Untotaled: Stepping 52 (October 17th, 1969) Kentucky Woman… January 31, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2490)

(Transcript)

Even though I know that going to church is not a sign of spirituality, if you have lived a life of attending the sanctuary, to suddenly cease and desist can certainly be a sign of some emotional, or even spiritual, regression.

From the age of twelve through seventeen, I attended church three times a week. That sounds a little odd in our world today, but it seemed normal at the time.

In the fall of 1969, I lost interest in the venture. I went only once a week, and then only if there was going to be a youth group meeting to discuss the Saturday night coffee-house.

I fancied myself the leader of that project, even though I think I placed the crown on my own head. I was always there for the coffee-house. It gave me a chance to share, sing and perform.

Then one Saturday night I showed up and there were strangers present. They were from Lexington, Kentucky, and had come to conduct a youth revival, to instruct us in some of the fresh changes going on in the church world.

They were led by a girl named Bree. She had long, blond hair, wore hippie clothes, talked so softly that you had to be completely silent to hear her, strummed a guitar now and then, and loved to lift her hands up and “worship,” as she called it.

All the young people in our church loved her.

I hated her.

She was stealing my spotlight. And I use the word “hate” because I had not yet reached an age when I was able to dislike something. I either loved it or hated it. She got my hate vote.

She challenged my authority by daring to take attention away from me. She pissed me off because when I questioned her, she answered me sweetly. And the other kids were drawn to her because unlike me, she seemed to love them for who they were instead of bullying them into being something else.

The animosity was so great that even though they only stayed for a week, it became necessary for Bree, the pastor, a couple of elders and myself to have a “sit-down.”

I was looking forward to it because I was prepared to show these religious leaders how this “strange woman from Babylon” was coming in to teach the “young’uns” peculiar ways.

The meeting was a disaster–at least for me. Bree was so self-effacing and gentle that she won over the room.

Three days later, Bree and her friends climbed into a van and headed back to Kentucky. Before she left, she found an opportunity to have a private moment with me. I thought to myself, Oh, here it comes. Now we’re going to get her real personality.

She walked up, gave me a quick hug, looked into my eyes and said, “I love you, Jonathan. The Lord has revealed to me that you’re going to be a great man in the Kingdom.”

I couldn’t breathe.

I still find myself … breathless.

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Untotaled: Stepping 38 (Fall of 1967) Parallel Universe… November 1, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2399)

(Transcript)

1967.

Fall came. Fall fell.

It seemed to me that the autumn leaves, as they tumbled from the trees, were mocking me for my lack of purpose.

I was bored.

I was also infested by a scratchy discontentment–an itch. I wanted my driver’s license. I was so close.

Even more infuriating was that Jack, from my class, had gotten his license because he’d flunked the sixth grade and was older than the rest of us. Sporting his beat-up Chevy, he drove as a god among us. Suddenly a fellow that normally made the lasses of our class say “yuck” when he walked by was the center of attention from these fair young maidens. Everybody wanted to ride in Jack’s car.

It was aggravating to any young boy in Central Ohio with a shred of dignity and an overabundance of arrogance. That would be me.

I convinced my older brother to take me to a parking lot behind the high school on Sunday afternoons to practice driving, since we knew that the local cop was always at his church teaching the youth group during that time.

The terrifying part of the whole rehearsal was the spectre of having to pass the test on parallel parking. Some local citizen had placed two markers in the back lot by sticking a broomstick in a bucket of cement so that teenagers could put themselves through the paces of trying to place a two-and-a-half ton automobile into the tiny enclosure.

I think what frightened me the most was that I heard through the grapevine that you had to get your tires within six inches of the curb or you would fail. Who could do such a thing? This was a deed more suited for the gods of Chrysler.

But finally, since clocks do move forward, December 18th rolled around and I went to get my license.

As it turned out, I was the last prospect of the day for an instructor who was on his way home to Pennsylvania for Christmas. He was giddy, overjoyed and in a hurry.

The whole test took three-and-a-half minutes–and there was no parallel parking.

Being a stupid teenager, I asked him why we had skipped it. He looked at me, bewildered, like a man who had given a friend a thousand dollars and was wondering why his buddy was commenting on the wrinkles in the bills. He smiled, patted me on the shoulder and said, “Good luck, and drive safely. And Merry Christmas.”

I was a licensed driver. I, too, could be a god–even though it was going to be God Two in our school.

What did I learn during this experience? What lesson concerning worry and trepidation was passed on to me about how life is never what we think it’s going to be?

Well, since I have a tendency to adhere to an unnecessary parcel of negativity, what did I learn?

Not much.

 

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