Friday, May 19, 2006

DaRandi Code

Brace yourselves. I know something you don't know. It is so disturbing, so cage rattling, so outside the norm that no one, no where, at no time has ever thought of what I know. I would tell you this mysterious, conspiracy laced riddle but then you would be in grave danger, just as I am for knowing this, this, this "thing". OK. Never mind. What's the fun of having special knowledge if you can't use it to be pompous and rich.

I have chosen to call this the "DaRandi Code". I came up with that title all by myself. I am brilliant. What I know will change everything you have come to believe about all human history, life on planet earth and the recipe for Rice Krispy Bars. Please, control your emotional response. I know this is unsettling. I know that some of you are actually losing bladder control even as you are reading this. Please, just quietly slip out of the room and take care of your personal hygiene needs and come back to this blog when you feel that you are capable of some self control.

This special knowledge came to me in an ancient, centuries old bowling alley in Kenosha, Wisconsin. I was leading a archaeological dig through a burial mound of discarded rental shoes. If you have never done a dig of that nature, it is almost impossible for me to adequately describe the stench that boils up into your nostrils. It is a combination of aerosol disinfectant and moldy foot odor. The air was also thick with second hand smoke and cheap beer breath. One member of my team was overcome by the noxious fumes and had to be air-lifted to an area hospital.

About the time I was going to call off the dig for the night, my helmet mounted light came across something tangled in the shoelaces that was not red, green, tan or gold (which for the novice reading this is the natural color of the "bowlicus renticus shoeicus"...please pardon the technical reference). Carefully, gently, tenderly I pulled the papyrus like material out of the mound, my hands trembling. The images that jumped off the page and into my optical nerves threw my mind and body into a state of complete ecstacy. The kind of "Price is Right" swoon when you hear your name spoken with that announcer man tone, and the mystical phrase, "Come on down".

It was a ketshup/mustard stained, scoring scroll. Among the typical X's and /'s for strikes and spares with the occasional -'s for open frames, an amazing figure appeared on the page. An untrained eye would have missed it, but the brimming genius of my large brain did not overlook this exception to the rule. There it was, immediately following what the ancients once refered to as a "turkey" (3 strikes in a row, for those of you who are not as smart as me). The nearest key stroke I can find on the computer keyboard that resembles this sign is "~" (quotes not included). Again, for emphasis, what I saw was XXX and ~. Not a dash (-), but a ~. Do you know what this means?

It means that 300 is not a perfect game. It means that someone, somewhere has scored, or has the possibility of scoring......a 301. All these years, all those league nights of striving for the "pocket" of the pins, all those gutter balls, all the demonic 7 - 10 splits and all this time, a "~" was available to us!!! We've been lied to by the venerable Bowling Associations of America. Their hierarchy has kept this from us, their high priests who hide behind the "machinery" that places the pins have been secretly laughing at our vain attempts to roll the perfect 300.

Since that fateful day of discovery till now, my life is in danger. The only comfort I have, my only solace, is for you to immediately bring me lots and lots of money. Not hundreds, not thousands, but only millions of dollars will protect me. Trust me. I know. You must go to your banks, cash out your checking and savings accounts and bring the cold hard American dollars to my home today. I don't know how long I have before the large bellied men with obvious comb-over hair do's find me and drag me behind those mechanical altars from which gutter balls never return.

Please. I am begging you. Do not spend your money this weekend or any other time, for that matter, at some movie which is mocking my discovery. Their thinly veiled attempt of plagiarizing my works with their "DaVinci Code" is sickening. I alone must have your money. It is my only hope. Those of you who know me, know that I sign off all of my e-mails in the following manner; ~prd~. Notice the symbol "~". It is the sign of my discovery, the hieroglyphic image of this mystery, the reminder for you to go NOW to your bank and get all your money and give it to me. It is the only way.

You will never again be able to hear the sound of all ten pins crashing against each other without knowing that the ~ is out there. It mocks you because now you know, that all your heretofore cherished notions about bowling, are false. Quickly now. I need money. And somebody, please tell Tom Hanks he should have done "Forest Gump II" instead.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

I Love You

I could write the book, "The Idiot's Guide for Coming To Christ". No choir singing, "Just As I Am" and no counselors waiting with plastic smiles and clever gospel tracts in hand. No heads were bowed, no eyes were closed, no seeker sensitive "bait and switch" set-up to lure me in. I hated church, I hated Christians and I hated their thinly veiled attempts to witness to me. I hated my mom and dad's new "faith". I hated life and I especially hated me. Hate; pure, raw, real.

Just as I was? I was just between drinking binges at 16. Too cowardly to shoot myself or slice my wrists. But not too cowardly to drive my dad's Cadillac up a hill at 100 miles an hour on the wrong side of the road just to hear my car load of friends scream for mercy and curse me. I will always wonder who it was I almost killed at the top of that hill. I took the left hand ditch at the last moment.

The beginning of the end came one night when, in the grey cloud of my misery, I was running my head into the walls of my bedroom. Not in the figurative manner of speaking; literally ramming my skull as hard as I could into the walls hoping to cause an injury bad enough to kill me. (People close to me now say that explains some things about me 37 years later). My insanity was based in the lie I believed and was speaking out between thumps on the wall, "Nobody loves me". I fell asleep, or to be more accurate, slipped into unconsciousness that night, sobbing those words into my pillow.

I think it was the next day, an old German man from a church my parents were attending came to the house. He parked his old Volvo a block away (because he knew I knew his car and would not come home if I saw it parked in our driveway). He sat and waited patiently for me to come home that night because he told my mother he had a dream about me the night before. He didn't tell her what it was. When I walked in the door and saw him sitting in my house, I cursed under my breath....

With a thick German accent he said, "Sit down." Honestly, my knees buckled and I sat. He choked with emotion and continued, "I had a dream about you last night. I saw you crying and saying, 'Nobody loves me'. And God told me to come here tonight and tell you that He loves you and I love you."

I have spent my life from that moment till this running toward and leaping into the Arms of that God. The rest of the events of that night belong to another blog at another time, but all of the above was written to lead to this moment for everyone reading this right now. Gather yourself for a moment of clarity and focus and drink these last words into your soul.....

God says to you right now, in this crease of eternity; "My child, I love you." He told me to tell you that. Yes He did. Whoever you are. Whenever you read this. God is looking back at you through this computer monitor and speaking those Words into your reality. A century ago the words, "born again" were not used to describe being "saved". In his book, "The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus", Brennan Manning says, "A century the deep south.... the words used to describe the breakthrough into a personal relationship with Jesus were, 'I was seized by the power of a great affection.'"

I am being obedient to a heavenly vision to use this venue to say we all need to be seized again and again for the restoration of an authentic life and faith. In too many ways, Christianity today has become a system, a "thing" and it does not seize lives as it could and should. That could change, even in this very moment.......there it is..........can you hear it? His Voice..........