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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Seeing God in your Rear View Mirror

Just read an article called "Seeing God in your Rear View Mirror", and it struck a cord for me. Because it's something that I've been thinking about lately...how when you look for "miracles", you can find them.

I first started thinking about this during Purim, when, for our Seudah, all the guests were asked to think of something funny to share with everyone. I didn't have anything too funny, and anyway, what I often think of as funny isn't everyone's taste.

But I did ask everyone to think of a "miracle" in their lives, that maybe they did or didn't recognize as a miracle at that time, but looking back on it, realize that it was something significant that shouldn't have happened by the laws of nature, but did.

Everyone there could think of something...from one person who talked about a miraculous save when he fell off a cliff, to someone else who was overwhelmed with a huge debt that he didn't see how he was going to repay, but out of nowhere, an old friend covered his debt.

At that time, I shared the recent story of how I was at my wits end with the behavior of one of my children who had spun completely out of control, and miraculously, a sibling was home at exactly the right moment, one who is rarely home, and was able to bring the situation to a point where we could go on.

But since then, I've been more aware than ever of "seeing God in my rear-view mirror", and almost weekly, I can point to situations that looked hopeless, or were worrying me, or for which I didn't know what to do, and due to something "happening", it turned out OK.

One such incident that I think of often is what happened this winter, when I was left alone to face a significant debt without the resources to cover it. Exactly at that point, for two months running, a mistake was made in my salary TO MY BENEFIT which allowed me to meet my expenses. After those two months, my employer's accountant realized the mistake, and the extra income was halted, but had I not had those few hundred extra shekels for those two months, I would have been panic-stricken.

Another example is the new challenge that I face of dealing with home and car repairs alone. I never learned anything about tools or using them, and now am at the mercy of local fix-it people. But I've been extremely fortunate to find people who are helpful, inexpensive, and competent, and who make my life immeasureably easier by their honesty. Recently, an elderly gentleman from the neighborhood drops by periodically to help me with whatever repairs I need -- he's bored, and does these things for free! I could never deal with so many tasks, along with work and child-care...as it is, I wake up at 6:00a.m. and get to sleep at 11:00p.m., and I'm running for all the hours in-between! But from out of nowhere, this gentleman dropped into my life and I have to keep thinking of new repairs and tasks to keep him happy!

For my part, I just try to keep in touch with God...to let him know that I do recognize that he's in my rear-view mirror, keeping an eye on me and my kids. I don't understand everything that he does in my life, but I have to remember that, just as I thankfully accept the things that seem fortunate to me at the time, I must accept the things that are difficult, and look for ways to turn them around into challenges that strengthen me.

Just recognizing this is the first step.

As for "funny" stuff...someone sent me the following today, and I laughed out loud...gotta share it.


Subject: English assignment
Here's a prime example of "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus"
offered by an English professor from the University of Phoenix:

>The professor told his class one day: "Today we will experiment with a
>new form called the tandem story. The process is simple. Each person will
>pair off with the person sitting to his or her immediate right. As homework
>tonight, one of you will write the first paragraph of a short story. You
>will e-mail your partner that paragraph and send another copy to me. The
>partner will read the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the
>story and send it back, also sending another copy to me. The first person
>will then add a third paragraph, and so on back-and-forth. Remember to
>re-read what has been written each time in order to keep the story
>coherent. There is be absolutely NO talking outside of the e-mails and
>anything you wish to say must be written in the e-mail. The story is over
>when both agree a conclusion has been reached."
>
>The following was actually turned in by two of his English students:
>Rebecca and Gary
>
>
> THE STORY:
>
> (first paragraph by Rebecca)
>
>At first, Laurie couldn't decide which kind of tea she wanted. The
>chamomile, which used to be her favorite for lazy evenings at home, now
>reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times, that he
>liked chamomile. But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep her mind off
>Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she thought about him too
>much her asthma started acting up again. So chamomile was out of the
>question.
>
>
> (second paragraph by Gary)
>
> Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack squadron
>now in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things to think about than
>the neuroses of an air-headed asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with whom he had
>spent one sweaty night over a year ago. "A.S. Harris to Geostation 17," he
>said into his transgalactic communicator. "Polar orbit established. No sign
>of resistance so far..." But before he could sign off a bluish particle
>beam flashed out of nowhere and blasted a hole through his ship's cargo
>bay! The jolt from the direct hit sent him flying out of his seat and
>across the cockpit.
>
>
> (Rebecca)
>
> He bumped his head and died almost immediately, but not before he felt
>one last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing the one woman who had
>ever had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped its pointless
>hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4. "Congress Passes Law
>Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel," Laurie read in her newspaper
>one morning. The news simultaneously excited her and bored her. She stared
>out the window, dreaming of her youth, when the days had passed unhurriedly
>and carefree, with no newspaper to read, no television to distract her from
>her sense of innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her. "Why
>must one lose one's innocence to become a woman?" she pondered wistfully.
>
>
> (Gary)
>
> Little did she know, but she had less than 10 seconds to live.
>Thousands of miles above the city, the Anu'udrian mothership launched the
>first of its lithium fusion missiles. The dim-witted wimpy peaceniks who
>pushed the Unilateral Aerospace disarmament Treaty through the congress had
>left Earth a defenseless target for the hostile alien empires who were
>determined to destroy the human race. Within two hours after the passage of
>the treaty the Anu'udrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough
>firepower to pulverize the entire planet. With no one to stop them, they
>swiftly initiated their diabolical plan. The lithium fusion missile
>entered the atmosphere unimpeded. The President, in his top-secret mobile
>submarine headquarters on the ocean floor off the coast of Guam, felt the
>inconceivably massive explosion, which vaporized poor, stupid, Laurie and
>85 million other Americans. The President slammed his fist on the
>conference table. "We can't allow this! I'm going to veto that treaty!
>Let's blow 'em out of the sky!"
>
>
>
> (Rebecca)
>
> This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My
>writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic semi-literate adolescent.
>
>
> (Gary)
>
> Yeah? Well, you're a self-centered tedious neurotic whose attempts at
>writing are the literary equivalent of Valium. "Oh, shall I have chamomile
>tea? Or shall I have some other sort of throat-gagging TEA for pete??™s
>sake??? Oh no, I'm just an air-headed bimbo who reads too many Danielle
>Steele novels!"
>
>
> (Rebecca)
>
> Idiot.
>
>
> (Gary)
>
> Bleeding Heart.
>
>
> (Rebecca)
>
> GET STUFFED! YOU NEANDERTHAL DIRT BAG!
>
>
>
>
> (Gary)
>
> GO DRINK SOME TEA! YOU DIM-WITTED LOSER!!!!
>
>
>
> (TEACHER)
>
>A+ -- I really liked this one.
>

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