The Third Story… August 30, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1991)

Story One

constructionI was driving along in Grand Rapids in my 1997 Toyota Tercel, late to pick up my wife from her shift at the Meijer Grocery Store. As often happens when one is running late, I looked ahead and they had closed off one lane, the road diminishing to one passageway, with traffic backing up. The last thing I needed was to be late again. Last week I had arrived tardy to pick up my lady, and she told me how frustrating it was to sit at the picnic table outside the store waiting for my arrival after a long shift, with her friends asking her if everything was okay. I did not want to be a jerk again.

As I neared the closing of the lane, I looked up and suddenly a big, black van pulled out in front of me, causing me to slow up my progress. I even had to brake. The person in the van needed to realize that his vehicle required more clearance, so I pulled into the next lane, even though I had only 100 feet before it closed. He speeded up so I was side by side with him, and I had to cut him off because he wouldn’t let me take my place.

When the road widened about two lights later, the driver in the big, black van–a  fat, bald guy–wouldn’t even look over at me, apologize or acknowledge his mistake. It really pissed me off.

I arrived five minutes late and explained to my wife that I had been delayed by a stupid dude with Florida tags who thought he owned the road.

Story Two

Stopping in to pick up some groceries at Aldi, Janet and I were heading out of the parking lot towards our headquarters and home when I noticed there was a sufficient space to pull onto the road in front of a Toyota Tercel. I realized that he might have to slow up a bit for my entrance, considering how large the van is, but thought he might not mind since the second lane was closing, and all traffic was having to adjust accordingly.

I acquired my place in the flow of traffic and was surprised to notice that the Toyota had come up beside me, even though there was no remaining lane. I didn’t know whether to slow down to let him in, or speed up to try to get him to go behind me. Because I delayed my decision, when the lane closed he swerved in front of me, barely missing my front bumper. I slid off the berm to miss him.

When I arrived, two lights later, past the construction, and was about to turn, I saw that he had pulled up next to me. Not wanting any confrontation with a local, I looked straight ahead and turned right.

I didn’t give it much more thought–but it did seem a little bizarre.

Story Three

When a big, black van is about to enter a flow of traffic that is closing down to one lane, the driver needs to know that like it or not, he probably should make eye contact with the next car to see if it will let him in. Whether he sees a space is  immaterial. And local people driving Toyota Tercels should realize they represent their community and offer a little graciousness, even if it means they might be forty-two seconds later to pick up their wife at work.

Evaluating your own character by choosing one minute of convenience over mercy is not necessarily a very good trade-off. And pulling a very large van out in front of a Toyota Tercel whose driver had not motioned to give permission for such an adventure is certainly failing to recognize the right of passage.

You see, this is life. As long as we have our own story and those who confront us have their story, and no one discovers the third story, we are constantly at each other’s throats, believing the worst.

May I learn and know … we just can’t afford the unnecessary conflict.

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Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about personal appearances or scheduling an event

Three Freaks… August 29, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1990)

bearded ladySlipping out of the encampment of the sleeping carnival crew, three freaks make their way down the hill, into the unsuspecting village of the townsfolk beneath.

They mean no good.

They are mischievous, self-motivated, bizarre and willing to do whatever is necessary to usurp their opinions, feelings and antics.

The same “attack of the freaks” is being paralleled in America.

We have released three freaks onto our families and children under the guise of pseudo-intellectualism and open-mindedness–or maybe because we want to come across as always being in the flow.

I don’t know about the motivation. But the three freaks are wreaking havoc on the spirit that has made America great.

1. Self-esteem. You can tell people who lack ability, motivation and talent that they are good, but you can never make them better by your words. Confidence is awarded to those who cross the finish line.

2. Getting even. Although we insist we are a Christian nation, we tout the Middle-eastern philosophy of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth“–a belief system, by the way, which has proven to produce nothing but wars. Here is a piece of gold: the best way to overcome mistreatment is to leave it behind and refuse to take revenge.

3. Stressed out. Somehow or another, the criterion for being an adult is having a countenance wracked with worry and fear. History disagrees. All the great men and women of the past learned very quickly that stress is where success begins. Without a need, there is no creativity.

These three freaks who have escaped from the “carnival of errors” will continue to plague us with their pranks until we take them back to where they belong and view them from either afar or when we’re in a mood to think about foolishness.

Let me give you three freak-killers:

1. Work for joy and self-satisfaction, not praise.

2. Forgiveness heals the mess.

3. No blessing without testing.

You put those three concepts to work and see if your self-esteem doesn’t naturally grow, your sense of justice and fairness is not appeased and your productivity does not tolerate a few minutes of feeling crunched.

Beware the freaks. They do not mean you any good whatsoever. They are trying to bring the philosophy of the carnival to the simplicity of life.

 .

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about personal appearances or scheduling an event

Bob and Rita… April 7, 2013

(1,844)

I invited Bob and Rita to lunch. They did not know each other and probably would never have met without my invitation. For you see, Rita was an atheist and Bob was a believer.

Matter of fact, we had hardly gotten through ordering our Coca-colas and picking up the menus before Bob was trying to talk about God and Rita was prepared to do battle over His nonexistence.

Both of them became perturbed with me because I had set up this bizarre luncheon. They asked me why I put together such an event when I knew that Bob was a believer and Rita wasn’t. I explained to them that I felt they had more in common than they thought. That perplexed them.

I shared that even though Bob was a believer and very religious, and Rita was an atheist and very anti-religion, they both seemed to have achieved the same level of misery–and since I had heard somewhere along the line that misery loves company, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to put together these two friends over a grilled cheese and chicken noodle soup.

They didn’t think I was funny. Both of them denied that they were miserable, so I asked them why they impersonated the condition. Bob explained that the world was a sad place, filled with lost people and that if Jesus didn’t return to earth soon, we were all going to destroy one another and the devil was going to claim millions of souls.

Rita cited that the world was a dangerous place because of religious people who were out to espouse their doctrines, using violence if necessary, and that we all would be better off if there was no God and we just got along the best we could with who we were.

I listened to them for about half an hour, and finally picked up the check and headed to the counter to pay the bill, thanking them for an insightful experience. They disagreed.

I walked out that day knowing this:

I want to have enough Rita in me that I don’t fall victim to religious fanatics who want to preach a God who really hates people so that they can act out their vengeance through His book.

And I want to have enough Bob in me that I know there really is a God–He just isn’t locked up in a sanctuary somewhere.

I smiled and thought to myself, That really is what it means to be a good human being. Just enough Rita in you to refuse to blame God for all the problems, but instead, try to do your part. And just enough Bob that you know you don’t have to do it alone, feeling left out, rejected and wondering if anything at all has meaning.

I’m sure both Bob and Rita would be very disappointed with my conclusion, but unlike Bob and Rita, my conclusion makes me happy.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

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