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Sunday, April 29, 2007

10 Paper Route Driver: Semi-Spiritual Journeys of a Not Very Religious Man

Spending time with people places a person at risk of being known. Being known is dangerous. When people know you, really know you, when they know your secrets, you are at risk.

Most of the time a person can monitor his words, but keeping a check on nonverbals is next to impossible. Unless you're perfect, having a public self is just an invitation to lie. Good liars are much more comfortable in public than bad ones.

Now, not all public is the same. Some public has a sort of expectation that you are spotless. Sadly, church is often one of the worst kinds of public. I wonder if there is a place more full of lies than in church (not all of them, just most of them).

My dad was a bad liar, so he didn't go to church.

In fact, he didn't go much of anywhere. The older he got, the worse his health got, the more weight he gained, the more scars he accumulated, the less he made his way outside his home.

People can be cruel when they know the truth, so when you can't hide the truth around people, you end up just hiding yourself.

Everyone, no matter who they are, is in a fight to be honest. Life is a bind - honesty is expected, but so it goodness. Since no one is completely good, no one can be honest. Something has to be done to reconcile the competing expectations of goodness and honesty.

Being a paper route driver was not only a job, it was a way to be honest. All on his own out on the rural roads of Lakeville, Minnesota he could be himself without penalty. It was about the only place on earth that he could be himself.

Heaven, if I know a thing about it, is a place of goodness and honesty. It's the best kind of public. Maybe we'll be perfect in Heaven, or maybe we'll be treated perfectly. I don't know, but I suspect there will be no shame - no need to hide.

On the dirt roads of Lakeville, Minnesota, the paper route drive found a little bit of Heaven.

3 comments:

MDAMAN said...

Chris, I've really enjoyed this series and I imagine and hope you've found comfort writing it. It certainly is an honor and tribute to your father. If you turn this series into a book either on its own or in a collection with other essays, I humbly suggest the word "Semi" in the title is unnecessary.

Fajita said...

Yeah, the "semi" has now lost its meaning as the series has progressed. I might just let it go.

IN fact, let's do this; If a publisher picks it up, the "semi" goes.

Fajita said...

Yeah, the "semi" has now lost its meaning as the series has progressed. I might just let it go.

IN fact, let's do this; If a publisher picks it up, the "semi" goes.