I often wonder how you come up with the notion that you know me. Too many times you have said that I am like this or I am like that. You are only just seeing me but believe that you know what I am all about. Let me ask you this: Where were you:
When: I was a child of 18 months in the early 1960s and survived an infection of spinal meningitis…at a time when the mortality rate was much higher than today. Thankfully, I don’t remember it but apparently, I had to learn to walk all over. To this day, I can’t stand cold showers–I was told that I was placed in ice water to battle the fever. I have discolored and bad teeth attributed to the antibiotics used. I was truly blessed.
When: My parents divorced when I was four;
When: I met my new older sisters; and subsequently, my younger siblings through the years;
When: I was 9 or 10 — I was introduced to baseball, and I loved it; I was bitten on the finger by a garden snake while picking berries and suffered from acute appendicitis (not related to snake bite);
When: I was 11 and 12 — I used to lay in my bed with my transistor radio under my pillow, pretending to be asleep but really listening to the evening baseball games; I dreamed of playing ball like Carl Yastrzemski; I actually played baseball for a while but life took me in a different direction;
When: I first kissed a girl — on the lips; my first date; getting my driver license and driving my first car; and my first pickup truck with 3 on the column — it was missing 2nd gear;
When: I wrestled, boxed a little and competed in gymnastics for a year;
When: I enlisted in the Navy and left home; arriving at boot camp; whoa — major life change!
When: I arrived at the beach, at sundown, in San Diego, CA, on the 4th of July after driving cross-country to my first duty station;
When: I flew in a helicopter to an aircraft carrier; thinking all along there wasn’t enough deck for the helo;
When: I met and fell in love with my first wife;
When: I was at sea for months at a time — and later was divorced from my first wife;
When: Iranian Hostage Crisis;
When: I first used a keypunch machine (1977); a computer (1981); my first microwave oven (1986) right after the shuttle Challenger blew up; my first cell phone (1987); I was studying computer programming; and got my first personal computer (1989);
When: I visited numerous ports-of-call in many foreign countries being exposed to so many different cultures;
When: I met my second wife;
When: I was the third person in the world to hold my new born daughter;
When: at 18 months old, I rushed my daughter to the hospital because she had eaten her grandmother’s blood pressure pill–I drove on the sidewalk to bypass traffic; and, at her bedside, I prayed all night for her recovery — God blessed us;
When: I visited my mother, who had terminal cancer a few weeks before she died but because of “military operational commitments,” I could not be there when she passed but my brothers were with her;
When: Desert Shield and Desert Storm;
When: I got a second divorce; and lost custody of my daughter;
When: I didn’t get promoted, again — I retired from the Navy after 23 1/2 years’ of service;
When: A heart arterial catheter angiogram;
When: I was one of the last people to be with my former mother-in-law when she died — we had a rocky start but after her debilitating stroke, I read the Bible to her and we often prayed together in the last few months of her life; I held her hand for a couple of hours in the hospital room the day she died–shortly after I left the hospital;
When: I wandered, apparently aimlessly and selfishly, for several years; searching for “happiness;”
When: My first wife found me on the internet and after nearly 20 years we got back together; we’ve been together for 11 years now. She says she loves me…personally, I think she tolerates me; 😉
When: My first granddaughter was born; I think I was about the 5th or 6th person to hold her but I was there when she was born; there are now four grandchildren, two girls and two boys — the youngest is named after my dad and me;
When: My ex-wife unexpectedly died and I flew 3,000 miles to help comfort my daughter and two oldest grandchildren who knew her;
When: I or my wife were out of work for extended periods of time; since 2006
When: My mother-in-law had a stroke and came to live with us so we could help care for her; she is 87 now;
When: five colonoscopies over the past 20 years;
When: I draw or paint pictures; or, (still WIP) writing a couple of books;
When: After nearly 40 years’ as an administrator, I learned to: publish ebooks, write a blog and build a solar battery bank by watching YouTube videos; It actually works the way it is supposed to– I’m stoked;
When: after many years of God’s prompting, I finally started ministry studies; its not easy to find time to study, after working all day, as an olderly guy and still be able to spend quality time with my wife — she’s very understanding;
When: that little boat has been sitting in my driveway for the past 2 years and hasn’t touched a lake yet, since I’ve had her…
These are snippets of my life — soooooooo much more has made the person I am today. Yet, you think you know me. You lie to me and tell lies about me; you steal from me; and, call me names when you think I don’t hear you. I wonder, what is it really?
I know that you don’t really know me, you couldn’t regardless of how you try to portray yourself, especially at your young ages–remember, I was younger once, too.
God has told us to love one another — he didn’t say, “no matter how difficult your fellow man makes it…”
Matthew 22:35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
You probably don’t even realize that I pray for you daily but that’s okay. I pray that God will open your spirit, your heart and your mind to the salvation of Christ Jesus, who paid the ultimate price for all of us; who is the way to eternal life.
No, you don’t know me and I don’t really know you even though I’ve been where your are and I know — for many of us, there is freedom when we surrender to the will of God, in the name of Jesus — His only begotten Son.