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The Uber Ride

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Raoul’s 2 Cents

Ecclesiastes: The Meaning of Life

I could see the pain in Danny’s eyes. It’s been almost 10 years since the fatal accident that ended his teen daughter’s life. She was hit from the driver’s side as she was making a legal left turn by an oblivious driver.  The young lass carried Danny’s hopes and dreams. Danny recalled that he cursed God in the middle of the night. “Why did you allow this to happen? Don’t I deserve a little happiness in life? Where is justice?!”

I dug for words to comfort him but there was none. I remembered a wise man told me once that sometimes just being there to listen is all that is required. I wept with him in silence.

Later, during the same gathering, Gerry’s smile was restrained. He too had lost a loved one to yet another car accident just 2 months before his son’s college graduation. Unanswered questions still hovered in Gerry’s mind. He had served his church for years in missions around the world. Danny’s defiance contrasted Gerry’s resignation. Both were deep in their retrospection of the meaning of life. I had no answers. I too asked for understanding. Somehow the standard “God knows what He’s doing” explanation did not quite cut it.

The next day I was in church and we were studying King Solomon’s book of Ecclesiastes. If you are not familiar, it is the musings of the richest and the smartest man who ever lived. Solomon had it all — riches, wine, women, fame, conquests yet as he neared the end of his life, Solomon searched for a pattern in life that he could share to future generations. Nothing made sense — joy and calamity, like rain, falls on the good as well as the bad. “Vanity! All is vanity” he concluded, “… so fear God and obey his commandments, for this is the entire duty of man. For God will judge us for everything we do, including every hidden thing, good or bad.”

That’s when the answer hit me. Visualizing Danny cursing God with his fist in the air, it now made sense. Most of us got it all wrong … Solomon, the man of wisdom, got it all wrong (at least for most of his life) because he was focusing on the wrong thing. No wonder it didn’t make sense.

As we all chase our dreams … make plans, we step into minefields and our plans are interrupted or they shatter. Is it God’s fault for not following our plans?  Didn’t He like our plans? Weren’t they good plans? Godly plans? No, it isn’t about that.

There is a time to mourn and I realize it’s difficult to separate the pain when you are in the midst of it, but If we humble ourselves to the almighty loving God, the reality is: Life is HIS plan … it was never about us. HIS PLAN has and always WILL BE. Period! If OUR plans align with HIS, great! But if OUR PLANS do not, HIS PLAN will still go on according to schedule. Let that thought sink in.

Is there justice in your world? I think not. But the better question is: Are MY plans God’s plans? If we can accept this reality, it will be easier for us to accept life and all its uncertainties.

But this is just me.

TGIF people!

The Byrds

CLICK HERE for “Turn, Turn, Turn” by the Byrds — the 60s music based on the book of Ecclesiastes. Surprisingly written by Peter Seeger, a secular composer.

Joke of the Week

Thanks to Don of Kelowna, B.C. for sending this joke.

TGIF Joke of the Week: Uber Ride

Video of the Week

funny video

High School Reunion: Patsy Cline
Sent by Don of Kelowna, B.C.

Video was made at a high school graduation reunion, probably the 25th, 30th, or more. This woman is not a professional, but she sure is good at lip-synching to Patsy Cline! Undoubtedly she was the hit of the reunion!

WATCH VIDEO

Don’s Puns

From Don’s collection of puns

Don's Puns: Inflation

Something to Think About

Naomi of N Hollywood, CA

In memory of Doris Day. Interesting perspective of life.

Something to think about: Doris Day Perspective

Parting Shot

Thanks to Don of Kelowna, B.C. who shared this.

Parting Shot: Divorce Yard Sale

 

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11 Comments

  1. Heather

    May 29, 2019 at 9:24 am

    To everything, there is a season. A time to live and a time to die. It’s what goes in the middle that really counts.

    Reply

  2. Tom

    May 29, 2019 at 9:24 am

    Good one Raoul. Happy Memorial Day. And we have sure had a mighty Wet Year. Thanks be to God!

    Tom

    Reply

  3. John

    May 29, 2019 at 9:25 am

    Patsy Cline bit is hysterical!

    Reply

  4. Regie

    May 29, 2019 at 9:25 am

    Ty raoul.

