Peeking at the Moon … June 9, 2012

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A small motel room–so tiny that the bed is jammed up against the outer wall.

Saturday night … I always find it difficult to sleep on Saturday night. After all these years, I believe I am still the little boy who dreamed of traveling and sharing his message, and I still become giddy in my spirit over the notion that I actually get to do it. I never get tired of it. Sometimes, though, it causes my internal childhood giggle to wake me up from sleep, to play. I don’t want to play. It’s time to slumber and get my much-needed rest.

But the little fellow won’t leave me alone. So after a few minutes, I stop resisting the inevitable and allow my mind to wander. At first the room is dark around me, and gradually lightens as my eyes adjust to the surroundings.

Memories of other sleepless nights … I recall writing a novel and for four straight evenings I woke up at exactly 3:33 A.M. It was cool and spooky, all at the same time. Am I crazy? I think we need cool and spooky. Otherwise, we start believing our lives are the sub-total of our debt and intake.

All at once I noticed the curtain dangling down the window, right at my fingertips. It was one of those thick motel types, made of some polyester and plastic blend–the fumes would certainly kill you if it ever caught on fire. Absent-mindedly, I reached over to pull back the curtain and looked out.

Full Moon view from earth In Belgium (Hamois)....

Full Moon view from earth In Belgium (Hamois). Français : Pleine Lune vue de la Terre en Belgique à Hamois. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And there it was. The moon–surrounded by a great corona of haze–not high in the sky, but directly at my eye level. It surprised me so much that I chuckled. What was the moon doing so low? It looked like it was about fourteen inches from my nose. For some reason it had a Christmas appearance to it–like viewing a Christmas tree and its lights through a frosty window pane. It gave me a chill down to my soul. It was so special.

I don’t know why it struck me with such an intense emotion–but it was so close, so low in the sky–as if it were perched there waiting for me to pull back the veil and gaze. Yes, I am one of those odd birds who believes there are natural phenomenon that happen just for my pleasure. I guess it’s a strange mingling of vanity, faith, hope and childishness. But whatever it is, it’s magnificent.

If you will allow me, it’s like a great game of pretend. When we become grown-ups, we think that the word “pretend” is an immature or even nasty concept. But not so when we’re young.

My Aunt Mary used to come over every Sunday afternoon to visit, and we’d have some sort of meal spread out and she continually brought Brussel sprouts. I was told that I must try Aunt Mary’s Brussel sprouts, so I did. It crossed my mind to tuck them in my pocket or dump them in a nearby waste basket, but I was twelve years old, and by that age you pretty well know when you can get by with things and when you are destined to get caught. So I sampled her Brussel sprouts. I pretended to eat them, though what I actually did was chew a couple of times and then swallow them whole with a big gulp of cold water.

Aunt Mary asked me if I liked her Brussel sprouts, and then she smirked at me and said, “You didn’t try them, did you?”

“Yes, I did,” I replied. “But they were kind of hard … and bitter.”

My mother looked at me, angry. But Aunt Mary just nodded her head and walked away. The next Sunday she showed up with Brussel sprouts again, so I grabbed my cup of ice water and headed off to the table to get my portion of nastiness. But they looked different — the Brussel sprouts, that is. They weren’t as green and they had some sort of sauce on them. It was butter. They were softer, and with the butter, they tasted sweet. I actually liked them. I didn’t need my ice-cold water to swallow them whole–I was able to chew them up.

I glanced over at my Aunt Mary and she gave me a sheepish grin. I smiled back. That day I learned to kind of like Aunt Mary AND Brussel sprouts, and I also learned the power of honestly pretending.

Without pretending, we begin to believe that we can decipher this whole puzzle of life just with the pieces provided. And without honesty, we quickly become deceivers and liars, trying to escape the anger and nastiness of the scrutiny around us. It’s when you blend them.

Because when I was peeking at the moon, enjoying my own personal lunar expedition, I realized that the moon was probably there for everybody, but there was no power in my believing that. There was no exhilaration in my soul if some scientist walked into the room and explained the reason for my close encounter with that face in the sky.

Intelligence is a wonderful thing–until it stands in the way of joy. Then it becomes like your grandma at Chuck E. Cheese, who constantly complains about how loud it is, while noting that the salad bar is only “passable.”

I eventually did go back to sleep — I think. But I always enjoy those moments when I am awakened from the world of sleep to spend a few moments with myself and my desires. What is the greatest atrocity in life? To be absent of any evidence to confirm your dreams.

The moon was waiting for me that night. I believe that. Why? Because it doesn’t do me any good in my life to explain away all the blessings as coincidence.

Maybe we’ve found the definition for faith–to honestly pretend–to dare to continue to pursue a child’s dreams while offering a man’s feelings. I can do that; I can really do that.

I’m looking forward to the next time I’m awakened. Maybe it will be a clock with excellent timing–or a curtain that unveils the moon. I don’t know. But it will give me a chance to honestly pretend, which is the only true reason to continue on.

   

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hadn’t thought of ‘pretend’ in ages! It’s kind of like reading a good book — takes your mind to unknown places. Thanks for the thoughts!

    Like

  2. Good morning, Jonathon!
    What a blessing this post was for me today. As I grow older I become more and more aware of the fact that logic doesn’t even come close to living in the Spirit which resides in us.
    Thank you again for today’s post. They are all wonderful, but this one . . . well . . . very special!
    Charles
    Crossroads UMC, Grand Junction, CO

    Like


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