August 17, 2002
GOD'S PRACTICAL JOKE
I had had a rather bizarre week, which in my life is not the least bit unusual. By Wednesday the 7th, it seems as if the lives of many of my friends as well as employees had been in a series of what I call "Train Wrecks."
I began to wonder how the world stays glued together considering the dysfunction in the lives of most human beings in this almost universally psychotic period in history. The "House of Cards," which seems to be held together with "Smoke and Mirrors," that we call civilization, is on the precipice of collapse as we continue to despoil God's Creation.
My only escape from the trials and tribulations that seem to follow me around like a dark cloud is to go into the wilderness to recover, so that day was like many others. I drove my jeep down the mile long primitive road to Moo Beach at the tip of The Great Spirit Wilderness took off my jeans and shirt and sat in the water, watching the clouds, waves, and multitudes of terns, herons, and egrets.
I took along a little basket in which to place any pretty rocks that I might scoop up with my hands. As this area had been inhabited by Native Americans for thousands of years, an occasional Indian knife or piece of pottery will appear amongst the little rocks and pebbles and shards of glass that I find while the wavelets caress my weary body.
After an hour or so the little basket was almost full of anonymous rocks and the sun had sometime before disappeared behind the darkening forest to my back. I glanced at my watch. It was exactly 8:10, the official time of sunset in this latitude on that day. I said, "God, this is my last scoop and I beg you to show me a sign that there is at least a little hope for the future of Planet Eden." I reached down and felt only one stone. When my hand reached the surface I looked down and much to my happiness there laid a perfect Indian knife.
I jumped out of the water and onto the shore, grabbed my pants and shirt and rushed along the sand to my jeep. When I got back to the house I searched for the basket to take it inside and not finding it, realized that I had forgotten it. I remembered that I had set it down on the shore in order to pick up my clothes. It was too late to go back and look for it and as the lake is nearly always deserted except on weekends I felt like no once would take it and if they did then their kids would have a pretty collection of rocks to take to school.
The next evening I scanned the contents of the jeep and saw no basket so returned to the tip of Princess Point at the end of Moo Beach. The basket had been left about two hundred feet down the beach and when I looked toward the place where I had found the Indian knife, I could see it at the edge on the shore. As I walked along the sand I picked up the occasional flake of petrified palm left from the making of Indian knives.
When I arrived at the place where the basket had been left the day before and where I had seen it only a few minutes before from down the beach, it had disappeared!!! I said, "God, you remind me of the trickster ghost that lives in my mother's Palazzo in Italy." "I know your eternal life must get pretty boring at times and so if playing tricks on me gives you pleasure then I don't mind at all," I continued. Poor old fellow, He needs a little diversion from dealing with collective human dysfunction, just as I do.
He is nearly always present at The Wilderness Cathedral when I arrive and we have had some great times together. I guess I am one of His few human children that has any real understanding that God has feelings too. He once told me that He gets really sick and tired of all the Bible thumping, posturing, long-winded sermons, ugly and/or overly opulent church buildings, and blatant hypocrisy that He has to put up with.
He said that He would much rather be out enjoying the beauties of His Creation than have to listen to some obese, loud-mouthed televangelist pontificate about how we need a nuclear holocaust in the Middle East so that God will send Jesus back to pluck the saved ones up to Heaven. "I'm not about to send Jesus back under those circumstances and if I did I would certainly leave behind most of those ignorant hypocrites," he said.
Sorry for the digression. In any event, I knew that the basket would turn up somewhere and God and I could have a good laugh together. When I got back to the jeep I half expected it to be there. No basket. When I arrived at the house, I looked in the back of the jeep where I had searched twice before, and there it was!!! I burst out laughing. I shook my finger at the heavens and jokingly scolded God for playing tricks on me. God smiled.
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