Five Minutes With God

“Are you ready yet?”

“Yes, almost. It doesn’t start for an hour and it will only take ten minutes to get there.”

“I know that,” replied mom, not hiding her irritation with Katie, her daughter, for not taking today more seriously.  “We need to be a little early to court.  The last thing we need is for you to be late.”

“It’s just stupid, I didn’t do anything wrong,” shot back Katie, the 19 year old daughter of Carol Young.

“It may be stupid to you, but if it goes wrong today in court you will lose your license for a year.  So let’s go.” The tension in the Young’s living room was as thick as the fog in Fresno that morning.

The drive to the Superior Court was quiet.  Two nervous women were hoping, and praying, for a fair Judge and a compassionate District Attorney.  In their previous trips to court, the outcome may have been considered fair by some, but compassion was nowhere to be found.  They arrived with twenty minutes to spare, leaving more time to squirm, tap fingers and rehearse Katie’s plea.

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My mom used to tell me that “too much of anything is bad for you, even the good things.”  This week I observed, yet another instance, where she was right.  (Mom’s tend to be right more often than wrong).  We are bombarded with so much data from so many different sources, that our day becomes a nonstop blur of information overload.  Sometimes, it is as if we are characters in a bad horror movie, “Attack of the killer bits!”  Mom would have said that there is too much information, most of it useless, coming our way.  Television, radio, internet, smart phones, Ipad, Nook, Facebook, email (that hits close to home), and now even the street side billboards are electronic. The creators of this data dump are providing answers to questions that we never asked.  As an example, my internet homepage this morning is attempting to share the following fascinating tidbits that I simply cannot live without:

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There was an episode of the original Star trek TV series where Captain Kirk and Spock were on a strange planet (this occurred every week), only this time they were in jail with a group of locals.  Kirk and Spock spoke of various issues while in jail, with no reaction from their cell mates, until Kirk said, “Freedom,” at which time everyone turned to look at the space explorers with keen interest.  “Freedom,” the local leader said, “Is a sacred word.”

He was right; freedom is a very sacred word, to we American’s who have it, and to the billions of people in the world who want it.  As a country, we declared our independence, our freedom from rule by England, yet in the Declaration of Independence, signed by those brave rebels in 1776, the word freedom was never used.   But the intent was clear because 25,000 American’s died in a war to defend our right to be free; to defend our right to make our own choices and set the course for our destiny, as a country and as individuals.  From the beginning of time, freedom has been a sacred word.

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