My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? John 14:2
I confess that I often read the last chapter of a book first. There are several reasons why I commit this blasphemy. One is because I do not want to invest the time into a book that does not end well. I don’t ask for a neatly tied up ending where all the characters live happily ever after. I accept that this world brings tragedy and unexpected heartache. I am okay when people don’t get what they want all the time (unless it is me or one of my beloveds!). But, I want a book that has some hope in it. A book where the light shines through even if it is the last sentence on the last page.
Also, I am a compulsive reader. If I have to stop reading a book because real life gets in the way, I NEED to know what happens in the end. Otherwise, I might as well keep reading because nothing I do will turn out right until I finish the book. I rush through things, miss steps, and fail to read all the directions. My mind is still with the characters and how they will survive and triumph. Will love win?
I am a Paul Harvey kind of girl. String me along, but make sure I hear the rest of the story. And it better be good.
Last weekend, Glen and I went camping to a nearby state park. I woke up on Friday to find my hand, the one that recently had the carpel tunnel surgery, looking infected. (I know, I know, I should not have been gardening four days after surgery). The doctor called in antibiotics, but I didn’t think it would be wise (finally, I used my brain) to bicycle or kayak. Especially in the Hillsborough River where Glen was certain I would get one of those flesh eating parasites. Besides, the medicine label warned against being in the sun. That meant there was nothing left to do but clean the trailer, hike, or sit in a chair and listen to the birds. I love listening to the birds, but there is only so long I can do that. After all, I am the woman who gardened with stitches in her hand. By Sunday, when Glen wanted to watch the Daytona 500 on television, I was pretty stir crazy.
I will let my post on Facebook pick up the story here:
So…this just happened. Cory and I went for a hike while Glen watched the race on TV. We’d been out about 40 minutes and were on our way back when a well dressed young man stumbled out of the woods hollering “Excuse Me.” He said someone was chasing him with a gun and ammo belt and he was scared. He was explaining the situation and his location on the phone to someone. He asked if he could walk with me. Cory lunged at him, and I said he could walk with us but not to get close to her. I kept her between us. When we got to the campground , I gave him directions to the Ranger Station, and he went on down the trail. Cory and I hustled back to the campground. I AM SO GLAD Cory was with me. I don’t know if she was protecting me or checking him out. She never barked or growled but I sure felt a lot better with her around.
What I didn’t say on Facebook, was despite his polite conversation and extremely unfit hiking apparel, the guy was creepy looking with huge dark circles around his eyes and hair that while clean cut, hadn’t been combed in a while. He looked like he had been in the woods for days not hours.
Let’s let Facebook continue:
I called the ranger station. Apparently, he was on the phone with the ranger station and they sent someone out to pick him up. They didn’t give me any more information than that he is ok. But, Glen made me promise I won’t go hiking alone any more.
If you follow me on Facebook, that is where the story ends, but I could not let it go. In fact, I had trouble sleeping that night for worrying not only about the man, but whether there was a gunman lose in the woods. So, I asked our oldest son who works for the State Park Service to see what he could find out.
Turns out that park has a problem that they don’t want the public to know about. Meth addicts end up lost in their park when they come down from a binge. That explains the dark circles around his eyes and paranoid fears. There is a strong possibility that there was no gunman. I am not sure if that makes me feel any better, but it does relieve some of the post encounter guilt I was feeling for not being more helpful. I have some closure even if that poor guy (notice he has gone from poor to creepy) doesn’t.
So what is the moral to my story (because you know there has to be a moral)? So often we are afraid of the experiences or people or circumstances that we don’t know the end of. We just want to know if everything turns out right. If not, we won’t do it, we don’t want to get involved. While there are no guarantees that life will end happily ever after on this earth, there is a guarantee, that life after death ends well. I am not ready for my mansion, but I trust that it will be ready when I need it. See, I told you I like to know the ending in advance.