Time moves on, they say.... Have you ever wondered, who are they?
I ask that question for only one reason. It is going to look like I have missed the mark - of my calling, as I was really upset with a whole lot of people. I had remembered those people I worked with in the military. For the most part, they were authentic and the people with whom I was "moving" at the time, were definitely not - authentic. Actually, they were not even good copies, but they were not to blame. It was time to take a close look at my own self. I was becoming a bad copy.
So, what do you do when you find yourself in such a situation? I tried doing what I thought that others were doing, at least it seemed that way.
I renewed my friendship with a guy I thought ought to be, the Governor of Tennessee. You may know him - Jack Daniels. I had found a job where I could "work" three or four hours a day, then find a likable bartender and spend the evening, making friends with his friends. Don't scoff. I met more friends doing that than I ever met in church. But then, I really did not know that much about church life. However, I did seem to be enjoying myself.
I hate it when I hear a Pastor or a recognizable Christian talk about the "fair weather" friends that you meet in bars. They don't seem to understand the phrase, misery loves company. By far, the most common people I met in bars were miserable people who were not able to cope with the requirements to be sincere about the relationships they were trying to escape. Their major problem was that they came into the bar, hoping against hope, they would develop a new and improved relationship.
The best bar I found in the Los Angeles area was near to Beverly Hills where the bartender started to call me - the Professor. He claimed that when people came into his bar and started talking to me about their problems, I had a solution to offer. And when they offered to pay me for my advice and counsel, I would suggest a drink. If they persisted, I would say, "OK, another drink for the barkeep."
And I really loved to go there. The problem became, I went home alone.
I had often wondered why schools or folks who teach about relationships don't spend more times in bars. That is where the "hurts" are authentically displayed.
My problem was that the the jobs I held - and there were several at that stage i my life, did not offer benefits. There were no health plans, no vacations, no benefits of any kind. Only the right be lonely and that is not the plan that God had in mind when he empowered the two in the "Garden" to go gorth and multiply. When I finally came to that realization, I realized my "Professorship" was coming to an end. I sought counsel.
It came in the form of a man you may have heard of, Napolean Hill. He wrote a book that has been read by thousands, tens of thousands, his publishers will claim. Just listen to the suggestions he has to offer - "Thoughts are Things", "Desire" - the starting point of all achievement, "Faith" - Belief in something, someone, greater than yourself, "Imagination", "Persistence". And there are others, but for the most part, we spend most of our lives, dwelling in yesterday or worse, yester-years, lying to our selves, "Since it didn't happen yesterday, it won't happen today, forgetting there are tomorrows".
It was like he hit me over the head with an empty bottle of Jack Daniels. That was all I had as proof there were yesterdays in my life.
I needed to get back in church. Which church? The closest one would be a good start.
I opted for another Methodist church. That was where I started, I assumed. But there are many Methodist churches, not all alike. I was fortunate, I found a good one, I thought.