֎ My wife and I noticed that we had a mouse in our garage because it had been getting into the bird food we store there. So, I retrieved our handy dandy mouse trap and placed a little dab of peanut butter on the trip and set the trap before we went to bed. Next morning, I go out to check the trap and the little fella is stone cold dead! I kinda hated to see that happen but knew it was a necessary thing to do. Fast forward two weeks and that little guy has been reincarnated, so out comes the trap, another dab of peanut butter was placed gingerly on it and the trap was put back in the same spot as before. The next morning the peanut butter was gone and so is that darn little mouse. I re-baited the trap and next morning I got the same results. My wife suggested maybe it needed a little oil, so out comes the WD40 and all the working parts get sprayed and wiped clean. On goes another dab of peanut butter, but this time another trap is added to my arsenal and both are strategically placed to insure success. We placed them there at nightfall and checked before we turned in for the night but they were still there, unmolested and tempting. The next morning the WD40 trap had been tripped, the peanut butter gone as well as the mouse. Trap #2 was still in position, cocked, but the bait was gone and the interloper was nowhere to be seen. The following night we placed a rather large piece of cheese on each trap, ramming the trigger deep into each piece and hoping Hopalong Cassidy, while tugging away, would release the trigger and be dead before the realization set in that he had not given this action a lot of thought. The next morning my wife jumped out of bed and headed straight for the garage to see if our efforts were successful. What she found was the WD40 trap had been sprung, but old Hopalong, somewhat dazed, was stumbling around near the trap, bleeding a little but still strong enough to try to make a run for the hills. She immediately grabbed a plastic bag, put on gloves and swooped him into the bag, tying it tightly, and placing him in our outside garbage pail. Shortly, he gave up the ghost and travelled to wherever mice go when their life ends.
Albert Camus summed up my thoughts, “The climax of every tragedy lies in the deafness of its heroes”. I think my wife is a hero!
֎ “In the transition from the Mesozoic (230 million to 65 million years ago) to the Cenozoic eras (around 65 million years ago) when the North American continent began to take shape, much of what we call the Eastern Seaboard was under water. No human beings existed then; it would be millions of years before any hominids evolved” …. Roy Scranton
I recently read the quote above in an article written by the author for the New York Times. It is difficult for me to grasp the concept of a million years, much less 65 million of them. Of course, it’s difficult for us Christians to accept a barren, desolate world. We are told in our Bible that God created the world in 6 days and rested on the 7th, probably from exhaustion. We are also told that God created man in his own image, consequently, the evolution of humans plays no role in our faith.
So, how do we faith-based humans square our beliefs with what science tells us actually happened? I will simplify my thoughts by saying that my son was always a Dallas Cowboys (NFL) fan, and I am a Washington Redskins fan. They play each other at least twice each season (Sept – Dec). Regardless of who won the game, I always considered myself a winner. I feel the same way about religion vs evolution. If God created our world and I follow his edicts, then I get a free pass into Heaven. If it turns out that our world evolved, then I have lost nothing, I have lived a worthy life, and I will leave behind a world better for me having lived in it. It is tempting to deny the existence of God because it obviates the need to follow his commandments. Even without being religious, following those rules make us better people, better citizens, and creates a much better society.
֎ I have often thought it would be nice to look back in time and watch Columbus start his trip to America (1495), watch the very first inauguration of George Washington (1789), then watch how my grandfather Hale celebrated his 10th birthday (1905), see my Mom & Dad get married (1940), observe the celebration of my 10th birthday (1951), watch the birth of my son and daughter and my three granddaughters. As I look back at significant things that happened in my life and my country’s, I realize there is much to be thankful for. By looking back and recognizing the significance of those events it allows me to better define who I am, how those events affected me and played a role in my core values. All of us are a product of things that happened before we were born and then those things that happened to us during the unique trail we followed in our own life. I often assume that my thoughts on current affairs and family situations are due in large part to my age. What I have failed to realize is that they are primarily a result of my history and the history of my country as I perceive it. I believe it too simplistic to assume that attitudes handed down from previous generations are, somehow, ignored by the following generations. How else do we explain the discriminations fostered on non-whites, women and foreigners? It takes many years to figure out the major characters and events in your life and how they have impacted you. Important ones may change, but major ones do not.
Some wise old codger once said, “You can get a lot of facts wrong if you get your story right”. Not the right attitude to have 😊.
֎ A few weeks ago, I was sitting in church on a Sunday morning, listening to the pastor tell us how Christ wanted us to stay in touch with each other. After he finished his sermon, he informed us that the offering plate would be passed twice, once for the church and again for the local food bank. On the first passing of the plates I made a contribution and noticed the fellow sitting in front of me and he shook his head as the usher approached, indicating he wasn’t donating. As the ushers approached with their plates for the second offering for the food bank, I again contributed, and as they neared the fellow in front of me, he opened his wallet and all he had in it was a $1 bill. Now, I don’t usually carry a lot of money on me, but I always have my credit card and I use it constantly. The fellow had not a single solitary sign of a credit card in his wallet. All he had was that $1. I watched his fingers reach for that $1, pause ever so briefly, then snatched it out quickly and placed it on the plate. I was dumbfounded! I had thought critically of him for not giving and now he had given, not the 10% that I gave, but 100% of what he had in his wallet. I left church that day a little depressed because of my actions. Simone Weil said, “We do not acquire humility. There is humility in us – only we humiliate ourselves”. Yup! I think the old guy is right.