‘I have to praise you like I should’

Have had a couple of long days at the new ranch. Nothing too bad, as one night involved a dinner with new talent and tonight was a combo of learning more about existing talent plus taking on a new daily project. Methinks I’ll need to start taking a dinner break and signing on from home. Just as long as it doesn’t interfere with my beach time, I will be fine.

Anyway, I was talking to one of my boys last night and had a memory of many jobs past, when I had organized a teambuilding exercise at Dave & Buster’s and I was shocked when they brought in a reverend to say grace before we had lunch. This was during my non-believer days, and I was annoyed that I had a rib hanging out of my mouth during this, what I believed to be inappropriate, blessing.

At the time, I worked with abused and neglected children and their crack-ho moms and the grandparents in poverty who were chosen to take care of these kids. It was very hard to see God in anything I did.

I’m sure at some point I asked someone about the unexpected, ah, devotion of the entire staff (but me, it seemed). I was of the corporate mindset that this was a place of business, and a place of very tragic and sad business at that. Ergo, what’s up with all the weekday praise?

Whoever it was, told me that everyone had it tough their whole lives at that agency. (They were big on implying that I had the best opportunities in life. Which, I was born in even-more-impoverished circumstances than any one of them.)

But I do agree that they faced harsher things than I did during that life — relatives being shot for no reason or overdosing or being thrown in jail for life. I admit I never had to deal with any of that, and I admire anyone who can put on a smile and still thank the lord above for what He DID give them, as opposed to focusing on what was taken away.

And that was a lesson to me that I wasn’t ready to digest at that point, but one that really means something to me now. Maybe even back then, though, I admired them for being so very comforted by their belief that something bigger was out there. Especially at a time when I felt there was nothing much ahead for any of us on this plane of existence or elsewhere.

So here we are at Easter/Passover, and my old pastor was talking to me about baptism. She also encouraged me to “come out” as a Christian as part of my metamorphosis in my new life. Which, I got as far as changing my Facebook religious status from “spiritual” to “Christian.” That was a big step for me.

I’d say I wish those old colleagues could see me now, but I really DON’T want to see any of them EVER again. And I’m grateful that God has given me a path that’s about 1,500 miles away from any of them. 😉

Even though I’m finally accepting that maybe the Bible wasn’t just a grand work of fiction and that maybe its teachings are rooted in something real, I still find God in the details. You can’t spend your days around the ocean and its accompanying marine life, sand, seashells and majestic sunrises/sunsets and not wonder about the Grand Design that brought them here.

We humans are pretty fucking smart but there’s no way we could get out of our own way long enough to craft such glorious wonders. Can you imagine a committee coming up with the Atlantic coastline? It would still be under development after a billion years, for starters!

My friend and I were saying how lucky we are — and how lucky we are to KNOW IT — that we were born where we were, when we were. We had rough upbringings, him probably more so than me, and the odds weren’t exactly in our favor. But to see who and what we turned out to be is magnificent, especially considering how high the odds are that we could have been plopped somewhere else where our skills would have been absolutely useless.

Sure, we know finance pretty well and can make a career out of it — but what would we do with those talents in a third-world nation with no access to the stock market? We wouldn’t survive. And thank God for putting us exactly where we needed to be, to develop into whom He intended us to be.

So, that’s my religious schpiel for this very holy season. Thank You for dying the way You did so that I may live the way You intended. I am sorry I couldn’t see God in the life and work that has preceded this time in my life, but maybe what I brought to the situation was the hope that some needed — that they got the change that they were praying for because of some effort that I put forth. And the greatest gift of all is that I didn’t go a lifetime without recognizing that. …

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