Friday, March 09, 2007

Why Do I Believe In God?

You have to admit; the title of this particular blog posting is pretty big. HUGE. I have been thinking about it though and I believe that I can actually answer the question relatively quickly and efficiently. You be the judge...

-I believe in God because of life. I have never seen life just start all by itself. Somebody always starts it. Here's a simple test. Take a two liter bottle, empty it, clean it REALLY well, dry it REALLY well, put the lid back on it and seal the lid with wax. Make sure nothing can get in or out. Make sure you cleaned it well enough that no germs or bacteria remained in it. Put it someplace where you will see it daily. When life spontaneously begins in your bottle ... I will agree that there may well be no God. Until then I'm convinced that somebody had to get the ball rolling. Somebody had to make person #1 and person #2.

Which brings me to the second reason I believe in God.

-Sex. Yes, sex. Forgive me for being so bold and blunt. I trust that we are all adults here and I promise not to get graphic, gross or explicit. If life just happened ... if nobody created people ... well that's pretty big news. But how unimaginably unlikely is it that those people would be spontaneously generated with organs that would allow them to recreate themselves? How far fetched would it be that there would be two genders and that each would have a sex organ that would perfectly compliment (aka: fit) the others? And how phenomenally lucky that using those organs would be not only the most fun and pleasurable things that human beings activate but that this would be the case for both genders? Unlikely? Hardly. Incredibly, stunningly, incomprehensibly impossible is more like it.

-The third reason I believe there is a God is because the Cubs won the World Series last year. Oh. Wait. That was not the Cubs. Never mind. Scratch that one.

-I believe that there is a God because of bright eyes. After working with teenagers for thirty-two years I have pretty much seen it all. Teenagers, by their very nature, are fun. Especially if they are not yours. But I defy you to find a group of people with brighter eyes ... more energetic joy ... than teenagers that have discovered the reality of God and are beginning to learn to live within His reality. Adults get bright eyes too. But ours tend to dull and become jaded over the years. Even when we know and love God. The long grind of life beats you up and wears you down. It is the nature of life on planet earth. I would rather hang out with teenagers in love with Jesus than with any people group I have ever met. And that includes generous millionaires and waitresses from Hooters. Not that I have met any of them. But a friend told me they are fun. So that is strictly second hand information.

-I believe in God because of crabby, mean spirited, cold-hearted, dishonest, big-mouthed people who claim to be Christians and yet have neither desire nor clue on how to live a Christ-like life. I don't know if they are Christian's or not. It isn't my call. I'm just taking their word for it. I have known my share of them. But here's the deal. The fact that these people exist within the church today and throughout history is proof that there was enough evil in the church two thousand years ago to cause a riot of adequate proportions to drive self-declared righteous men to crucify the Son of God. If these people were not in the church today I might be tempted to conclude that the story of the gospel could not have happened because church people are always good people. And they are most definately NOT. Yes this is strange logic. But is it not true?

There are more reasons but why shoot all of my bullets at once? Stick around. We'll talk.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Fun At The Grocery Store

I'm going to narc on myself. I've already confessed to my wife and kids so what the heck ... might as well tell the planet.

I got "hit on" in the grocery store yesterday. How cool is that? I mean, really? I had been given a rather long list of items to be purchased for a couple of meals Debbie wanted to prepare. Being the one with all of the free time I was elected the go getter. So I goed. I mean, so I went. And I went to the biggest, nicest grocery store that I know of. It's new and it's big and they have E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. They have a chocolate store within the main store and I recently bought malted milk balls there the size of your head. I am totally serious!

But yesterday's shopping excursion was just an excursion. I did not buy even one thing that was not on my list. Nada. Zilch. I was so proud. Still am! And I was cruising along doing fine and making time right up till I hit the tortilla's.

Tortilla's are always my downfall.

I had been instructed on the right size of tortilla shell to buy. I noticed them on a very neatly displayed shelf and I picked up the ones I wanted. Trouble. The package held only eight shells. Debbie wanted twelve. More trouble. There was only 1 package. What to do, what to do?

Well don't do this ...

A voice over my right shoulder said, "Don't they have any more of those?" A quick glance revealed a 30ish soccer mom type. Dark hair in a pony tail. Sun glasses on her forehead. I told her that this seemed to be the only package and that was a shame because I needed two. She said that she only needed one. I told her to go ahead and take it because I either had to find an employee to see if they had more or I had to go to another store. A guy has to have the right tortilla shells, don't ya know. She smiled and politely refused my offer saying I needed to take the one package in case I couldn't find more. I insisted she take them. She insisted I take them. She asked what I was going to use them for. The correct answer was chicken enchilada's. She was making burrito's. Somehow that led to us talking about our kids. Hers live at home. Two of mine do not and one of mine does. That led us to talking about church. Ok, the truth is that I took the subject there on purpose. If life is ultimately about God (and it is) I like to make certain people know that. I go to a baptist church and she goes to a presbyterian church. I told her that I'd probably be a presbyterian if I were not a baptist. I didn't mention that I'm a pastor because I'm not currently practicing. If you know what I mean. I wasn't WASN'T wasn't trying to hide anything. I suppose we stood and talked for about ten minutes but I stopped wearing a watch when I quit my job so I'm not really sure. We laughed a lot because, well, that's what you do during good conversations. And I like to laugh. And I like to make people laugh. It's fun. I don't know what it is but I am passionate about talking to strangers. It doesn't usually get me into trouble but Debbie often has to say "RON" in that "I'm seriously going to kick your butt if you don't come on" kind of way. So soccer mom was in a talking mood and I'm almost always in a talking mood and so we talked.

That's when she asked me if I'd like to come over and we could cook together and share the tortilla's.

This was a new twist. I remember cold hands. How can cold hands be sweaty? I don't know but believe me they can. I said the only thing I could think to say and fortunately it was the absolute right thing. I said, "I think I would need to check with my wife about that." To say that she turned red would be like saying the sun is bright. Scarlet might be more appropriate. I remember it set off the high lights in her hair. (Just kidding, honey.) She took a full step back and began apologizing profusely and pointed at my hand and said, "I am SOOOO SORRY! You don't have a wedding ring on!" I said the only thing I could think of. "Oh. My bad." That is word for word the best I could come up with. Doh. Then as I tried to explain about having left my ring off because my hands were cold which kind of shrinks my fingers (really!) I didn't want to lose it and so ..." but it didn't matter because by now she was half way to frozen foods.

I felt horrible and I felt horribly flattered. Hey, I'm just being honest. I wound up in the check out line next to hers and I apologized again. She was still red. To her credit she jokingly said that she usually tries to pick-up men at the gas station and not the grocery store. Heads turned and she got even redder. (I forgot to tell my wife that part.) I finished first and told her to have a nice Tuesday and thanks for making my day. She smiled and I rode off into the sunset.

Life is weird.

Later in the afternoon I found myself an another grocery store. I had forgotten milk or something. I don't remember. I went to a VERY dumpy neighborhood store figuring I couldn't hurt anything or anyone there. But as I was paying, the check out lady (who happened to have a total of four teeth) complained about how cold it was. I told her "Yeah, I don't know why they don't put the cash registers in the back of the store where it is warmer." I promise you that this is really what she said .... "Yeah! Have you noticed that almost all grocery stores have the check-out lines up by the front doors? Except for the Super Walmart. They put the doors on the sides." I smiled. I didn't say anything. I am learning.

So what do you do when you are 51 and you get hit on at the grocery store by a soccer mom? I narrowed it down to two options. Either "blog it" or make a bumper sticker announcing it. Blogging is free. So there ya go.

LIke I said before ... the days are packed.