Zeroing In

I pulled into the parking lot at work, counting myself lucky as I did because I spotted an empty parking spot close to the building.  I usually back into my parking spots so that, when time comes to leave, I don’t have to take time turning around.  Anyway, I backed in like normal, using my mirrors to gage how far I was from the vehicle in the spot directly across from it.  I also kept as close to perpendicular as I could with the car parked on my left.  I know from experience driving my car how close I can get using my mirrors.  It was a breeze.  I pulled in beautifully and got out to double check my parking job, all the while patting myself on the back for a job well done.  That is until I realized I had made a common mistake.  I assumed the person who had parked behind me knew how to park.  I’m not sure what was going through this persons mind when they stopped their vehicle, but they were about five feet away from the line.  Now, because I was judging where to stop by the car parked there, I was three feet across the line into their parking spot.  I probably should have noticed I was off by the car parked next to me, but it was a compact and even though it looked about right, it took up less space.  Let me note here that I work an odd shift, and I knew that this person was more than likely going to leave before I got off work.  That would leave me parked three feet into an empty parking spot, just waiting for someone to try to park there, and end up bumping me because they were trying to squeeze in.  Not wanting that to happen, I got back in and pulled up into my own spot.  The more I thought about it the more I realized that what I did in that situation is what a lot of us do in everyday life.  We usually judge our own accomplishments by what other people have done, when really there is no comparison.  What we have done is according to our own gifts and abilities.  We should never judge our own worth by what other people have done.  It will skew your perceptions and you will overshoot, or stop short of your own goals.  Judge you by you.  You may not hit the mark every time, but I’ll guarantee you will be a whole lot more accurate that way.

Advertisements

Chapters

When I was growing up I checked a book out of the public library called ‘The Wizard of Earth-Sea’ (they eventually made a movie of it.  I wasn’t impressed).  I always loved to read, and had read enough that almost all of the books that the library had that I liked to read, I had already read.  I usually chose them at random.  A lot of times it didn’t even matter what genre.  I read everything from westerns to sci-fi.  When I would pick out a book, I would choose by how cool the artwork was on the front, barring that an interesting synopsis on the back, but ‘The Wizard of Earth-Sea” had neither.  It was a plain hardback book, with a hideous green cover, and the title in small flowing, black script on the front.  The only reason I picked it up was because it was something I hadn’t read that was in one of my favorite genres.  I read that book through in one night.  It was a short, but well written book, and I loved it.  The writer had a way with words that swept you along through his story, transporting you in all but body to his world where heroes and dragons faced off.  I would have really missed out on an awesome story had I judged that particular book by its cover.  People are like those books.  You never can tell what is hiding behind those covers, and if you refuse to read the first chapter because you don’t like the way the dustcover looks, you could be missing out on the greatest adventure of a lifetime.  I know we have all heard this particular piece of advice before, but I felt like we could all use a little reminder with all the hate-speak and political correctness going on today.  So before dismissing that person standing next to you in line, read the first chapter.  You might be glad you did.

Close Enough To Perfect

Last week I posted that I was on vacation, but what I didn’t say was that it was my and my wife’s anniversary. Some of you already knew that. Anyway on June 1 1991 I married my soul mate, Vicki King. She agreed to take my name and join me on my life’s journey. I had no idea at the time how much that decision would change that journey. At times it made it more difficult, but most of the time it is the only reason I have made it through. She has been a constant source of encouragement and I don’t know how I could have ever made it without her. Yes, she has her hang-ups, I am not blind to them but in that respect she is no different from anyone else. We all have our issues. There isn’t a single one of us that is perfect. I just wanted to say how much I love and appreciate her for all that she does. She may not be perfect, but she is close enough for me.

Maybe We’re Pearls

We had a visiting preacher where I attended church at this last Sunday. His name was David Marshall. He preached on heaven and it was a huge dose of encouragement for me. One that I badly needed. Too much has transpired recently that seemed to be conspiring to steal my joy. Anyway, as I listened to him preach, something he said shot my mind off on a tangent (a writers mind has a tendency to do that(a lot of times without warning or provocation)). He was talking about an oyster making a pearl. It was that reference in context with heaven that answered a question for me that my mother had asked me years ago. She asked me why God made this world and all of us people if He knew how bad we were going to mess it up. I don’t pretend to know God’s mind. He gives us examples of what He is like in the Bible. I know the things He does for me and my family, but I know that (as a mortal) I can’t possibly understand the workings of His mind. That being said I have come up with a theory of ‘why’. People say that science and religion are mutually exclusive, but I don’t believe that is true. I think one walks hand in hand with the other. They compliment each other and one is proof of the other. That is a whole different blog post though. I mention the science to give the example of the oyster, which I believe is a perfect example of why. The why is to create a pearl. In order to create something as beautiful as a pearl a process has to be started. The inside of an oyster is extremely sensitive. So when a grain of sand or some other particle gets in there and irritates that lining, a process is started to ‘fix’ that irritation. The oyster starts building around the irritant a crystalline coating called nacre. Over time the oyster completely encases this irritant in this beautiful coating. The result is this beautiful gem that is coveted by most of the human race. I thought about that and I realized that that is exactly what we are to God, a beautiful gem, precious to Him. So I asked myself, what makes us so? What qualities is it that He loves? He names them all in the Bible at one point or another. To make a pearl, you need to start with an irritant. God did the same thing. To make us into gems, He had to place us in a unique environment, an environment where all the things that He loved would be an irritant. We either become the gems that He wanted us to be, or we turn away from Him add to the environment, which in turns makes others turn into the gems. All this was a flash of insight that God granted me during Brother Marshall’s message Sunday. I’m sure that there are problems with my comparison. If there are, it is the fault of this simple wordsmith’s inept attempt to explain something that is beyond Him. I kind of like thinking that He is turning us into something so beautiful.

You can find out more about how a pearl is made at; http://www.americanpearl.com/historyoyster.html