Saturday, November 21, 2009

God's A Funny Guy.....

What do I mean by 'God's a funny guy'? I mean He uses humor, irony and otherwise ordinary circumstances to open our eyes and give us not just 'teachable moments' but the occasional rebuke. Case in point:

I just returned from a short vacation to Las Vegas - one that included a plethora of little screw-ups, inconveniences and disappointments. Minor problems all, but annoying and frustrating nonetheless.

My friends and I stayed at a five-diamond resort in the lap of luxury and opulence. We had fine food and wine, gambled a little, shopped a lot and had fun despite the 'issues'. Yesterday, as we traveled to the airport in a Lincoln Navigator stretch limousine, we discussed what we didn't like about the resort and why we wouldn't stay there again. 'I didn't get the bed I requested.' 'The doorman didn't even help with the luggage!' Stuff like that. Then I had my first 'God's a funny guy' moment of the day...

As the limo driver unloaded our mountain of luggage, a pickup truck pulled up to the curb in front of us and a young couple got out. He was dressed in full desert camo and put an enormous pack on his back that looked like it must have weighed 200 pounds. They embraced and kissed for a few minutes before he turned and walked away. She cried. He cried. I cried. Then I thought, 'Will there be a doorman to help with the luggage where this soldier is going?' Of course not. I am free to ride around in fancy limos and whine about hotel doormen because brave young men like this one are at war for me.

Talk about God slapping you upside your head!

Later, as I sat on the small plane that would take me from Detroit to Flint, I commented to my friends that it was odd the seat next to me was vacant.  Just minutes before, the airline had asked for someone to take a voluntary bump due to the flight being over-sold by one passenger. At the last possible minute, a handsome young man rushed down the aisle, stuffed his things in the overhead and sat down next to me. He told me how happy he was that he had made the flight so he didn't have to rent a car and drive home.

I asked if he had a long trip. 'Yes.', he said, 'I've been in Saudi Arabia for a year.' 'Are you military?', I asked. 'Yes.'

I shook his hand and said 'Thank you for what you're doing for me. I appreciate it.' It seemed to surprise him a little, so I told him I don't think our troops hear that enough. He agreed. (They don't.... so thank a soldier every chance you get!) The conversation then went something like this:

'Are you home for a while now?'
'Until after Christmas. Then I'm headed to Germany.'
'Well, Germany isn't home, but it's a lot better than Saudi Arabia.'
'That's for sure.'
'Germany has nice people and good beer.'
'Yeah! I was stationed there for a while before.'
'I've been to Germany. I liked it a lot. Never been to Saudi Arabia, though.'
'You wouldn't like Saudi Arabia. Worst country in the Middle East for women.'
'Yeah, I don't want to wear a Hefty bag.'

After takeoff, he started to doze, so I shut up and started thinking about my second 'God's a funny guy' moment of the day. This fine young soldier spent a year in Saudi Arabia - where women are chattel - so I can have the freedom to travel across the country with four girlfriends to enjoy the luxuries of one of the world's most extravagant cities. That really puts things in perspective!

God is indeed a funny guy... and I'm listening, Lord.

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