This Week's Story

Carl's dream is not shattered amidst stress.

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

Pursuit of a Dream! part four

Carl as a little kid did not control much of the world around him or what he did. Big people lived; big people died. You did not tell them what to do. His father died a month before Carl was born. His brother died.

Carl moved to many places, with new neighbors, but not friends. There were boys who wanted to beat him up. He chose to fight back. No mom, dad, or brothers were there to protect him. Mom worked hard — three jobs sometimes. She was not on call, but she provided for him. He felt secure. Later he understood. She was his heroine.

Before he was a third grader, Carl discovered adventure and travel in books. Eventually his dream was to sail the world. Much he learned before he and his wife Peri sailed the world’s oceans.

Sometimes Carl’s pursuit was difficult, but his dream did not shrivel. It survived and grew. School built his confidence. He learned quickly. Good grades came easily through high school, college, and medical school. There were detours in a bad brief marriage and

sometimes jobs. There was military service. Stress was great when loss was great.

When he left a job as a wildlife biologist, he found and sometimes developed sources of income, toughing out long days of work, saving money, and absorbing skills and information. He was a master student and wife Peri was his teammate.

He could have let life happen to him. He could have been Carl the punching bag for a champion boxer. Instead he hoped, planned, achieved, and absorbed losses.

His two children were killed in an auto accident by a drunk driver. He and Peri’s first boat  was destroyed when it struck rocks. His investments once lost value and his travels were delayed. When his stocks went up, he did not wait for circumstances to determine what he would do. He and Peri bought a new sailboat. They travelled the world and shared adventures. She tragically developed cancer, went through treatments, and died.

Now Carl is in his eighties. During this week’s snow at his Alaskan home he changed a tire on his skid steel loader. As he looks at his life he might say, “I did not do anything special.”

The truth is he is an independent pioneer American, keenly alert to changes in today’s American culture. His partner, Madeleine, admires his tenacity. His curiosity is active. He reads,takes classes, and fills shelves with books on many subjects. Like Albert Einstein’s comment, “Never lose a holy curiosity.”

Jesus declares, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Carl asks, “Has my life helped anyone?” He asks me, “Where are you going with this story? What is its purpose?”

I resist his questions, but I keep thinking: Can I be true to Carl? I am not writing to prove a point. Will he inspire people to have courage? I think so.”

This is Barbara Steiner. I am privileged to be with you today, bringing you the conclusion of this four-part series about Carl Mcilroy.

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