Chimpanzee

Chimpanzee: (n) a great ape

“Keeping an open mind so I can claim to have one…”

Yes, that’s me.

I don’t think I’m alone. It seems, in our generation, that being decried for having a closed mind is the worst insult we could sling at someone.
We all pretend that we are very willing to learn new things as we strategically place ourselves smack in the middle of repetition.

Being a person of faith, I got tired of those who are not bent in that persuasion, accusing me of being ignorant because of my insistence on valuing creation instead of adhering to evolution. Actually, I agree with evolution–up to a point.

And that point is the chimpanzee.

The chimpanzee is supposed to be our closest cousin, or some sort of relative. So one day I decided to go to the zoo, observe the chimpanzee, and discover what similarities I had with this non-kissing-cousin. I stayed for a full hour–matter of fact, I stayed so long that I think the little monkey became paranoid.

The chimpanzee seemed to have a great preoccupation with its own penis. It frequently reached down to pull on it, as if releasing it from some sort of prison.

The creature also favored scratching its ass, made unintelligible sounds, and hopped around from place to place with no real destination.

It became aggravated when someone took its food or threatened to occupy its space.

It seemed to glare a lot. (It could have been gas.)

It wasn’t particularly friendly. Of course, that could have been due to the fact that it was in a zoo instead of out on the Serengeti.

It didn’t like its fellow-monkeys, and appeared to be a little chippy, looking for a reason to argue.

It was obviously selfish.

It stopped from time to time–appearing to preen. (At least that’s the way I would describe the self-stroking.)

It was very preoccupied, and most of the time, seemed bored.

I realized I was wrong.

It is very human.

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Botch

Botch (v) to carry out a task badly or carelessly.

Politicians could certainly learn a lot by reading the first six chapters of the Book of Genesis.Dictionary B

Because even though the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth certainly had enough status and power to insist that He was error free, within those six chapters, Almighty God admits He botched three things.

First of all, He created the Heavens and the Earth, but upon a closer look, realized that the planet was a real mess–misshapen and incapable of sustaining life. If His goal was to make creeping things, then the situation was already botched.

And later on, when He discovered how disgusting human beings could be, He regretted that He ever made them, and concluded He had botched the whole experiment by including Homo Sapiens.

Shortly after that, the God of the Universe has to repent because He killed all the people off in a fit of anger and realized the decision was overwrought.

So …

If God–who got the title because He was supposed to be mistake free–botches things, then who are we to think we can solve all of our problems with lies and duck tape?

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Befuddle

Befuddle: (v) to make someone unable to think clearly.Dictionary B

It all boils down to one question:

What do you want?

Do you want to look good or do you want to live with the truth?

They aren’t the same, you know.

The truth does make you free. But if your goal in life is to look good, freedom doesn’t always achieve that purpose. Freedom just makes it possible for you to walk around without guilt.

That’s why the truth befuddles human beings.

We actually see no advantage to telling the truth–because we prefer lying and deceiving our fellow-travelers to telling the truth and sleeping well.

The truth befuddles.

It befuddles politicians because then they’re stuck with their record, which is always a mingling of achievement and carelessness.

It befuddles theologians because the obvious question of “now, how is God different from Santa Claus?” makes them defensive and causes them to fall back into an attack mode of scriptural brattiness.

It befuddles the educational system, because just about the time we are convinced that education has progressed us, new knowledge shows up to confound the wise.

And since we do not want to appear befuddled, we select to become aggressive and childish, protecting our egos at all cost.

Befuddled is the ridiculous idea that we should always be in a position of power. What could be more silly?

Why would we think that any part of creation would have the advantage of understanding all creation?

I never met a dog who was actually aware of my needs.

Why would I think that I, a mere mortal, should not occasionally be befuddled, since I don’t hold the keys to any kingdom … but only find myself stuck in traffic?

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Bated

Bated: (n) in great suspense; very anxiously or excitedly.Dictionary B

When asked recently what would make the world a better place, without delay I replied, “Excitement.”

Feeling we are too mature to wiggle and squirm in anticipation, the average adult plows through a day’s activities without much emotion.

We call it control.

We insist it’s grown-up.

We fear the appearance of childishness, and in the process, lose the better parts of being childlike.

  • So we declare that “Christmas is for the children.”
  • The roller coaster was exciting, but well within the scope of our coping.
  • And romance and its pleasures are a matter of well-timed course.

Excitement is what allows us to believe that things can get better. If we are fully aware of all the possibilities, then we are no longer able to be surprised. And any creature who is incapable of being astonished at the beauty of creation soon loses the true significance of living.

