Suffering from Election Overload? Maybe This Will Help.
Three miles from my house, there is something you should know about...
if you are indeed suffering from too much election.
I had that malady earlier today.
Now I am cured.
Even if it is only temporarily.
This morning I tried to be happy... in the wrong way.
I went on a minor league shopping spree - meaning thousands of Sarah Palin RNC dollars were not involved.
I just ate where I wanted to eat, rented a movie, and bought a magazine/cd.
To me, that is spending. (I told you previously I was a tightwad.)
But then... I still wasn't happy. Still had the election on my mind.
And looking up I was near where a friend had been buried one or two years ago.
I turned in, thinking I could very easily find his grave and visit him. I was wrong.
I parked and thought the grave would be right to my right. It wasn't.
I walked all around. Then I thought, I'll look on the other side of the road, just in case my memory is shot.
He wasn't there, either.
I'm not the kind of guy who gives up. So I made one last search... and found him. And as I looked at his marker... I saw that he had NOT been dead just a couple of years... but almost four - though it seems like yesterday.
Charles David Wiginton. United States Navy.
Where I work, we called him Dave. And man was he an unusual person.
We have a flagpole in front of where I work, and when a "big" shot dies - like Nixon or whatever... they lower the flag to half mast for several days.
They don't lower it for people like me or you.
But when Dave died, I went right outside and lowered the flag to half mast myself. I asked no permission. I just did it. Because he was one of us. A common man.
A man who had served his country in VietNam... and after that experience, didn't take too easily to stupidity.
If you came in to where he worked and said, "How much does a one cent stamp cost?" which people STILL do... He would first look around to see if anyone else had heard this and then he would flash you that smile. Then he would turn back around to the person and say something like... "Why don't you take a guess?"
I used to work on vending machines as my job, and there were several in the lobby at that time.
I'd be working in the back and Dave would get on the intercom and shout out "Will, would you PLEASE fix your G** D*** vending machine?!!!"
He didn't care who heard it. Customers or management or anyone in the middle.
I'd go up to the front and calmly say, "Dave, it's not MY machine."
And he'd give me that look and say, "Well, fix it anyway! These people are single stamping me to death."
To be single stamped to death was evidently a horrible way to go. But it was not what got Dave. It was his heart. He'd had a lot of trouble with it. And the end did not come quickly. Be he took it all in stride. I believe I heard him say, "F*** Death!" at least once.
When he died, he asked that a version of "House of the Rising Sun" be played at his funeral.
And it was.
I went to his funeral then.
And I stood at his grave now for awhile, looking down at the earth and remembering what he looked like alive. For a long time he'd had a long gray pony tail, which brought more than a few stares and comments in Alabama.
He didn't care.
He was younger than me and now has been dead for four years.
And I wondered what he would say about this election and I can still hear his voice in my head, the sound and quality of it, and I believe what he'd say was this: "Will, we're gonna get F****** no matter who'se elected. And that's the D*** truth."
I smiled, because he always told the truth.
One hundred percent, absolutely pure no Bull S***.
One Chinese woman at work still has his picture up where she works. She can't believe he's dead.
I can't either.
I tell him, "Bye, Dave, Hope you're doing well," as I walk away.
The election doesn't matter now to him. Just to the living.
I drive on and stop at the Dairy Queen and load up on a mint flavored saturated fat drink... still trying the wrong way to feel better.
Then I drive on. I see a sign that says, "Think what health care would cost WITHOUT insurance!"
Why does fear have to be everywhere?
Don't we just live and die and all of it is natural?
I come to a juncture in the road and I decide to take the country way home.
And out in the country I realize... I don't want to go home.
I take a left away from my house and go to a friend's house.
I honk my horn and he comes out, wondering what the h*** I want, and I tell him I just don't want to go home. My daughter is not there, she's at a friends.
We spend the next hour walking around his eight acres. He shows me his wanted blueberry patch and his unwanted blackberry patch.
He shows me his neighbor's empty pond and says the guy bought it just for the pond, and immediately after buying it... it went dry and would never hold water again, even though he spent thousands on a bulldozer working on it.
Then we went back over to his land and started back to the house.
I was feeling better. There was a huge old water oak tree that had branches so big and strong you could have built eighteen tree houses for kids on it.
Then, coming out of the brush he shouted "Look at that Deer!" and I looked over just in time to see a white tail disappearing into the woods.
I have never been to a more peaceful place at a more needful time - even if you reading this are bored to death. Sorry.
I told him thanks a lot for letting me drop in unannounced... and he told me no problem.
And on my way back I went up out of the valley and over a mountain. And there at the very top is what I told you about at the beginning of this story, that you need to see and think about... if you are like I was... suffering from election overload.
For there at the top of the mountain, where they cut into the mountain to make the road... can be seen layer upon layer of thick sediment - each thousands and thousands of years old, if not millions.
And as I drove, the fading sunlight flashed between the trees on the other side of the road, onto the different layers in different places.
America is a couple hundred years old. Maybe one hundreth of one inch of just one of such layers.
But not one of these exact layers of course.
Because these layers - about fifty feet of them at least that I can see... and many more below where I can not see... Were once all underwater.
This mountain, and this Alabama, and this Southeast...
All rose up out of the ocean at one time.
There has even been a whale skeleton found many, many miles inland in Alabama.
And here we are... - it is our time to live now - and we are so worried about what will happen in the next eight years...
When the world has carried on quite well without our species and without our worries... for millions and millions of years before us... and will probably do so for millions and millions of years after us.
When I got home, my daughter was home, and she came out to greet me. She gave me a big hug, and I gave her a big one as well.
We're only here for a short time, and we do have to make the best choices we can for our government.
But we only have to look up into the clear blue sky, as I did last night, and see the stars... and vast galaxies... to know...
It is all bigger than all of us.
And the best thing we can do is love our family and each other.
A neighbor's little boy about five, still dressed in his wonderful Halloween Vampire suit, yelled at my little girl and I, and said, "I'm coming over!" and he did, red lined black cape flowing in the breeze he created with his running. It was twilight and it was a beautiful, joyous sight.
He and she chased our Yorkshire Terrier in our yard as I watched them and picked up pine cones... preparing to someday make a final Fall grass cut for this year.
This is just the Sunday evening calm before the Tuesday All Day Storm.
But man do I feel at peace this moment.
I hope you do, too.
God IS in control.
And he must really be amused...
At the crazy things we do -
not only at election time...
But all throughout history.
You know the end of the story.
Accept it gracefully...
While doing your best to become less human...
and more Christlike...
If indeed Christ is your Savior.
Hey, that's your business.
And your life.
I wish you and Dave and
The little Vampire...
The best of everything.
A great new President.