By-pass

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By-pass (n) a road passing around a town

I’ve driven through Los Angeles about a half a dozen times.

Every town has unique traffic hazards.

For instance, Chicago has so many lanes and so much foul weather that you feel you’re in a congested arena of bumper cars.

San Francisco doesn’t have enough land for the number of cars that want to make their way up the coast.

Atlanta is filled with people who like to stop and gaze at traffic accidents, therefore creating jams which don’t seem to have a point of origin, but are endless anyway.

But Los Angeles is unique. They seem to always be working on parts of the freeway, or there are guest dignitaries who are blocking off segments of the road–so there is always a detour or a by-pass.

One day I was driving on the 405 when all the cars suddenly began to exit to honor a detour. We ended up going through the residential district of one of the poorer areas of town. For a while, there were signs encouraging me to pursue. But then, all at once, I realized there were no signs and no more freeway traffic to follow–just me, driving around haplessly, staring at unfamiliar surroundings.

I realized I was lost. I pulled over and asked a gentleman where the by-pass was to take me back to my destination. He laughed and said, “That’s about seven miles back, on this street.”

I frowned. “Well, I didn’t see any signs taking me there.”

He then roared with laughter. “Signs? Well, the kids in the neighborhood love to steal those signs. They put ’em in their rooms to decorate their homes. You can’t follow the signs. You need to follow the guy in front of you, who looks like he lives here and knows where to turn.”

I had not done that.

I was looking for a by-pass with signage.

What I ended up with was a by-pass which required you to be led of the Spirit.

 

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Bay Window

Bay window: (n) a window built to project outward from an outside wall.Dictionary B

I was recovering from wounds that had been self-inflicted by my indecision and fear.

For the previous two years I had lived in uncertainty concerning my value and mission. It did not rob me of all of my joy, but it certainly created a detour of the supply train granting me contentment.

I just couldn’t wrap my head around what purpose would be derived by continuing to tread the same path.

In the midst of this, I made a move.

I rented a duplex in Sacramento, California. It was the first living space I had acquired of my own for some time, and it had a lovely master bedroom with a bay window that looked out over a small forest.

It was on a frosty December afternoon that I sat on my bed with the first fruit of twilight creeping around me, and stared out that beautiful window at the view of the trees, when all of a sudden, a few snowflakes appeared in the air.

It was so beautiful.

The image is still etched in my mind, with the memory of a chill going down my spine–a sensation of contentment and awesome wonder about the beauty of life.

Although I was not surrounded by wealth nor was it the last time I would find myself in dire straits, I can always refer back to that incredible vision through that bay window … which kindly reassured me that I was making progress.

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Apparition

dictionary with letter A

Apparition (n.) a remarkable thing that makes a sudden appearance, especially a ghost.

I believe in ghosts.

Not the cloudy, smoky spirits of souls who have gone on to their reward or retribution. I’m talking about the ghosts of bad ideas, inclinations and fallacies that possessed our world in the past, and now have come to haunt us in the present.

  • Sometimes I just wish we could come up with new bad ideas.
  • Sometimes I just wish there was something new.

But instead we have the poltergeist of previous ridiculous concepts rising up from the grave, where we thought we buried it, only to spook us once again.

We don’t have new scandals. We have the spirit of Richard Nixon and Watergate infesting the present bodies of our politicians, making them do the same stupid mistakes he tried to pull off, which ended up with his destruction.

We don’t have music born of the spirituality and emotions of our own generation, but rather, grave-robbers who go and dig up the tunes of those who are now decomposing.

We are continually vexed by the apparitions of past failures or the ongoing celebration of victories, where the band has already played and marched away.

We spend too much time celebrating the past, forgetting the prejudice, disease and dumbness that prevailed.

I believe in ghosts because we refuse to inter the past.

So we just keep living this stuff over and over again … like a bunch of tales from the crypt.

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Apparent

dictionary with letter A

Apparent (adj.)1. clearly seen or understood; obvious. 2. seeming real, but not necessarily so.

All of our eyeballs have been blurred, leaving our vision tainted.

Perhaps it was the disappointment brought on by the tension of adolescence, or some hidden prejudice inserted into our thinking by well-meaning parents.

It might have been high expectation which was dashed and brought crashing to the earth by the flak of reality.

Somewhere along the line we began looking at the world through clouded lenses of bigoted conclusions.

Therefore what is apparent to one person is not equally as apparent to another. Matter of fact, we’ve developed a whole philosophical approach to the issue, insisting that we’re all quite different, and in our difference we find our “special purpose.”

Yet it doesn’t occur to us that if we all have different views of what is necessary, beautiful and spiritual, we’re more likely to collide into each other in the dark than to embrace each other in the light.

I do think it’s important that we come to some common ground on what is apparent, and even if we don’t completely understand it, submit to the wisdom of some very essential precepts:

1. We are not here alone.

In other words, we cannot live our lives as if there are no other human beings, and trying to pursue our goals without a belief in a Creator can be more frustrating than enriching.

2. The truth will make you free.

Lying is a detour which takes you through town, past the beautiful houses, but always ends up at the city dump. No one ever gets away with lying–and truthfully, the longer the deceit is disguised, the worse the retribution.

3. Miracles are God’s business, but talent is mine.

There is no replacement for ability applied with hard work. Those who peddle shortcuts, easy diet plans and get-rich schemes may be the closest thing we will ever see to flesh-and-blood satans.

There are things which are apparent. If we agree, we can begin to pull together instead of pushing and shoving each other. But to get this done, we must stop believing that the Earth is a series of human islands instead of a continent of brothers and sisters.

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