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As the opera production ended, we took some cast photos and went to the home of one of the cast for a cast party. As I don’t have a car, I went with one of the cast members. On the way, we had the interesting diversion of being lost for about 2 hours on a maybe 20 minute drive. Stuff like that has never bothered me though; it only gave me a chance to know the driver, a 60 something man.

With old people, one of the major benefits you have is experience and hindsight. We’re all (hopefully) going to be at least 60 some day, so the regrets and hopes of a man can shed some light on just exactly where we’d like to go. One of the cast I’d spoke to at another time expressed his concern that people in the US seem to treat age is a liability. In fact, he absolutely flat refused to disclose his age and was offended when I jokingly asked him. It seemed like he felt useless. I tried to cheer him up by telling him about the story of a 90 year old lady who started a competing store against Warren Buffet and had to be bought out because she had such passion for her business. Really, such things can come at any age. I don’t know though how well that worked though; maybe asking him about his own accomplishments would’ve served that purpose much better.

The driver I was with however, had more time to let me really grasp the person that he is. Apparently, he has no children, but adopted a child whose parents had essentially abandoned her. It’s a very inspiring story of two lonely people who found each other and happiness. Most relationships pale compared to that. Near the end of your life, a fling when you were 20 or some year long relationship you had with someone barely even registers as spark worth remembering.

As we drove further and further into some mountain somewhere, I learned that he was disappointed that he’d tried to start a business and failed (although I do wonder whether he’d change his mind about that on his deathbed). He was proud of being a graduate of Santa Clara University and spoke highly of his class. The one thing that really stuck out in his mind though, is that he trained and served in the air force (not completely sure about this, but the exact details aren’t too relevant). He was extremely proud that in that instance, he exceeded his capabilities and was able to fulfill a task that only few are capable of doing. It seems pretty clear that these are the things that really matter in the end.

Eventually, we arrived at the party and watched the previous production of the same show. I have to say, ours was much better! But then again, I’m very biased. After a while, everyone filed out and went home, except the host and the driver. The host told me to feel free to look around a bit, so I wandered over and peered in, room after room. In one particular room, there was just a crib and a chair there. I went in and sat down. I guess I was attracted to the simplicity of the room, and perhaps the thought of the baby playing in the crib.

Some time passed; the host walked by and saw me sitting, staring into the void. I’d previously sung with him in another choir, so I’ve seen him around. We spoke briefly about the room. Apparently, the baby is on the way! Wondering about the man who is about to bring a child into the world, I looked at him closely. He seemed like a man quite at peace with himself, with a gaze of hope at the joys and challenges to come. I smiled inwardly at the thought of this child having the care of a loving father.

As we talked more, he told me about his experiences with God. Some time ago, he had some problems with a relationship of his, and had sought refuge in a church (he wasn’t Christian at the time). In fact, that’s how he’d gotten into singing in the first place. Through his pain and frustration, he had asked God to show himself. A year later, he experienced what he called a strong feeling of a presence.

I gave him my standard response that perhaps he created the very God that he was seeking. Interestingly enough, he replied with something along the lines of “That is quite a logical conclusion. It may very well be possible. However, I haven’t been able to reproduce it.” After a bit more, he added, “Perhaps when you have that experience, we can compare notes.” I was very much intrigued by this. Normally, I would’ve dismissed things like that as perhaps an attack of some sort, along the lines of “We’re better than you because we have experienced this feeling!” However, as I gazed into his eyes, I saw a man, not a child. It is the image of a man who is at peace and living his destiny. That plus I have actually heard this from some of my other Christian friends who haven’t always been Christian. It seems clear that this feeling exists.

Since I have found no convincing arguments that God doesn’t exist (even though he doesn’t make sense to me in my current frame of reference), I do respect the people making the claims. As they have all given me the same pointers in going on this path, I’ll give it a shot:

“God, if you exist, please reveal yourself to me. I’d like to know you.”

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One Response to “A Long Drive And A Chance Meeting With God”

  1. Charles on November 17th, 2007 4:00 am

    I stumbled upon your website and have to say I’m delighted with your thoughts. As a Christian myself, I find your candor concerning the faith you do not espouse and your respect for it to be heartening.

    This is not meant to sound self-righteous or high minded, but here are some places I’ve found God.

    In homeless shelters, in the faces of those poor people who have fallen through the cracks.
    In nursing homes, in the eyes of those people nearing the end of their time on this earth.
    In teen group homes, in the faces of those kids faced with obstacles none of us would wish for and are awestruck by, in their resilience and good nature.
    And in nature, in the mountains, forests, and calm strems which the faithful believe proceed from the finger of God.
    And in yourself, the living image of God according to Judeo-Christian tradition.

    Those are just starters. I’m bookmarking your site.