I experienced a most somber moment this week. I arranged for my own funeral. I have no diagnoses requiring said action. There exists no expectation, or epistemological evidence, or even any factual elucidation informing me that I will be departing this mortal coil in the foreseeable future. I simply took some direction from God, and got about the business of dealing with the inevitable. I glanced into bathroom mirror and, after asking God what his desire for the handsome visage staring out from the mystical realm that exists within all said devices, discovered the requisite impetus to begin the process of dealing with both the inevitable march of time and the certainty that my time in this reality is… impermanent
This perhaps might have been provoked by a rendezvous with yet another purveyor of Hippocratic dogma. Presence at the headquarters of a variety of aficionado’s within the jurisdiction of the curative arts has become a paramount concern in the preparation of my daily, weekly, monthly, and annual schedule of events. Long gone are the days when I could look out either the fore or aft egress of that bastion of banality which is my domicile and choose direction of travel based on the foolishness of the free, or the desire of the dimwitted. Engaging the motorized stallion I have possession of (not, unfortunately, ownership given the balance on loan agreement) to begin the process of imbibing massive amounts of fossil fuel cocktails is not the joy it once was. I have to do battle with the healthcare industry much too often for this scribes liking. Hence, the sovereignty of the open road is devalued by the brief jaunts to this healer or that medicine show maven. This is a particularly wretched state of affairs for a free thinker such as me to find himself in.
Once more digression abounds. Onward we must go to find the justification for this encyclical. In the midst of this seemingly depressing duty there came a jewel and a gift. One I wish to share with those who find themselves enraptured and held hostage to the ramblings of this tired old pain in the ass.
I met with an insurance salesman at a local eatery to negotiate the disposition of my mortal remains. It had been my intention to sit in a local café to conduct said business, only to find the establishment closed. At 3:00 PM. I live in a state that has but one star, and where the drinking of coffee at a café was a God given right in days gone by. I learned this after relocating from a more frigid environ located in the northeastern section of this great land of ours. 3:00 PM was coffee time down at the café much as 4:00 PM is tea time for those citizens of the empire that never experiences nightfall. I found myself at a self service pizza joint with particularly agonizing wooden seating that aggravated my recent (about an hour prior to this morbid meeting of the minds) diagnosis of Bursitis.
The gentleman I met was of a sort that is in a rather distinct minority within the world of legalized gaming that is the insurance industry. He travels to his clients instead of working over the phone or within cyberspace. A memory arises from my misspent youth of a gentleman that would come to my Dear Sainted Mother’s kitchen and drink coffee with her and collect the weekly or monthly premium on some sort of insurance. At least I think that was what he was doing. My sweet Deifiúr might correct that inconsistency in my memory, but probably not. She is content to let her kid brother enjoy his senility. Much as this gentleman before me is content to travel to his clients.
We conducted our commerce and, after many signatures and writing of checks, I was assured that my passing onto the Great Reward would not be a burden to my friends and family. We were concluding our trade and engaging in the small talk that people do when he asked me what I do for a living. This began a conversation on the merits of being employed in a profession that gives aid and comfort to our fellow man, and the great rewards we each have received. He then looked at me and asked if he could ask me a personal question. Here it comes I thought. “Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior?”
Fortunately he did not, given the color of my hair and the obvious display of orthopedic distress, call me “son.” He looked at me as a coiled rattlesnake peers at a threat. I answered in the appropriate manner. I do believe Jesus to be the originator and focus of my metaphysical well being. Probably not in an equivalent scope as the fine Christian gentleman before me does, but to the extent that it is His face I wish to encounter once St. Peter bestows upon me access to the wonders contained behind the Pearly Gates.
My beliefs exist in a different realm from the average, run-of-the-mill Christian. I am Roman Catholic due to the impossibility of ever escaping the One True Religion (I am, after all, as Irish as Patty’s pig). The state of that church and the monumental scandal it is now experiencing has created a situation that prevents me, mentally, spiritually, and moralistically from participation. I have studied the precepts of many religions, and spiritualities in a search for the One to believe in, and found Jesus Christ to be that One. I incorporate other rituals in my daily quest for enlightenment, and feel quite comfortable with my personal brand of theology. Part of this theological dogma I practice is the acceptance of the beliefs of others. This might be the influence of the Twelve Step program I am a passionate member of, or it is the lessons at my Dear Sainted Mother’s knee having to do with the equality of all beings. Wherever it comes from, I listen to others thoughts on God. Mother Dear always taught me to be a gentleman.
My compatriot in the business of my demise tells me of a part of the Old Testament that has helped him greatly. He gives me the reference and simply tells me that he repeats the prayer several times daily, and it gives him great peace. End of story. He did not invite me to dinner, or Sunday and Wednesday services at the church he attends. He simply gave me the prayer and sent me on my way. I will do the same for you, my faithful readers. 1 Chronicles 4:10.