Just a Show Before We Go… October 1, 2012

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As Neil Sedaka once phrased it, Waking up is hard to do.” (I might be mistaken on that. It could be ‘breaking,” “making,” “shaking,” or even  “raking” up.) Actually, waking up in the morning is one of those things we should get better and better at as we get older.

After all, no one wakes up worse than a baby. Even though some of us more mature individuals may want to open our eyes and scream into the surrounding room, pleading for nourishment and maybe even a change of our diaper, we refrain.

We certainly should learn how to wake up better than an adolescent. Once children reach about the age of thirteen, they become frightened to death to go to sleep and then think that “noonish” is the beginning of the day.

Actually, I rather enjoy waking up–as long as I’ve shed all fantasy about how life works and have ceased to insist that I somehow manipulate circumstances to my advantage.

Today I am waking up in Kent, Ohio, and heading off to Conneaut–about a two-hour drive–to do a show which will also double as a filming, to make a video of our presentation for those individuals who would like to purchase it because they want to share it with friends or just want to go home to try to figure out what they just saw.

The only thing I am certain of is my abiding security in uncertainty. Even though I greatly believe there’s a God in heaven, I do understand that for scientific and realistic reasons He has put a natural order into effect in the daily affairs of this planet’s activities.

We call this force Mother Nature It is mis-named. It would be better refered to as “Teenage Boy Nature.” Because the system that maintains our life has the temperament of a sixteen-year-old kid with raging hormones, inexhaustible energy, an unwillingness to do chores upon request and a sluggishness in getting started.

I had to reflect last night when I watched the fine folks in Texas with their present raining and flooding. I was down there for the past two years and the main subject of conversation was drought. You would have sworn by listening to the populace that there was a complete imbalance in the world and that “something needed to be done” or all the water supplies would dry up. Now they’re trying to figure out how to escape from the moisture.

You see what I mean? The natural order is a sixteen-year-old boy, who never does anything in moderation. If we would just learn the process, we would be so much happier. During times of excess rain, build dams and store up. When you have a good week financially, don’t assume that next week is going to be the same. Balance out what comes your way, be it good or bad. The only thing that is really certain is that whatever it is, more than likely, to our taste, it will seem extreme.

It is obvious to anyone who has lived that the earth makes drastic adjustments. May I point out once again–they are drastic by OUR standards. As far as we know, the earth has survived an ice age or two, heat waves, droughts, floods, typhoons, hurricanes and forest fires–long before man was here to worry about it OR try to find a way to manipulate it. That’s why I believe that our journey through our earth-bound time is going to be a roller coaster rather than a well-planned picnic in the park.

So what do I know waking up today on my way to Conneaut, Ohio? I have plugged as many holes as possible, planned carefully and now am going to hang on tight to my seat in the van–and be prepared.

Here’s a little formula that will help you understand life. When the wheels get rolling, just remember:

  • you’re going to get little of what you want
  • some of what you need
  • but much of what is available.

So if you find yourself walking outside to view overcast skies and your way of handling that particular surprise is to bow your head in prayer and ask for sunbeams, you probably will end up very miserable during your lifespan.

But if you can walk out and see overcast skies and either grab an umbrella or step back inside and conclude that it’s a wonderful day for paperwork with soup and grilled cheese, you will probably greatly enjoy the spontaneity around you.

It’s all in how you determine to wake up.

I am waking up to deal with the adolescence of nature, trying to bring my understanding that what becomes available to me in huge chunks on this lovely day will be my lot. I will tell you what happens in tomorrow’s column. There is one thing for sure, as I told you earlier. It undoubtedly will be little of what I want, some of what I need and much of what ends up being available.

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

It May Not be Heaven, but … February 3, 2012

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Waking up in the morning is a daily reenactment of resurrection, minus the needful suffocation.  Blink, blink, achy, achy, please let me roll over–can’t do it, sit up, feet on the floor … life commences. Again.
 
It may not be heaven, but it sure is heavenly.
 
Twenty ounces of water. It is astounding what this liquid treasure can do for our bodies–for truthfully, we don’t arise in the morning hungry, but rather, thirsty. We are nearly depleted of all fluids, or at least down a quart or two, and just pouring that refreshment into our vessel does more to wake us up than any television show or music on the radio ever could.
 
It may not be heaven, but it sure goes down heavenly.
 
