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Tuesday, December 04, 2018

LYNN BERGMAN: MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!

When mankind moved from the forests to the savanna and began scavenging bone marrow, the massive amounts of that nourishment was very likely the “trigger” for the brain to yield the human self-awareness that eventually allowed the question “why am I here?” to arise. We still attempt to answer that question to varying degrees.

Many attempt to answer it through excessive self-indulgence by eating, consuming alcohol, practicing sexual deviance, and smoking, chewing, or ingesting various dried plants. Temporary satisfaction is gained from such “pleasures” but the long term affects of over indulgence reap grim rewards in the long term. Seeking only to please ourselves is a product of excessive self aggrandizement that arises from the rejection of any concept of something bigger than ourselves…

It is only when we seek to serve a cause larger than ourselves that we find true happiness, if only for those fleeting moments when first we find the joy that comes from serving another human being. This taste of self-worth can be as addicting at the aforementioned vices... but without the long term negative health issues.

As we seek happiness through serving others, we eventually come to the realization that each of us has a purpose, and often several purposes, in our life. It is when we accept the concept of “purpose” that we begin to intuit the presence of spiritual forces. And when we tune ourselves in to the presence of divinity, we become aware of so-called “coincidences” that we otherwise would not even notice; more on that later.

I was blessed with adversity early in life at around age seven. I say “blessed” because in early adulthood I came to realize that the eighteen months in a wheelchair had accelerated my learning, particularly in language and mathematics, and to a slightly lesser extent in artistic expression. I chose to believe in a supreme being after praying directly to God for healing and having those prayers answered quickly; the doctor had said I would be in a wheelchair for two to seven years. God had a more aggressive plan! Perhaps due in part to that “jump start” of learning, I eventually became a civil engineer and spent most of my life working on worthwhile projects that generally benefited my fellow man.

After retiring from engineering work, I needed to work with my hands. Carpentry came easy and building small structures is as rewarding as it gets for me. My latest project has consumed me for the past three summers… the construction of a 21' by 31' boathouse with a 9' ceiling and an “attic room” built into the roof trusses. On over a dozen occasions during those three summers I faced the amazing realization that I had in my possession the exact amount of nails, screws, or other fasteners required to complete the several phases of construction. Rather than mere coincidences, these tiny “miracles” were Jesus' way of reminding me that He too was a carpenter and was pointedly and incrementally blessing my work!  So after the second of these “miracles”, I tuned into a local Catholic radio station and, at 2 PM each day, listened to a beautiful piece of music called the “chaplet of the divine mercy” that brought me to my knees in thanks to God for a safe day of work. An important secondary benefit was an extended physical and spiritual rest period of from ten to fifteen minutes.

In the Autumn of life, the music that I took for granted in grade school is now cherished; when I have the opportunity to hear very young children sing “Jesus Loves Me”, “Silent Night”, or other songs that reveal their preciousness, the tears flow as easily as when wonderful symphony strings rip my heart out of my chest. From the love of Christ Jesus and the knowledge that His love can easily be spread to those around us if we just become the conduit, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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