Axe: (n) a hand tool with one side of its head forged and sharpened to a cutting edge

It has been my discovery that trying to tell stories about my physical prowess always leaves the hearers a little suspicious.dictionary with letter A

Even though this tends to offend me, I have to be honest and say that when I hear others explain to me how strong they are or how powerful they perceive themselves to be, I am torn between laughing out loud and finding a quick way to exit.

Such was my experience with the axe.

When I was a kid, my dad grew some pine trees which we eventually used as Christmas trees for our house, since there weren’t enough of them to ever constitute a good cord of wood.

So it fell my lot one season to go out and chop down the Christmas tree and bring it back to the house.

I was thrilled (as most fools are on the way to the errand).

I had never wielded an axe. Matter of fact, I was quite pleased that I knew using an axe involved wielding.

So when I arrived next to the pine I had selected, I looked at it and noticed that the trunk was really only about five or six inches across. How hard could this be?

Now, I do not know whether the bottom of my pine was made of steel, or if my axe was not made of actual metal–but I must have hacked at that thing for a good twenty-five minutes, never succeeding in hitting the same place twice.

So when it finally tumbled over (glory be to God) the trunk looked like a pencil that a beaver had chewed up.

I carried it back to the car and into the house, found some way to get it into the tree stand, feeling a great sense of accomplishment.

But I can tell you–for the next week and a half, I could not move my arm nor my shoulder, to such an extent that I missed a day of school, to lay in my bed commiserating over my axe fiasco.

So looking for an adequate summary for this tale, I will borrow a bit of wisdom from my African-American brothers and sisters:

I will never again “axe” for an axe.

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dictionary with letter A


Anti-choice: (adj) opposed to a woman’s right to choose a medically induced abortion.

Like most amazing opportunities in life, America presents a bewildering blending of responsibility and blessing.

If you stop pursuing the responsibility, the blessing fades away. If you focus on the blessing and ignore the responsibility, a sense of inequality promotes strife.

Even though many people believe that government should be free of spirituality, and others contend that trying to rule people without morals and standards is a fool’s errand, the truth is that every time we ignore the emotional nature of humankind and put forth the idea that we can “think” our way out of a problem, we end up with a quagmire of meaningless arguments.

So when I encounter my more conservative friends who are angry about the choices that other people make, insisting that many of these options are evil, I am reminded of the brilliant words: “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s.”

In other words, freedom for all must stay intact–even if it infringes on the spiritual or moral inclination of the majority.

For after all, there is no such thing as a “Moral Majority”–there is only the liberty which must be afforded to all.

So even though I may not agree with many of the things happening in my society, I would fight for the right for people to have free will. In the plan of God, free will has supremacy over love.

So even though love is most appealing, if human beings choose not to pursue it, they are not struck dead in their tracks or swallowed by the Ark of the Covenant.

So how does America work?

Having granted people the freedom of their own choice, we can now have the freedom to discuss better choices.

There you go.

It does not mean the reasoning should be ignored–it just means that the freedom cannot be held hostage while we grapple with the issue. Many things need to be weighed in the balances.

But the beauty of the United States is that we do grant liberty and justice for all. Did you notice that liberty comes first? It must be that way.

Justice takes a little bit longer.

Justice takes patience.

And quite bluntly, justice will involve an abundance of trial and error.

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