Spiritual Musings from an Educated Redneck

An inside look of the mind of Pirate Pops

Archive for the month “August, 2013”


I know it has only been a few days since I last posted but life happens to me in its own time.  When it does I have to write about it.  Life just seems to happen to me in funny ways.  When it does I almost always immediately begin to see some kind of spiritual life lesson.  It happened today.  One of my hunting/fishing buddies called me to meet him for lunch (whose name will remain anonymous since I don’t really want people knowing I hang out with him).  So sure, let’s do lunch.  We hadn’t talked in a while and we needed to discuss some important stuff such as some preparations we needed to make on our hunting lease and planning our next fishing trip.   So, how about Schlotzkys?  Sure.  When I got there he wasn’t there and the place was packed.  So, I texted him, “Hey lets meet across the street at Whataburger.  This place is packed.”  Text came back.  “Got it.”

So I drive across the street, pull in and go inside.  I look around and he isn’t there.  O.K. so I beat him here.  I have my phone in my hand so I stand around checking emails, facebook etc. etc.  You know, multi-tasking.  Making hay.   Letting no moment be wasted.  Blah blah blah.  Minutes go by.  About ten of them.  I’m beginning to wonder if he is ever going to get there.  Finally, a text comes in that reads, “I’m here.”  I look around and don’t see him anywhere so I say to myself, “No you aren’t!”  I text back, “I’m in Whataburger.  Where are you?”  Then it hit me, “Oh man, that idiot must have gone to the wrong Whataburger!  How could he have done that?”  But just in case he might not have seen my truck outside and he might be sitting in the parking lot in his truck waiting for me, I went out to search the parking lot.  No truck.  I walk around in front of the building and look to my right and there’s his truck.  But it’s parked in the next parking lot!  I think to myself, “What is that doofus doing parking so far down the street?”  Then I look up in front of his truck and see the sign as big as life that reads, “Whataburger.”  I think “Wow!  That’s weird!”  Then the light comes on.  “If that’s Whataburger, where am I?”  Then I look up over my head and read, “Taco Bell!”  Oops!

I didn’t even bother to move my truck.  I just walked over to Whataburger.  When I got there he already had his burger and was chowing down!  How rude!  When I told him the story he said, “There are several things I can immediately see that are wrong with this picture!  First, taco’s don’t smell anything like hamburgers.  How could you miss that?”  I have to admit I was completely stymied by the olfactory logic of this fellow redneck.  “Second,” he said, “Besides that, the inside of Taco Bell and Whataburger don’t look anything at all like each other!”  Once again, he had me.  I was rendered speechless by the brilliance of this opthalmological truth.  Now, you need to know that I usually hang out with rednecks who aren’t as “educmacated” as I am.   It makes me feel like I’m a better class of redneck!  But I found myself thinking, “This redneck ain’t as dumb as he looks.”

I had no defense.  Then I knew I had to confess.  I said, “Man if you only knew the things that went through my head about you while I was waiting over in the “Taco Smell”.  “Yea”, he said, “Like what?”  Things like, “Is this idiot ever going to show up?  Gee whiz, I don’t have all day to wait on him!  I’m a busy man!  I’ve got things to do.  I don’t have time for this!”  All the time he was waiting for me at Whataburger enjoying his redneck feast.

You see the problem wasn’t that he wasn’t where he needed to be.  The problem was I wasn’t where I needed to be!  I could have figured it out if I had been willing to use my nose and eyes to see the truth.  But that sure didn’t stop me from blaming him.

In the book Boundaries in Marriage it says, “People in Denial are deaf to words of truth.  They only respond to pain.”  In essence that is saying, “You can be standing in the Taco Bell blaming someone else when all the time they aren’t the problem!  You are!”  What does it take to figure that out?  Well, in life sadly enough, it usually takes pain.  When the pain gets bad enough we “sometimes” are willing to look in the mirror and see that the problem is staring back at us!

Jesus said it this way, “Why do you worry about the speck in your brother’s eye when you have a log in your own!”

Paul said it this way, “But each one must examine his own work…”

In other words, before you start blaming someone else, be sure to lift your nose first and make sure there isn’t any “Taco Smell!”

Beware The Pillow

I ride a Harley.  I love my Harley.  I got my first motorcycle when I was 12 years old!  So I’ve had a motorcycle longer than I’ve had a car.  I must confess, I hate my helmet.  It’s hot, cumbersome, and takes away from the experience of the ride.  There is just something free and easy about riding with the wind whipping through your hair!  In the state of Texas it’s legal to ride without a helmet if you are at least 18 years of age.  Eighteen is a long way in my rear-view mirror so I’m legal!

In spite of that, I ALWAYS wear my helmet.  Except when I don’t.  Seriously, I do most often wear my helmet because my wife and children have told me so many times that I need to do it for them, if not for myself. 

So I wear my helmet.  However, recently I was in a hurry to get out of the house and couldn’t find my helmet.  So, I rationalized that I would be “extra” careful.  Well, I got caught!  Both my daughter, who is a pediatric trauma nurse practitioner at a local children’s hospital, and my wife saw me without my helmet!  My daughter, who treats children with traumatic head injuries that could have been avoided if they had worn their helmet, shot me a nasty text message.  You’ll be glad to know I didn’t’ read the text while on my Harley!  Later, when my wife of 34 years came home, she calmly said, “If you ever get sick or hurt and I have to feed you through a straw for the rest of your life I will do it.  But if you get hurt because of being stupid and not wearing your helmet, all bets are off!  I will pillow you in the middle of the night and be done with it!”

Seriously, she said it!  She was joking of course.  I think.  Now I have two motives for sharing this story.  One is to make an important point.  The other is that just in case I suddenly die in my sleep of no obvious cause you might know who to question about it!  Just kidding…a little. 

Here’s the point.  Our individual choices, decision, and actions never only affect us! Every choice we make always affects others.  The only way for that not to be true is to live on a deserted island and never interact with another human being.  Then we could do anything we darned well pleased and nobody else would be affected.  Not many of us live on that deserted island, and if we did, after the new wore off, we would be building signal fires, writing SOS in the sand, and scouring the horizon for ships that might rescue us off that island.

Then we would be right back where we were before.  Inter-connected with other people.  Deeply affected by some of their decisions and choices and vice-versa.

You see that is how God intended it to be.  He didn’t create us to live in isolation but intimately connected in Community.  That is absolutely the way He intends His followers to live.  That truth is expressed in so many ways in the New Testament image of the Church.  The Church is a Body and we are individually members of it.  The Church is a family and we are individually members of that family.  The church is a building (not physical but spiritual) and we are individually pieces of that spiritual building that has Christ as its cornerstone.

Most clearly of all however are all of the “One Another” passages of the New Testament.  Love one another, pray for one another, bear one another’s burdens, encourage one another, exhort one another and on and on.  There are twenty-something “One Another’s” in the New Testament.  Sounds like Jesus means for us to be connected in community with one another.  And if that is true then no decision I make affects only me. 

Watch out!  Someone might want to pillow you for some stupid, selfish decision that you make!  You might just deserve it.  I’m just sayin…..



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