June 22, 2009 Message of the Week
“The Basketball Ticket”
Missouri the Show Me State
Copyright June 22, 2009 By Bob Fuhrman
On March 5, 1994 I was in Columbia, Missouri on a layover with my airline Airborne Express. Columbia is the home of the University of Missouri. That Saturday morning, as a captain for Airborne Express, I flew to the Columbia airport in a Nippon YS-11 turboprop cargo aircraft. This flight went from Wilmington, Ohio to Marion, Illinois ( Marion, Illinois is 10 miles south of my wife’s home town, West Frankfort, Illinois. I would fly over her farm on my approach to the Marion airport) and then on to Columbia, Missouri. I arrived with my co-pilot at the Holidome Holiday Inn Hotel on Providence Road to begin my weekend layover around 6:30 am. We were not scheduled to fly out for our return flight to Wilmington, Ohio until Monday night.
At about 1:45 in the afternoon I went to the front desk and asked about the weekend events that were scheduled for the Columbia area. I was informed that the University of Missouri, the Mizzou Tigers, were playing the University of Nebraska in a basketball game for a perfect 14 and 0 record for the season. I said to the front desk hotel attendants that this would be a fun event to attend. I was informed by them that this basketball game was sold out and there had not been tickets available for the past week or so. I inquired where and how far this event was from the hotel. I was told that the game was to be played at 3:00 pm at the Hearnes Center about two miles away. I received directions, returned to my room, got ready, and began my journey on this very good pre-spring day that I was soon to fully enjoy!
As I began my walk I looked at the street sign that was across from the Holidome and I saw that I was on Providence Road. I thought of the Lord and praying to Him I said, “Lord if there is a ticket there for me it will be there for me, if You will, when I get there”. At about 2:45 I reaffirmed my directions to the Hearnes Center with a Columbia police officer and I was on course.
I arrived at the Hearnes Center just as the basketball game was beginning and the crowd was already inside. There was just one man standing in front of this arena and as I approached him he asked me if I had an extra ticket for the game. I told him I did not, and continued forward past him when an automobile pulled in front of the Hearnes Center. A man and a women got out at the curb. As I thought to ask this couple if they had an extra ticket I thought of the man behind me. He had just asked me what I was going to ask them! “Do you have an extra ticket to the game”? I stopped and turned to this other man. I felt I could not be rude and ask for a ticket from this couple without first letting this other man ask them first. So, I yielded to this other man and he asked the couple if they might happen to have an extra ticket? They said “Why yes we do!” I felt at this moment –like– “really let down” and said to the Lord, “Well there goes the basketball ticket!” The man from the automobile reached into his pocket and presented to my stranger friend — an impossible to obtain basketball ticket— to this great Missouri “Show Me” adventure. Well, I was suddenly moved like a child would be, like when I took my sons to the amusement park, my sons or their friends would ask me at Dixeland, the park just north of Fayetteville, Georgia, “Mr. Fuhrman do you have another ticket for me for this or that ride?” I was moved at this time to be just as a child would be and I asked this man and woman with youthful anticipation !!!! “Do you happen to have another ticket please?” And the man said “Why yes we do!!!!!!?” My ticket was there!!!!! Thank you Lord for this very fine day and this wonderful experience.
You know what was interesting about this Providence that God had provided for my enjoyment? It is this; the man who I had yielded to was not seen by me in the Hearnes Center during or after this game. My ticket was in the University of Missouri’s alumni section mid-court about four rows from the floor in the A Section!!!!!! The University of Missouri won this basketball game in a last minute court thriller 80 to 78. A perfect 14 and 0 basketball season for the University of Missouri.
When I returned home, a few days later, I was in a phone conversation with the staff of my United States Senator, the late Paul Coverdell. I related this story to them as part of a general conversation of interest and they informed me that Senator Coverdell was an alumni of the University of Missouri. I wrote Senator Coverdell a letter and a copy of the “when I get there” basketball ticket is copied to this correspondence.
Faith in Jesus Christ is a personal relationship,
1 Corinthians 2: 11-16
Click here to see a scanned graphic of the letter.
Click here to see a scanned graphic of the envelope.
Click here to see a scanned graphic of Sen. Coverdell’s letter.