I like to be excited.

Sometimes I like to excite myself, just to make sure it’s not broken.

But mostly, I feel the need to let my breath be bated by the beauty of something unknown. 

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Avocado

Avocado: (n) a fruit with tough leathery skin and a large stone

For years the avocado has taken great grief for being ugly on the outside and then having a pit or stone that is much too large for its contents.dictionary with letter A

I really sympathize.

Even though my skin does not resemble an alligator, I am not horribly attractive on the exterior, and being rather obese, I occasionally will take some teasing, or worse, inconsiderate advice from the meandering masses.

I think the avocado would probably agree with me when I say that the problem is not with the oversized pit, but rather, the undersized fruit.

In my case, I have it figured this way: I am not really fat–it’s just that I was intended to be 8 feet tall. Consider it a mistake of creation or a mutation of evolution–whichever your preference tends to be.

Also the avocado suffers from the malady of occasionally being tasteless. You will find one that is sweet and absolutely delectable, but often it is as flat as bargain-brand mayonnaise.

So the only claim to fame for the avocado, as far as I know. is that it is one of those “perfect” foods.

In other words, if you found yourself trapped on a desert island and all that grew there were avocados and bananas, you could live a full, long and healthy life. You’d probably want to kill yourself on Day Nine for want of the bacon and chicken breast to go with your avocado sandwich, but medically you would be sound.

The thing I do like about an avocado is that it draws out one of the better human attributes: looking for something good to say. 

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Armadillo

dictionary with letter A

Armadillo: (n) a nocturnal omnivorous mammal that has large claws for digging and a body covered in bony plates. Armadillos are native to the south central US and Central and South America.

Along with crocodiles and spiders, armadillos clearly remind us that our world is ancient and was once occupied by really scary creatures.

Even though these animals are now much smaller and have a shrunken fear factor, you can certainly comprehend that in their heyday, they must have turned a head or two.

Matter of fact, the first time I saw an armadillo in the middle of the road while driving through Texas, I pulled over and stared at it for a while.

In some ways it looks like a knight in unshining armor. A really ugly knight, mind you.

Rather than seeming to be something natural, the bony plates on the outside of the body look like some kid placed them as a joke on his pet dog and then released the puppy into the wild, and stood behind a cactus and laughed.

The armadillo is also kind of like the pineapple of the animal kingdom. Even though the fruit inside the pineapple is really quite sumptuous, the outside looks like it was constructed by a medieval tinsman.

So it always causes me to reflect on the great debate between creation and evolution.

I will have to admit, if God made all of these creatures at the same time, He certainly had to be on some sort of heavenly acid trip.

And if evolution is completely accurate, it’s difficult to comprehend why the armadillo survived and the stegosaurus ended up in the pits.

So for me, I land somewhere betwixt: envisioning a God who used evolution to create, and a Creator who even to this day, continues to evolve.

 

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Amerasian

dictionary with letter A

Amerasian: (n) a person having one American and one Asian parent

It’s time for a moratorium. At least, I’m declaring one.

I refuse to indulge anymore in the constant creation of new names to segregate people off into smaller and smaller clumps based upon minute cultural differences, separating us from a greater understanding of one another.

I am especially averse to this word, “Amerasian.”

I have a beautiful grandson named Wyeth, whose mother is from China and whose father is from Louisiana. I suppose that would make him Amerasian if I was so dumbfounded by the culture that I participated in such nonsense.

  • There are no African-Americans because none of them could actually live in Africa.
  • I am not a German-American because seven generations ago my family came over on a ship to get away from that country.
  • There are no gay-Americans.
  • There are no female-Americans.

We’re just human beings, and the more we try to promote our culture, maintaining the traditions passed down from a lineage we don’t even understand anymore, the more we will confound our own personal journey with the clutter of clatter.

I even laugh at my own children, who worry that little Wyeth won’t get enough of China–or Louisiana–to enrich the mix of his life.

Let me give you a clue: Wyeth is a person, so as long as he has purpose, food, clothing and love, he’s not going to give a crap about whether it comes from China or Louisiana.

Can we get over the childishness of “cultural integrity?”

I want to possess a philosophy that would allow me to live anywhere with anyone at any time. If I don’t have that in my possession, I will fine-tune my thinking until I acquire it.

Wyeth is not Amerasian. He is my grandson. And by the grace of God, if he continues to grow and use his talents, someday he’ll be a blessing to the whole earth.