It doesn’t happen very often, but every once in a while, I complain directly to God about something that’s bothering me. Last week, my frustration with an ongoing issue finally got to the point that one of my thoughts went up to God in the form of a question: Why can’t you just have an angel appear to me in a dream and tell me what to do? I’m tired of playing these cat and mouse games where I’m always struggling to try to figure out what I should do.
If you’ve ever been to Disney World, you may have noticed that all the rides have one thing in common. At the end of each ride, there is no way for you to immediately get back into the open, where you’re allowed to roam around and look for another ride. Before you can do that, you have to walk through a gift shop. The end of each ride is set up so that you are forced to exit into a gift shop.
If you pay attention to the news, you know about the wildfires in California. I’m writing this article on Friday, October 13, 2017. There are currently several fires that are burning out of control in California. Firefighters have not been able to contain any of the fires. So far, more than 5,700 buildings have been destroyed and 34 people have died as a result of the fires.
Last week, I published a tribute that my wife, Georgette, had written about her father, Dumit Ghantous. Georgette’s dad passed away on January 19, 2016. I met Dumit on August 4, 1978, when I was 21 years old. I remember the date because it was the same day I met Georgette. We met in Indianapolis, Indiana, at the Midwest Federation Lebanese Convention. From the moment I met Dumit, he treated me like I was a member of his family.
On a Friday evening in June 1977, while I was in the family room of my parents’ home, the evening news came on the television. The news opened with a teaser announcement about a movie that had recently been released that was surprising all of the critics and was wildly popular among viewers. Of course, if we wanted to know what that movie was, we had to sit through 20 minutes of the news before the newscaster would tell us about the movie.
The recent tornado that ripped through Washington, Illinois, destroyed the home of my office manager, Kenna. When she heard the sirens and realized what was going on, she barely had enough time to wake her daughter and get her out of bed to run down to the basement of their house. As soon as they got down the stairs, the tornado took out her daughter’s bedroom and then tore through the rest of the house. If Kenna had delayed her decision to get her daughter out of bed by five seconds, neither one of them would be alive today.
You may have seen the media frenzy surrounding Pope Francis’s recent answer to a reporter’s question about homosexuality, when the pope said, “Who am I to judge?” While the worldwide media focused on this one particular response, they ignored the overall theme of the pope’s answers to questions that were thrown at him by reporters for over an hour.
Last Sunday while I was at a graduation party, I spent some time talking to one of Georgette’s cousins, Tim Siedlecki. Tim is in his mid 30’s. About 13 years ago, he moved from Peoria to St. Louis after accepting a job at the Boeing Corporation. Shortly after he moved, Tim bought a house in a residential area near the St. Louis airport.