Friday, June 14, 2019

Divine Intervention

Yesterday was one of those days that, when you look back and do a rerun, you ask, “What just happened?”

It went like this:

My husband and I have an ongoing private joke about me refusing to update to a newer model car because I don’t want to give up my ‘real’ key. I’ve proclaimed I would drive my 2011 Tucson until the wheels fall off. Not because I am opposed to new technology but because I just hate giving up what works well in exchange for something more complex, more expensive, and demanding. New for the sake of being new.

More importantly, I don’t like being owned by my things and I fight tooth and toenail to prevent that modern reality from taking over my life.

So, yesterday morning, as hubby was leaving for work, he, knowing that I was taking my car in for service, said, “Hope you get the color you want.” Ha ha ha.

When I took my car in, my only intention was to get it checked over, oil changed and tires rotated. I brought my computer to do some work on a project I’m wrapping up. When I had nothing left to do I closed my computer and people watched. Salesmen roaming about looking for potential buyers, potential buyers looking at models on the sales floor, repair techs explaining to waiting customers what their cars needed.

All the while, I kept having a running conversation with God about whether or not I should actually upgrade. One of my last thoughts before things started to change was, “Thank You, Lord, that I have a good reliable car and that I don’t need to get a new one.”  I also, still not sure what I should consider doing or not doing, said, “I will sit here and if no one comes up to me, I will go home in my trusty all paid for car.”

Then the strangest thing happened. I opened my computer and went to the website of the dealership I was sitting in. I opened the page of New Inventory. I scrolled down. Among the usual blacks, whites, silvers, one red, one blue, there was one bronze. 

Now here’s where it gets good.

Just as I was looking at the Tucson on my computer, a salesman walked by and for a split second we locked eyes. For some reason I cannot explain, I crooked my finger to invite him over. He came up, I turned my computer and showed him the car I was looking at.

You can guess the rest of the story, except maybe not this part:

During the inevitable time it took to process the paperwork, my salesman, Lou, and I had some interesting conversations. Among them, and most importantly, we talked about the reality of Divine Intervention and how it shows up when you least expect it but you always know that is what it was.

And then, just to make it more phenomenal, while sitting with the finance manager, he and I also connected spiritually, in the way you don’t usually risk taking nowadays. He got it. At the end, papers all signed, Lou coming to do the technical handoff, the three of us stood in his office and understood with very few words that this was a moment of Divine Intervention and not one of us knew why or how far reaching it was. It just was and that’s all we needed to know. The possibilities are endless.

I don’t understand for what or why this came about but I do know that it was not about me getting a new or better car. I thanked God for what I had and He accepted that genuine gratitude and then set things in motion for His reasons.

While we think we are all in control, we set our minds on this thing, this way, or that, all we really have to do is be open vessels, and, as my son once said, get out of our own way, and then we get to experience the exquisite joy of not just being in His will but, as Oswald Chambers proclaimed - we get to BE His will.

I’m all good with that. Even though now I have the dreaded electronic key, I won’t complain because I know there is a really good reason. 

For Him,

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Save The Bees, or something

Hard to believe but in spite of all the years I avoided being sucked into the Facebook vortex, I have been a sorta-kinda Facebook stooge for more than two years now. Admittedly I still struggle with the finer mechanics and often do not fully understand how it all works, or is supposed to. Like? Love? Comment? Don’t comment? Are relationships/friendships dependent on whether you respond or don’t? 

One thing I do understand very well, though, because I am nothing if not discerning, I see that Facebook is like a traveling carnival. Bedecked with artificial sparkle and dazzle even as it is fraught with deceitful and cunning carnies. Lots of fraud going on in the Facebook world. Well done ads by scam artists are more common than real ads. It’s a jungle in there.

The worst of the lot, though, are those that prey on current memes or the natural human compulsion to want to rally to a good cause. Unfortunately, these are those who are the easiest marks.

In this high speed, high tech, digital world, we are now so easily manipulated with good sounding words that are fortified with slick graphics. We have lost the ability to ask the simplest questions. Who? What? Where? Why? Show me the proof first. How much of my donation actually goes to the cause? Who runs the ‘cause’? How does my purchase do ANYTHING to help the cause? Why do you claim you’ve been selling this product for a year when your website was only launched a month ago? 

Easy questions really. But instead of asking these, we jump in, we buy, we donate, we share the links so others can climb on board. 

But because I am fine-tuned to see underneath the glitter, I can’t help but ask questions first, even at the risk of being judged a curmudgeon. 

Classic example - there’s a new rally call, at least in the things that pop up in my Facebook whatchamacallit. It’s all about ‘SAVING THE BEES’. New products are being offered, jewelry shaped like little bees, stickers to proclaim your concern, car tags, etc. And, of course, replete with promises that portions of the sale of these charming items go to ‘save the bees’.

Ah but, call me crazy, I’d like to know what that means, exactly. How do we save the bees? Frankly, I’ve been following the world-wide decline in bee population for a decade. I’ve read in depth reports on this growing problem. The big question is: how do we begin to save the bees if we won’t admit what’s really killing them? I have my opinion, based on my research, and, if true, no amount of donations, or products manufactured and sold, no organized efforts on a Facebook post will fix this problem - the problem is real, even as the solution is real. But unless and until the hard questions are asked and addressed, I fear never the twain shall meet. 

And so it goes in Carnie World. We easily see the glamour but not the ugly truth backstage.

Awhile back I read an eye-opening article in Scientific American about who/what launched the ‘Don’t Be a Literbug” campaign in the early 80s. Wanna guess? If you think it was concerned citizens/municipalities you would be wrong. A cartel of manufacturers of products packaged in plastic (think CocaCola) decided it was time to shift the growing problem of throwaway trash from those who make the throwaways to those who use them. In other words, by creating the meme (stream of consciousness) of being responsible for putting disposable trash where it belongs, in a trash bin, ultimately the onus of responsibility for the rise in world trash was on the consumer, not the manufacturer. 

Clever, hun?  Carnies are, after all, good at mental games.

So, curious/skeptical me, here I am pondering questions, like, how can we save the bees with campaigns on social media if we aren’t willing to call out who/what is the real cause for their decline? You see, at the bottom of it all is about money. If we truly wanted to stop the growing trash crisis or save our bees, we would have to change some very large industries that contribute billions to the economy. 

Since that’s not likely to happen, instead, we rally on Facebook and buy stuff and make donations to vaguely named organizations and then feel all good about ourselves for having done our part. 

Oh well. 

For Him,