    Reply

  5. Chuck

    May 29, 2019 at 9:28 am

    Hey Brother,

    Yes life isn’t fair or always funny! My wife and I were giving up our evening at the Board Meeting (But still entreating and doing something good for others) for O.P.I. = Organization for the Physically
    Impaired and after the meeting when we went the car, the front drivers side tire was almost flat – fortunately across the street there was a well-lighted Gas Station. I was able to drive over to it and pulled up to the Air machine, got out of the car and went to the office to request them to turn the Air on for me – free of course – a CA State requirement of all gas stations. Unfortunately the sign posted on the office read it was Closed and will be back at 9 a.m.! Drats there went my $.1.50 in quarters. Not Punny – I mean Funny! Don’s Pun hit too close to home. Even worse, this set of tires I just purchased about 4 months ago; the other set
    had about 50,000 miles on them, they looked OK, but I just wanted to be extra safe – especially since we go to Rosarito, Mexico each month. This is the second tire that I have had to replace on this set due to damage to a side wall! Another $80 kaput! I had only one reparable nail on the old set. Go figure. Hardly seems fair. However, I was thinking I had been on freeways good part of the day, and actually at the L.A. Parks and Rec building at MacArthur Park on Wilshire and Alvarado regarding Goal Ball. I can thank God the tire didn’t blow in any of those places, but fortunately close to home and the Tire Company where I purchase them. Also growing up in my early days close to MacArthur Park I had never been in the Rec Building – what a treasure. Solid construction and everyday useful. As the song says:

    MacArthur Park is melting in the dark
    All the sweet, green icing flowing down
    Someone left the cake out in the rain
    I don’t think that I can take it
    ‘Cause it took so long to bake it
    And I’ll never have that recipe again
    Oh, no!

    Reply

    • Raoul

      May 29, 2019 at 9:29 am

      Nice to see that despite your tire foibles u still manage to have a sense of humor.

      Reply

      • Chuck

        May 29, 2019 at 9:31 am

        There is humor in everything if you look for it. I remember going to a funeral for one of my mother’s cousins – we called him Tio (Uncle) Al. All Mexican cousins of your parents out of love and respect are
        Tio’s and Tia’s to the children. The families grew up close. It was a cold rainy evening for the viewing. Al had been loved by all, hard worker and hard drinker. My Mom told us that he got started as an Altar Boy in the Catholic Church. She said that during Communion he would give the kids a knowing wink as he brought the communion wine to the Padre. It continued and he became an off again, on again alcoholic – but always a friendly drunk – never mean. I was sad at his passing. At the wake my other uncles were talking quietly. Uncle Fermin says, “Leave it to Al to pick a time to make us all have to get out in the rain.” They were enjoying the moment irreverently sharing memories of Tio Al’s mischief. They grew up together during hard times and all served in the U.S Military during WWII. I was
        trying not to laugh. Fun memories in sad moments.

        Blessings,

        Brother Chuck.

        Reply

  6. Sam

    May 29, 2019 at 9:32 am

    Great words Raoul.

    Thx

    Sam

    Reply

  7. Gerry

    May 29, 2019 at 6:26 pm

    Hi Bro. Last Friday read your TGIF email. Sensed it was me you were referring to. I had no guts to note and acknowledge it. Maybe it’s not ….

    Reply

    • Raoul

      May 29, 2019 at 6:26 pm

      Yes I was referring to u but it wasn’t just addressed to u but to all who were going through a rough time. It is my hope and prayer that people will relate and be able to better cope with the uncertainties of life. I did not mention your real name but to our fellow bros it will be obvious. I hope u don’t mind. We all can learn from each other.

      Reply

      • Gerry

        May 29, 2019 at 6:28 pm

        No I don’t mind at all bro. Actually allowing myself to be a blank white canvas so God’s artwork/ message can be painted by Him. With His huge and gentle paint brush strokes may others learn (as you said) or sense His message whatever that maybe. It still tough but the grace is sufficient all these days.

        Just like your pen strokes that night [at the party where you drew caricatures of all of us], it’s the artist and the white pad that one can not see until it is finished.

        God is not finished… still mending His gentle strokes bro.

        Thank you for your ministry. Your messages are clear and making waves through your TGIF. Keep it up. The world needs many of you and I. [Awesome]!!

        Reply

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