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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Life Is What Makes You Old

Do you ever just feel plain old ... old? I am talking about the kind of old that has nothing much to do with years or chronological things. I am talking the kind of old where you suddenly think ... I really HAVE seen it all. There really ISN'T anything new under the sun. I am not certain when that happened to me. I sat today and I made a list ... an actually written list ... of the oddest, most bizarre, least likely to happen things that I have witnessed in my lifetime. And mixed in with it I included the oddest, most bizarre, least likely things that I have had to do in my lifetime. It is quite a list. I wish I could share it with you. I cannot. You might be on it. But here are a few just to make you smile or frown or whatever you feel appropriate.

I've pulled people out of caskets. Not dead people. Live people. People who wanted to crawl into the casket of a dead loved one.

I've tackled a person who was trying to commit suicide by jumping from a high place.

I've confronted people who have had the ability to fire me. More than once. And no, none of them fired me.

I have spoken to 6,000 people at once.

I have spoken to less than 10 people in a talk prepared just a diligently as the talk for 6,000.

I've flown on a plane where I was the only passenger.

I carry in my brain the confessions of people who, if the confession was made public, would be sent to prison.

I held the hand of a person as they prayed to receive Christ as Savior only to watch them lapse into a coma minutes later that they never woke up from.

I've changed a dentists socks. (Don't ask.)

Speaking of dentists I've had all of my wisdom teeth pulled ... twice. (Again. Don't ask.)

I watched one of my former "volunteer youth staff members" drop to a knee and let a girl throw up in his hands because we were in a very nice church sanctuary and there was no place else for her to throw up. (I never shook his hand again.)

I have traveled (by car, van, or bus) the equivalent of around the world at the equator 3 times while on youth trips and mission trips.

I have baptized (by total immersion) a man while he sat in his wheel chair.

I have had my life threatened (by 2 very large men) in the slum of a southern city while helping a dad chase down his run-away daughter.

My final words to my last living parent was an intentional lie to make her not worry, feel better, and go to sleep. My lie accomplished its purpose. She died the next day and I was not there.

I have been "dog bit for Jesus" twice in as many months. The last bite was while I was praying with a woman whose husband lay dying in another room of their home. Their dog bit me while I was talking to the One that made the dog. I did not stop praying. He eventually let go. (The dog. Not God.)

I have patrolled East St. Louis in a State Police Cruiser from 10 PM until 8 AM. I wore a bullet proof vest, knew where the shotgun was and was authorized to use if if necessary.

I have held a baby that had been dead for less than 2 hours.

I have observed part of an embalming.

I have been chased by dogs in a nursing home.

I have prayed over people while anointing them with oil only to watch them fully recover. I have prayed over people while anointing them with oil only to watch them die.

I have stood on the top of a 12,000 foot mountain during a snowstorm accompanied by lightening and thunder.

Martin Luther (the theologian who lived in the 1483 - 1546) once said, "If you young fellows were wise, the devil couldn't do anything to you, but since you aren't wise, you need us who are old." I kind of understand his sentiment. I get his point. He died at the age of 63. That's not really old but I suppose it was in his day. I am that age minus 10. But after compiling my list today ... I've been feeling very old indeed. This probably was not a good way to prepare a merry heart for the celebration of New Years.

When I die I'm instructing my wife to publish my entire list. Tonight I have a headache and, after speaking twice today, I am rather tired. So keep checking back. You never know how quickly the thing might wind up in print. A "tell all" blog. Starring ... You?

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

4 comments:

neeser said...

I have been waiting patiently for you to put up a new post. This one did not disappoint!

"I have been chased by dogs in a nursing home." That is the one that made me laugh out loud. It's quite a visual.

doug said...

I am looking forward to the ever-expansion of this list...

Kellita M said...

Love it.
It's making me think of what my list might be now.....and in the future.
But I would recommend that you find a new dentist.

Melanie Davis said...

I witnessed the whole vomitt in the hand event. It is engrained in my mind forever! Better than the carpet fibers I suppose