Fueled by a curious mind, these country roads gave me a great deal of time to pursue the point of our Sunday drives to church. Sit, Stand, Kneel and recite the monotone texts of “Our Daily Missal”. I wanted to nod off with many of the adults during the lack-luster, homilies, heard in a thick Irish accent. It as an effective sedative that I warded off with my busy mind and curiosity. I scanned the church creating stories of every other drone-like family that appeared to have left their bodies in a less active manner.
Why are they here? I can see their family’s dysfunctions from here. All dressed up for the façade, when I know from school that those kids are pure evil!
What does this unmarried man in a robe know about the experience of my family?
How can he be any closer to God than I am?
Why should I confess to him, when my own agony with guilt caused me to make amends?
My head was spinning with questions as we arrived home from church. I’d just asked my dad what he got out of the homily, fully aware he was sawing logs through half of it. I chose not to let him on that I knew he was full-of-it as he gave a superficial, generic and safe response.
I changed clothes, and announced that I was going for a ride. It was easily pushing 90 degrees as I began to huff up the first of two hills I rutted with my bike tires.
“The Prayer of St. Francis” hijacked my mind in song. I tried to substitute it with a BeeGee’s tune, but it kept coming back.
As it played in my mind, I heard it’s words for the first time ever. “Make me a channel…” I found myself saying it outloud, slowly as I leaned over my handles to counter the weight of the hill.
By the time I coasted down the back side of the hill, I was in an all-out yell-at-God. “Use me to write something that the people of today might actually get!” I had memorized even the priests’ portion of the affirmative scripts at church, and it said nothing to me. It was dated and gave me not a single pang of connection – something I was truly craving.
“Dear God let me write for you! I am Here. I know that you can hear me, why can’t I hear you? AHHHHH!!! Show me your face, I need to know I’m not talking to myself!..”
Alone with my shotgun and a horrible idea about how to get His attention, I vividly imagined how to make sure I didn’t botch “an attempt”. I hadn’t even loaded the shotgun when my German Shepherd Dusty pushed his way into my hands like he’s never done before. Licking my face, he pulled me into the moment with such a deep, intense stare into my eyes. Love saved my life. This dog that always seemed to listen to me audibly vent my emotional struggles was indeed, on that day my Shepherd to live a more observant life.
After a good cry, apologizing for nearly wasting my life I went out for another ride. This time I listened with every sense of my Being, and this is what I heard.
This is where I describe the memories that sat dormant until I realized that I’d just experienced. Memories that completely stunned me at work one day at age 27. I had just experienced three of four things I was “shown” on that ride in my teens.
1 – I was a parent with multiple children and my wife was lost in some sort of tragic circumstance.
A vision that was so clear that it would eventually be a sifter for my decision to become a parent. In essence, I would not have kids unless I was willing to raise them alone. On this day (at work) I suddenly realized where that thought came from, and I was there, now, raising my 7 month old baby alone.
2 – I was trusted by authorities to handle a covert operation of some form.
An experience that was amply fulfilled by an encounter 5 years prior with a professional con artist. He was living with me, and at one point, I had loaded my shotgun, put it in the hands of my then-cohabitating fiancé, and told her that if he comes at me before the police get her – “shoot for his legs in case the spray gets me too”. Extrapolation (in need of editing)
3 – I was a charismatic, trustworthy man with many girlfriends.
This vision came as a real shock to a scrawny, never-dated teenager that only imagined going on a date at that point. The vision was not of the “fantasy-type” that one might imagine. It was rooted more in trust. Something I had been craving more than sex as a teen.
As I reflected on the first two occurrences, I ran my first tally on how active my dating life was. Not a braggers action, rather how many different religions I had dated. Nearly every girlfriend I could recall was steeped in a religion that was extremely different than my own. Pentecostal, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness, pretty much anything but Catholic.
It took just a few minutes at work that day, for 13 years of intense retrospect to stream through my mind. My head pounded like an anxiety attack as I fleeted for my desk to grab a pen and paper to start writing this stuff down. My Awareness had just been lit up as I realized three of my four visions had come to fruition.