuscule budgets and getting little sleep...but, giving it all he had.
I won't go through the mechanics of how we came to know each other, but we developed a relationship and started working together as often as distances and logistics would allow us, writing songs and cutting the occasional independent record.
When you worked with Bob, time meant nothing, clocks were meaningless and no matter how late you stayed up, you hit the floor early the next morning and picked up where you left off the night before.
To Bob Johnston, there was a rhyme for every word and a melody for every set of lyrics. If something you had spent hours working on didn't come up to snuff, you just disposed of it and started all over again.
When you had it roughed out, you honed it and polished it until you could honestly say that you'd given it the best you had.
Bob has left an indelible mark on my professional life. He taught me tenacity, work ethic and a never-give-up attitude toward the things that are important in my life, and when the going gets rough, to reach down into a deep down place you may not even know you had, for that extra ounce of energy that adds the jewel in the crown.
I wish everybody could have a Bob Johnston in their lives when they are young and before they're tainted by the lackadaisical attitudes of society and the one-size-fits-all fallacies of the creeping socialism that is becoming so pervasive in our country.
Someone who could help them come to the life-changing realization that you don't have to settle for less than perfection, and that, if you can't get what you want, take what you can get and make what you want out of it, and never, ever stop digging because the gold could be just three feet away.
What do you think?
Pray for our troops and the peace of Jerusalem.
God Bless America