There were these two old ladies on the sidewalk . . .

When I first moved to San Antonio just about this time of year, I decided I would take the trolley around downtown to get a feel for my new home. As it slowly made its way through the heat and the traffic in the central business district, I noticed a couple of frail-looking old ladies walking together on the sidewalk.

One white, one black, both in long Sunday go-to-meeting print dresses and hats, they were chatting away, walking arm in arm, as they steadied and supported each other down the sidewalk. They both could see that there was a major challenge in their path up ahead, however—and so did I.

Although their path had been quite wide and level to this point, there was a large planter that filled the space from the curb to the middle of the sidewalk. And the remaining space was just about completely taken up by a large metal grate that was expelling a blast of hot air conditioning exhaust up into the air.

Undeterred, however, they could see that if they stuck together, they just might get past this challenge on the slim strip of sidewalk that remained between the grate and the wall of the office building.

With their backs against the wall and arms locked together, they edged along their narrow path—to no avail. The gust of wind from below caught their dresses, blowing them into the air, as the two latter-day Marilyn Monroes valiantly tried to hold them in place—even as they held tightly onto each other and laughed.

Sometimes the gray mile may become a very narrow path indeed. If you have a good friend with you on your journey, however, it can make all the difference in the world. Especially when unexpected challenges occur. And your back is against the wall.

When it comes time for you to walk that narrow path, I hope you have that good friend alongside you. I hope I do, too.

Tom Text


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