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The Last Wagon Train Just Left

Updated: Apr 19

“The last wagon train left without us,” I shared to my wife, Myrna.


Using terminology regarding westerns, cowboys and the wild west was typical of me since I’ve always wished I had been born during that time period. In fact, I’ve read all of Louis L’Amour western books and learned that he even sold to the motion picture industry the story "Hondo", that starred my favorite cowboy actor, John Wayne. My colleagues knew my wild west fixation and gave me a John Wayne lamp as a gift plus their theme for my 2014 retirement party, "A Night With the Duke", centered around John Wayne and the wild west.

 I was born a Texan and grew up in a small East Texas community in a family that loved one another and never heard my mother and father raise their voices. It was like the television show “Leave It to Beaver”. My graduating class of 35 were the same students that began together in the first-grade with many still friends all these years. Therefore, it has always been my and Myrna’s dream to retire and move back to East Texas.


In 1978 after seeking the Lord about securing a position at a 4-year university, the Lord opened the door at the University at Texas of Brownsville, Texas situated on the Texas/Mexico border almost 600 miles from our close family in East Texas. This limited how often we were able to go and see them.


Some years later my wife and I had prayed about me looking for a teaching position located closer to the areas where our family lived. Shortly thereafter a colleague from Victoria, Texas called letting me know a position would be open in the near future. My wife and I were excited. I applied and was offered the job, but I had to let them know if I’d accept the job by June 1st. We told our children and they adamantly didn’t want to leave their friends or church. We had already listed our house, but hadn’t had any serious offers. Even my wife had applied for a job and didn’t get employed. Doors were slamming shut one after another. I prayed and told the Lord that even though this new job would be several hundred miles closer to our families, I have peace with the decision to stay and not move. I said, “That’s it! No more applying! The last wagon train just left without us!” The Lord had other plans. As a result of being led by the Lord, He opened administrative doors of service at the University of Texas at Brownsville, right where I was.


The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9


Gayle Brogdon

Los Fresnos, Texas


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