Thursday, May 08, 2008

And then there's my brother ...

He use to beat me up. Then we became best friends. Now I wouldn't even shake his hand.

No. It's not what you think. I love him. He's my brother. I'd take a bullet for him. But no, I won't shake his hand.

You see, he was going potty recently and I guess his phone rang or something. (Oh geez. I hope he wasn't calling me.) Anyway, he dropped his phone. This was not a "clatter" kind of drop. It was a "kerplunk" kind of drop. It was a splash moment. His nice shiny "Razor" got "deep sixed." So what did my brother do? I mean, he had just flushed. The toilet was still in that swirly stage. And his razor was getting picked-up by the tide.

So my brother ... my brother took the plunge. He reached INTO the toilet. He reached THROUGH all of the stuff that was ... well .... swirling around with the phone. He actually managed to lay a hand on the Razor.

And then it was gone. Sucked into the sewer systems of Chicago. And he was left with a wet hand. A gooey hand. And no phone.

That's my brother. He's special. And I love him.

But no, I won't shake his hand.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Pit Bull Pity

I've never felt badly for a Pit Bull before. But I kind of do now. I suppose he was only looking for a warm place to hole-up for a bit. Catch a nap. Feel warm. Comfortable. Safe. And now here he is. Trapped. The very thing that was intended to get him someplace became the object that tied him down.

Isn't that just like life?

How many times have you had grand plans only to find out that the tools that were suppose to help you achieve those plans had become the very things that kept you from them? I think God must feel that way sometimes. He loves us so much. It is nearly unbelievable what He went through to call us "His." He gave His Son. I mean, you mess with one of my son's and you are messing with me. You hurt my daughter and you are going to find me all over you. But God voluntarily gave up His Son to purchase us back from the wrongs we had willingly chosen. Amazing.

And then He sets us up and gives us directions to win the world. He tells us how to do it. Listen to the directions given to us by His Spirit. Don't get caught up in ourselves. Serve Jesus at the expense of anything that gets in the way. And we set up our systems to make it happen. And those plans work. For a while. Then they stop working. But we won't give them up. They become more important to us than the mission God has assigned.

And we find ourselves trapped motionless in the very "vehicles" that were meant to propel us on our journey of obedience. We get so attached to the vehicle that when they break down and keep us from going where we were told to go, we would rather sit in them, motionless, than to fix them. It would be so simple. Run some new wires. Change a spark plug or two. Then run the mission.

Nope. I like things just like they are. I love these wires. We started off together. We'll finish together. These spark plugs? My spark plugs. Leave them alone. I prefer to sit right here, trapped in my own engine. Accomplishing nothing.

Poor dog.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Score

-Six days.
-One thousand six hundred seventy nine miles
-Seven hundred sixteen million, three hundred and seventy three thousand, three hundred and thirty four white lines. (Based upon six foot lines and six foot spaces between each line. A mere guess on my part.)
-Twenty three confirmed mosquito bites.
-Zero "Sand Dollars" found by me.
-Untold hundreds of "Sand Dollars" found by everyone else.
-Four new cases of "Tahitian Treat." (Piggly Wiggly rocks!)
-One repaired tooth.
-One bottle of Tylenol (24 count.)
-One replaced cell phone.
-35.9 miles per gallon.
-One aircraft carrier. (Vintage and retired.)
-One cruise ship. (Viewed. Not cruised.)
-A new appreciation for the north.
-One happily married couple.

Monday, May 05, 2008

I stole this from Joe (Deal with it)

Who can you carry today?

God ... only a tractor pull away

Annnnnnd another happily married couple have been added to my ever growing list of joy-filled customers. Uh. I mean friends. sorry.

Dani and David became Mr. & Mrs. yesterday at precisely 6:38 PM EDT. It was wild! The wedding was held on a semi-boardwalk/semi-gazebo on the forever shores of the Atlantic Ocean. At high tide. With the wind blowing in. Dani was her usual stunning self. Her husband, David, was dashing to say the least. And a great party-time was had by all, despite mammoth suicidal mosquitoes diving bombing us from the black reaches of the Atlantic. Seriously. I think a wind blew them in from one of the middle-eastern countries that is mad at us. At least they weren't locusts.

But what's with the tide? I mean, really. What is WITH the tide? I live in the Midwest, remember? And Lake Erie, while it might have a rather dynamic "bathtub effect" during a strong westerly wind, there ain't nothing like a tide.

We began Saturday with a big beach. I know it was big. I walked it. No, it was not as wide as it was long. That would have been a bit of a stretch seeing as how it's length is like from Florida to Maine if you don't count foreign countries. And I don't. But it was seriously wide. It looked like this...

So the tide was "out." There was room for football, volleyball, and probably a decent sized tractor pull. But the next day when it was time for the wedding ... well, it looked like this ...

True, you can barely see the ocean in this picture but it's that blue thing out beyond the groom and I. Out beyond the wood. What you can't see is that Bob and his daughter, Dani, were walking the two feet that were left of the beach in order to get to the altar. I actually thought Bob was going to have to piggy-back the bride to get her up there. Fortunately, he is the creative type and he avoided that indignity.

I don't think I want to live by the tide.

Except. Well. Come to think of it ... I think I do. Because I've spent a lot of time thinking and driving today. The Isle of Palms is a serious piece of concrete highway from Cleveland. And while I was using my brain it occurred to me that "my version" of the tide has nothing to do with water. It has everything to do with God. Sometimes He seems to close. I am pretty sure I'll trip over Him every time I turn around. Now I know that God is always there. I mean "here." Where ever I am. Where ever you are. There is God, right there loving on us. But then "the tide" goes out. And I'm all like ... "where'd He go? He was here just a minute ago? Suddenly ... no God."

It's an illusion. I know it's an illusion. My feet are always "wet in God." But I must admit, some days it seems like there is room for a tractor pull between us. And those tractor's are so loud I couldn't hear a thing He was saying even if I did recognize His presence. But it's an illusion. An illusion that I really hate.

So there you have it. I drive 1,700 miles round-trip and I walk away with a new picture of God. Does the picture help me to understand my situation in life? Yes, I think it does. As long as I remember ... the ocean's tide is real. God's tide ... an illusion. Only an illusion.

I still have 400 miles to drive tomorrow. I think I'll concentrate on sand for awhile and see what I learn from it. You know. Sand. It looks like this ...