Curtis Dahlgren
CALIFORNIA DREAMIN'? (Wasted tears and wasted lives?)
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By Curtis Dahlgren
November 14, 2018

"Never look back." – Satchel Paige

"Unless there's a runner on second base." – Curtis Dahlgren

MY 1/02/04 COLUMN STARTED LIKE THIS:

When the clock struck 12 on new year's eve, where was your mind and what were you thinking? Were you thinking about the Californians who lost their homes last year to fire? About tens of thousands of Iranians who lost both their homes and their lives to earthquake? Or how about the one million Americans who were either buried in landfills or burned in incinerators last year (labeled as "Medical Waste")? I'm talking about the babies who were intentionally killed in their own afterbirth before the fact. "Interruption of pregnancy." "Turn out the lights; the party's over!"

Or, were you looking AHEAD to a great American year?


Probably not, because a lot of people, while adding to their waistlines, were only thinking about the latest lottery and "Why not me?" Very, very, few people were thinking about the reason they were born instead of aborted. There's a divine purpose for every human, for every "fetus" in fact, but few are aware of it. In my "daily readings" book is this little poem:

There are a number of us who creep
Into the world, to eat and sleep,
And know no reason why we're born
Save only to consume the corn,
Devour the cattle flock and fish,
And leave behind an empty dish.

That happens to be the reading for SEPTEMBER ELEVENTH, or 9-11. The WTC attack happened shortly after breakfast, and some empty dishes were left behind.

So my word-for-the-week is "DESSERTS," which comes from a French word meaning, literally, "unserve" or "clear the table." I once gave a speech, "Desserts Can Save Your Life," that went something like this:

Utopian dreamers look for differences and "inequities" and then look for scapegoats. Realists know that real progress is only made on a case-by-case, individual basis, without alibis. To boil down what I'm saying to its quintessential parts, let's dissect the word STRESSED:

S= self-centeredness (me, myself, and I)
T= thanklessness (chronic complaining)
R= rationalization (excuses)
E= emotionalism (an unhealthy amount)
S= society (pop culture, celebrity)
S= Satan (the god of this world)
E= envy (thievery with the eye)
D= DEFEAT (and, ultimate death)

ON THE OTHER HAND, TO COIN A PHRASE, THERE IS ANOTHER HAND:

D= dedication (commitment to something Higher)
E= enthusiasm (a "God-in-us" gratitude)
S= spiritual-mindedness ("without excuse")
S= substance-over-symbolism (realism)
E= expectations (Faith)
R= responsibility (hard work)
T= Truth (including the Torah)
S= SUCCESS (and, ultimately, salvation)!

Therefore, "DESSERTS CAN save your life!"

Too many people start the new year thinking about lottery "megabucks" instead of looking for an organized, logical success program (whether spiritual or general). As I said, the root of the word "desserts" means "clear the table" and it's a cousin to the word "desert"!

To get right to the nitty-gritty, the real question here is, what do you want on your tombstone? When God "runs the table," are you going to be behind the 8-ball, or maybe a cue-stick in His hand? When God clears the table, what will you leave behind? Torn-up lottery tickets? Gold bricks (paving blocks)? Or just an empty dish?

P.S. That was one of my first 20 columns. I probably ought to make it one of my annual classics.

PPS: Sunday was the 100th anniversary of the so-called "armistice" that ended WWI and paved the way for World War II. I spent this past weekend in the Northwoods, north of the roar of the Frozen Tundra. About as far as you can get from the roar of the California fires. It is said that just one day's worth of smoke is more pollution than produced by all the automobiles out there driven for a year. The way things are going, the seas will be rising due to our tears, not the climate.

On Armistice Day morning, a few fluffy snowflakes were falling like so many parachutes, it was so calm in the Upper Peninsula, a reminder that the wind can't be blowing everywhere at the same time. Lets pray that the political storms will quiet down for awhile, even in Florida. And pray for the victims in both Florida and California. I'm forwarding another copy of a prayer I put together after one of the mass shootings:

FOR ANYONE GRIEVING

My Shepherd is the God of Love, and He's your Shepherd too.
Are you apart from one you love?
No warmth, no ease, no butterflies, no trees?
Methought I heard One calling "Child."
And I replied "Adonai, el Shaddai,
Sweet Spirit comfort me, O God above."
And He replied, "I move in mysterious ways, My wonders to perform;
I plant my footprints on the beach, and ride upon the storm,
So focus on Me, not your enemies."
And I replied, on bended knees, "The God of Love my Shepherd is."

Those are the combined words of Herrick, Herbert, Hood, and Cowper (paraphrased). Please pass it on to anyone you know who needs them. Thanks much!

© Curtis Dahlgren

 

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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)

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