Hot water pelting my skin, trying to stimulate me to grab the bar of soap and join in the party, sudsing myself while water pours from the wall, cleansing every nook and cranny.
 
It may not be heaven, but it sure showers heavenly.
 
Food–what a glorious notion. Some days it’s a bowl of cereal with bananas and strawberries; every once in a while, an egg white omelet. I also eat these bran crisp crackers with fat-free cream cheese and sugar-free jelly, which literally tickle my innards and provide a moving experience. Add yourself a half of a grapefruit and…
 
It may not be heaven, but it sure tastes heavenly.
 
An incomprehensible blessing–being able to sit down every morning and write an essay read by thousands of people, and also personal emails sent to friends and family, which you hope will at least be adequately perused. Pithy is not nearly as important as real.
 
It may not be heaven, but it sure feels heavenly.
 
Getting up on my feet, limping a bit through the creaks of sixty years on well-traveled hooves, I head out the door to run errands. Isn’t it magnificent that as long as you have a dab of money in your pocket and a notion of what you want, and neither of those exceed or underestimate one another, you can purchase things that make your day a little bit better? And of course–don’t forget to mail that letter.
 
It may not be heaven, but it sure runs heavenly.
 
Time to get an oil change in that big, black van. In the process I meet two young, giggling gents who are excited about the upcoming big game on Sunday. They have their favorites, so I tease them by pretending that their choices are crazed or foolish. We laugh. It’s over very quickly … and to punctuate the enjoyment, I give my new buddies a little extra money to bless themselves. They are so appreciative that the blessing returns to me.
 
It may not be heaven, but it sure embraces heavenly.
 
I make a stop in the park to read the Gospel of Mark, never actually knowing that it would rhyme. I’m reading it to afford myself fresh eyes to capture the emotion, passion and message of this first gospel to see what young John Mark was trying to tell us about his friend. Sweet journey.
 
It may not be heaven, but it sure reads heavenly.
 
With all the mystery of  a fairy tale and the magic of a Nazarene miracle, suddenly appearing at the window of my van is a passerby who tells me of his plight–a flat tire with no funds. He pleads for finance, informing me that he’s already been rejected by four people, one apparently doing so by referring to him as a “nigger.” He says that everybody seems scared of him. Fresh from my bathing in the waters of Mark, I look him in the eye and say, “I’m not scared.” It was fascinating. My lack of fear seemed to frighten him a bit. I did not attempt to determine the veracity of his story–I did not care. Giving is not about the integrity of the receiver, but rather, the heart of the provider. I submitted the funds for his need and he began to make promises to me on how he would repay. I stopped him. “Don’t,” I said. “Just find a way to give to someone else.”  He shook my hand and disappeared.
 
It may not be heaven, but it sure is “angels unaware” heavenly.
 
A stop off at the Sonic Drive-In to get a corn dog and onion rings before returning to my traveling companion for luncheon. Wow.
 
It may not be heaven, but it sure drives in heavenly.
 
I watched an episode about the Ponderosa as I munched on my onion rings. For a moment I was a little boy sitting in front of our Zenith black and white set, six inches away from the screen, constantly being hounded by my mother for my proximity to the potentially dangerous box. Hoss, Little Joe, Pa and Adam … still work.
 
It may not be heaven, but it sure is a “Bonanza” of the heavenly.
 
I steal myself a nap, even though it’s completely my choice, and I arise to do some exercise, which I pretend is of my own volition. I eat some chicken with vegetables and half a sweet potato as I settle into the evening, allowing the satisfaction of the day to produce giddiness, which eventually, amazingly, lends itself to sleepiness. The day is over.
 
It may not be heaven, but it sure has become heavenly.
 
I have studied things of God and life for my entire journey. Having done so, I am no more assured of eternity than I was the first day someone mentioned the word “heaven.” But my years of travel have taught me one important lesson–if there is a heaven, then there’s no reason to wait for it, when we’re completely capable of duplicating some of its beauty right here on earth. And if there isn’t a heaven, then we desperately need one, so we should make certain that every step on our journey has a supernal quality.
 
For verily I say unto you: religion is waiting for God.
 
Heaven is enjoying Him now.
 
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Jonathan wrote the gospel/blues anthem, Spent This Time, in 1985, in Guaymas, Mexico. Take a listen:

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To see books written by Jonathan, click the link below! You can peruse and order if you like!

http://www.janethan.com/tour_store.htm

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