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Random Blog: Communing with My Grandfather

Hot Springs, Arkansas has a special place in my family's history. My paternal grandparents, great-aunts, and great-uncles used to make regular trips to Hot Springs to submerge in the springs and to purchase mineral water.

I recently visited Hot Springs on a business trip. Since I had never gone with them on such trips and had previously only visited Hot Springs briefly, I had never experienced the springs. It only seemed appropriate to follow family tradition and go for a soak after my business was concluded.

As I expected, the pools in the bath house were warm and relaxing. Decompressing in the soothing waters, I thought about my grandparents, imagining them visiting the pools and absorbing the relaxation as I was. I had this idea of communing with them now via the shared experience. Then I thought, "Naw. I cannot imagine my hard-charging grandfather ever totally relaxing in this hot bath!"

Despite his pose in the rocking chair pictured, relaxation was not the style of that Cecil Taylor, whose name I share. Side note: Growing up, I was known by my first name plus middle name, Lloyd, to distinguish me from my grandfather. As a kid, I would hear "Cecil Lloyd" run together like "Ceciloid" and think of myself as an alien - "Attack of the Ceciloids!"

Anyway, my grandfather Cecil was full-on nearly all the time. He seemed in constant motion as an insurance agent, as a rental house landlord, as a church member, and occupied with carpentry projects around the house. About the most relaxing thing he did was keep multiple aquariums, although I don't recall him ever spending much time quietly studying his fish.

Granddaddy Cecil was intent on helping you, whether you wanted to be helped or not. He absolutely believed that whatever he was offering was the best thing for you, whether it was an insurance policy or a fig from his backyard tree. He was famous for pushing dessert on dinner guests. It went like this:

"How about some cake? It's good cake. Well, you haven't had this cake. Grandmother made it."

After you said yes: "How about some ice cream with that cake? We've got vanilla and chocolate. I just got a new flavor at the store you have to try. The cake is good, but it's better with ice cream."

On and on. But once you broke down and said yes, you weren't done. "How about a cookie to go atop that ice cream? You can't have the ice cream without a cookie!"

Even though you had little appetite after dinner, somehow you sat there staring at a piece of cake with ice cream and a cookie, wary of what would be offered next before you could down it. Maybe chocolate sauce?

I channeled Granddaddy Cecil a bit at my convention booth, hopefully more gracefully. "Here's a postcard where you can access a free lesson. How about a couple of bookmarks summarizing my books? Look at this cool pen gadget you can take away. I'm giving away door prizes; would you like to sign up?" Not nearly as pushy as Granddaddy Cecil, but at the same time, I absolutely believed everything I offered was the best thing for the convention attendees and their churches.

But I was different from the first Cecil Taylor in the hot pools. I was totally relaxing. At least for awhile. Because I get my hard-charging nature from him and from my other grandfather, I could only stay in the luscious bath for so long before it was time to accelerate again.

You didn't think I could finish this without offering YOU something, did you? If you become a free subscriber to Cecil Taylor Ministries, I'll send you a free devotional guide, "30 Minutes in 30 Days," a series of one-minute devotionals designed to help your 7-day practical faith. Sign up on when the devotional offer pops up, or scroll down the home page to the orange box to register.

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