I delivered newspapers in Scottsdale Arizona when I was in high school. In fact, I was the Arizona Republic’s Newspaper Boy of the year my senior year. In addition, I was awarded a college scholarship by the newspaper to help pay for my tuition when I enrolled at Arizona State University.
There were two newspapers in Phoenix in the 1960’s. The Phoenix Gazette was the afternoon paper. The Arizona Republic was the morning paper. I decided to deliver the morning paper so I could earn some money and participate in sports and other after school activities.
Newspaper subscriptions were sixty cents per week. I had about 100 customers on my route. Initially, I had to collect money every week. Collecting the payments took a considerable time each week, but I had to pay for the newspapers every Saturday. Eventually, I was able to get most of my customers to pay once-a-month. This saved a lot of time.
Delivering newspapers involved getting up every morning at 4:45 AM, every day of the year. Delivering papers was like milking cows – you had to do it every day – rain or shine. Newspaper boys never got a day off! We worked 365 days of the year, even Christmas morning!
I used my bicycle to deliver the newspaper. Even when I bought my first car, it was still easier to ride my bike than to drive my car. You didn’t earn a lot of money delivering newspapers, but I did earn and save enough money to buy my first car – a ‘57 Chevy!
One of the things I remember the most about delivering newspapers every day was watching the beautiful sunrises each morning. My family literally lived on the edge of town. Just beyond our neighborhood were cotton fields that stretched for miles. This provided an unobstructed view of the mountains on the eastern horizon. I could pause on my route to witness the sun come up over the Four Peaks and the Superstition Mountains. The colors were amazing!
On a recent trip back to Arizona, I enjoyed getting up early and going for a walk. The nicest time of day in the Arizona desert is just before sunrise. The birds and animals come to life and the eastern sky is filled with color. It brought me back to my newspaper delivery days fifty years ago.
In Psalm 19, it says, “God’s glory is on tour in the skies and on exhibit across the heavens”. The author goes on to say, “The morning sun is like a new husband leaping from his honeymoon bed or like an athlete who races from sunrise to sunset” (the Message Bible).
Let me encourage you to pause and watch a sunrise or sunset this summer. Whether you are camping in the mountains, relaxing on the beach or enduring the morning commute – take time to admire the beauty of God’s handiwork on display. You will be glad you did and He will too!
Pastor Mark Hopper
efree Church of Diamond Bar
3255 South Diamond Bar Blvd
Sunday services: 9:00 & 10:45 AM
Vacation Bible School: July 23-27