Tuesday, April 16, 2013


On Sunday night, after the kids had gone to bed, I asked Sarah if it would be okay if I walked to the post office to mail some thank you letters that I had written earlier that day. I told her I would not be gone long as I wanted to catch the 11:00pm showing of "Vikings" on the History Channel. With her permission I struck out into the night with my thank you notes in my back pocket and a sesame seed encrusted bread stick in my mouth. I grabbed my camera as well so I could bring you along. You're welcome!
My first stop was at my desk down in the camp's office. I had some loose change there in the upper left hand drawer with which I planned to purchase a Diet Pepsi at the vending machine outside of fairway market. The Pepsi machine costs fifty cents and the neighboring Coke machine costs sixty cents. I counted out sixty cents not because I wanted a coke, but rather because experience has taught me that the Pepsi machine is frequently out of order and I didn't want to be without a beverage for "Vikings" for lack of forethought. So I added sixty cents to my back pocket and stepped back out into the night.
Clouds were sailing past a silver cat's claw of a moon. It was a damp and chilly night. My shoes went whish-woosh, whish-woosh through the overgrown ball field. I am almost incapable of eating a bread stick without pretending it is a cigar.
I mailed the thank you cards without incident.
Then I strolled down to the soda machines outside of Fairway Market.
"It's a good thing I planned for this," I muttered to myself as I fished two quarters and a dime out of my back pocket. However, when I put my money into the coke machine the coins just clattered down into the coin return. That's a hollow, disappointing sound. I tried again and again, but every time the coins proved ineffectual. Clatter-clatter-clink! I was disappointed. Determined to have some form of liquid refreshment to accompany "Vikings" I decided to risk the fifty cents in the Pepsi machine which, as you will recall, had been labeled out of order. I'm a pioneer, and a trailblazer! You may have wondered how our ancient ancestors determined which mushrooms were safe to eat and which were poisonous. I am the answer. Some were bold enough to risk their all (or in this case fifty cents) in the quest to expand their knowledge and to secure vital food resources (or in this case a cancer-causing beverage with absolutely no nutritive value whatsoever).  That same pioneering spirit lives on people like me who dare to peel back the "out of order" label and attempt a soda purchase. You're welcome, mankind!
I deposited my coins, pressed the button and was instantly rewarded with a rumbling deep in the belly of the machine and a bang-clunk as a Diet Pepsi was spit out.
Like our ancient ancestors I instantly shared my newfound information with the rest of the tribe, or in this case an Idyllwild Arts student who, along with his classmates, had been shooting some kind of a video in the parking lot behind the bank. He purchased a root beer. I told him that he "owed that soda to me," and he said "Thanks, dude," and then he hurriedly scurried away.
On my way home I passed the U-Haul place and I played the game I always play when confronted with multiple U-hauls, "Where would I most like to visit?" I chose Seattle, WA.

Then I returned home and settled in to watch some Vikings.
I want to root for Ragnar, and yet I hate him too. This is one of those shows where I find myself tempted to root for evil. Vikings, at least as they are represented in this series, were undeniably agents of evil. I know I should want their ships to sink, and the defenders of villages and monasteries to prevail, but I keep finding myself rooting for the Vikings in my heart. It's perverse. I guess because the story is being told from the Viking's perspective I can't help but be drawn into it as their story, and to view it through their lens. Isn't it odd how much of our sympathies are really just a matter of perspective. Only God's perspective is perfect. An awareness of what is closest to God's heart helps reduce the subjective nature of our sympathies. It is not my story or any person's story. God is the main character. I believe that life and history should be viewed through that lens.

The Diet Pepsi was delicious!

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