Untotaled: Stepping 39 (March 23rd, 1967) The Gospel Brothers–Dreamy, Cute and Darling… November 8, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2407)

(Transcript)

If you live in Central Ohio, the month of March is a beacon of hope–not just of the arrival of spring, but the burgeoning reality that summer cannot be far behind. It makes everyone want to shed their parkas, remove their long underwear and run naked through the streets, clapping their hands to some great Woody Guthrie folk tune. (Well, maybe not that far, since we tend to be a stoic, bashful Germanic sort.)

The month of March was also the time when we had our annual youth rally, held at the Ohio State Fair Grounds, featuring an array of speakers no one remembered, seminars when we passed notes to each other, and venues when the young people could express themselves through music, which had to be gospel.

Last year our group was the hit of the conference. The guys were slapping us on the back and the girls were swooning. We felt we were studs, ready to conquer the world.

But this year, when the poster arrived advertising the event, there was a new music group on the slot, from Boardman, Ohio (up with the rich folks) who obviously were named Dreamy, Cute and Darling–since that’s what all the girls said as they lingered, drooling over their picture.

I thought they were ugly and obviously could not sing, since visually they did not exude any tonal quality.

Jealous, I decided to bad-mouth them, and found that the only allies I had were the other members of my group, who were equally as intimidated by the “beauties.”

Making matters worse, when we arrived at the conference, the three little dweebs were nice. Their rich daddy had just purchased them a Shure Vocal Master System, fresh off the assembly line, which they proudly reported was the twenty-fifth unit available. Only a few famous rock groups were ahead of them numerically.

They were so expansive that they allowed us to use their new PA system, explaining how it worked and encouraging us during rehearsal.

This did not keep me from hating them, and as hate often does when it links with jealousy, it wipes our mind clean of any thought and talent, making us look completely incapable of achieving what we originally were easily able to accomplish.

In other words, we stumbled all over ourselves trying to be better than people who were already better than us because they were nicer.

Yet unwilling to relent from our jealousy, we tried to gossip about them, garnering no audience other than the Grumblers Four.

I learned a lot at that conference.

And although they wanted me to learn about King David and his mighty sling against Goliath, what I learned was that jealousy makes you look small, resentment robs you of your talent, and gossip gives you an ever-shrinking market.

I retain that to this day.

The brothers never went on to pursue a musical career and I have. I assume they did continue to be handsome, and I continued to be … well, determined.

 

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You can’t punch people in the nose and expect to get Christmas cards … July 15, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1944)

armyI had another delightful day with human beings in Austin, Minnesota.

Candidly, what makes it delightful is the variety of experiences which floated my way. Actually, over the years I’ve learned there are three basic types of individuals:

1. The person who has the demeanor of “I’ve been marchin’ around for some time and my feet hurt.” They’re not mean, but it would take an awful lot of helium to fill their balloon and make ’em look like they were ready for a party.

2. This group carries the attitude: “I’ve been marchin’ around and I’m mad about the march, so get out of my way.” You can see, a little bit more negative energy.

3. And then, there’s the folks who have discovered that the life they’ve been given is the only one they’re going to get, so they have decided, “I’m gonna STOP marching, and just enjoy the walk.”

This was exemplified last night in a lovely woman who came to my book table with her family and related a story about being in the process of moving into a new house. She said that opportunities and surprising benefits had come their way to furnish that house without them having to struggle or worry. It was such a delightful tale because this family has discovered a key to life: God is not out to hurt anyone. Nor is He particularly out to help anyone.

Now, I know this causes many theologians to curl up in a ball and explode, but it’s the truth. If God is no respecter of persons, He can’t choose a handful and make them His pet project. Let’s just take a quick moment to look at what God has ALREADY done:

He has created human beings, of which I am one. That’s pretty remarkable, don’t you think? If He never did anything else but just THAT, He could call Himself God. But  He didn’t stop there. He blessed us with a beautiful planet, the pleasure of procreation and a kingdom of fruitfulness which is under our dominion, especially if we use it wisely. (Goll-eee, Dad. Thanks. You not only let me get my license, but you bought me a car!)

But He still wasn’t done. He made this earth explainable through science, technology, spirituality and wisdom, so much so that we can get a handle on how it works by whether the clouds roll in or the sun peeks through.

So what do we have so far?

We are created marvelously, blessed with gifts, and are handed a detailed road map.

And is this enough? No–we want to be favored. We want to have the burden of responsibility removed from our shoulders. We want God to relieve us of the need to function by surrounding us with a bubble of grace.

No wonder some people get grumpy and want to punch everybody in the nose. But it doesn’t win friends and influence people.

Life is not a race to heaven OR a march to hell.  It is an opportunity for us to slow up and enjoy ourselves, absorb the scenery … and relish our walk.

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

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