Ch.19: “On a Train Bound For ‘No-Where’”

By admin On December 8th, 2012

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Have you ever wondered why one nation rises to power…and another society crumbles? Why does a great kingdom fall, just like one of those castles made of sand, down at the seashore? Perhaps this chapter will be of interest.

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“At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.” Jer. 18:7, 8

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Anyway, let’s get back to the story…

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Sand castle at Cannon Beach Oregon.Wikipedia share-alike license. Click here for link to Photographer’s web page.

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CHAPTER 19…

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“ON A TRAIN BOUND FOR NO-WHERE”…

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We were dropped off at the train depot. We found a place on this very old train. The sThe_Scream Wikipedia public domain by edvard munch c.1893eats were just wooden benches, and most of the windows were broken out! But primitive as it was, this little locomotive was filled with passengers! Excitement filled the morning air! People were chattering! Chickens were clucking! And the spirit still talking at me…NON-STOP!!!

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Each person going to his or her own special destination. And we were no exception! And Becky, being a very gifted conversationalist, no doubt had already found someone to chat with along the way.

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We were just about to embark on a trip to the Eastern Guatemalan Coast. Our big destination was Tikal, to see the Mayan temple ruins. The ancient temples! The jungles! The tropics! Mystery and exotic intrigue!

.http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Klockarnils

I’m not sure if this train-ride was one of my “Jesus” days, or one of my “Hitler” days

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OK, OK, so my notes say that it was a “Jesus Day”. And the spirit didn’t let up! He didn’t get tired! But on this day, his rhetoric was all about me…being Jesus in a former life!

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And this spirit was all about talk, talk, talk! He just didn’t let up with all his talking! I was exhausted, to say the least! But thankfully, he wasn’t condemning me for being Hitler at the moment! And so this was definitely a step up from that! I mean a HUGE step up!! I mean…I’ll take being Jesus in a former life, rather than Hitler, AAANY ol’ day of the week, thank you!!! 

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“GOOD MORNING GUATEMALA…HOW ARE YA?”…

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800px-Tourist_train_at_Alto_Mire_Olga by Nils Oberg for wikipedia share alike license

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This old relic of a train began to roll down the rickety tracks, taking us to an otherwise colorful and wonderful adventure within that tiny but beautiful little country… Belize. I say “otherwise”, because this excursion would also be part of my “Vacation From Hell”.

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Before long, this bumpy train-ride became very uncomfortable. Wooden benches for seats, after all! But we stopped at various times, and I was no doubt glad to get off the train for a few minutes for relief. At one lingering stop, I remember that Becky befriended a little child who followed us everywhere on that 30 minute stop.

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But we were soon back on the train, and the wheels were rolling down those rickety tracks once again, chugging steadily toward our destination. 

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But as morning turned into afternoon, the passengers began to thin out. We looked at all the scenery. I was kind-of disappointed that there weren’t more trees in Guatemala. There were a lot of fields. But I had Guatemala figured for jungle-like terrain. Guess I was wrong!

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hut_(5071823007).jpg

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There were big grass huts in some of the fields. I was a little surprised at how primitive some of these country-folk were. As I looked out the train window, my eyes widened as I saw one peasant lady, standing stark naked, outside of her grass hut, just standing there, looking at us rolling by! As I said, these country folk were very primitive (This photo I got from the Internet shows a grass hut was similar to what I remember seeing along the way).  

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Photo of Guatemalan train courtesy Wikipedia. click for link. Guatemalan train station by Nils Oberg share-alike license.

hut-wikimedia-commons-share-alike-license.jpg

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“WE WERE BOTH TOO TIRED TO SLEEP”…

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As night drew on, this train became deserted. All the passengers had gotten off. But we still had a long way to go, till we reached our destination. At some point it started raining. And not just your average rain! This was an incredible torrential rain-storm! It was like someone upstairs decided to pour a giant bucket of water on the earth!

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:HardRain.JPG

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And just now, as I’m writing this, an old childhood memory is coming back to me: I still remember asking my Grandpa one day, as we both walked along through one of those proverbial Willamette Valley, Oregon rainstorms, “Grandpa, does God pour out a bucket of water when He wants it to rain?” Well, all I remember is, he gave me some nonsense about “atmospheric conditions” or something! But still that answer didn’t convince my little 4 year-old mind! I simply held on to my “God’s rain-bucket theory”!

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But that was years ago! And right at the moment, I’d have to say, this Guatemalan rainstorm we were now riding through, quite possibly made those rainstorms back home in Salem Oregon, seem like a bad drizzle! And this wouldn’t have been much of a problem for Becky and me, except that most of the windows were broken out on this little old antique train, as already stated! So we were forced to find a seat with windows. But since most all of the passengers had already gotten off the train, we pretty much had our choice of where to sit!

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By now it was dark. I can’t remember if the train had stopped, but it probably did, to let off the last few remaining passengers (or, at least I thought it let off the last passengers!) But somehow, we made it to another train-car. And we found a dry seat. And though there was no way to escape from those hard wooden seats, we were just happy that we had found a DRY wooden seat!

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But even though we solved the water-through-the-windows problem, a new dilemma now arose! A dilemma in the form of a mystery! This is because, when we did finally find a seat with windows in-tact, we immediately noticed out of the side of our eyes, this big dark silhouette looming about five seats in back of us. Other than this dark lone figure, there was not another living soul on the train (not counting the engineer of course!)

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“I MET UP WITH A GAMBLER”…

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OK-OK, this was no gambler (like the above title suggests). Actually, he looked like a guy who didn’t like to take chances. He looked like a guy who made sure the job got done, whatever that job was!  Even though the dim lights inside this train-car were possibly kind-of flickering, I glanced back to get a more detailed view of the person. The man looked like an American. He had on a dark business suit and an overcoat. He was wearing a Dick Tracy style hat. He just sat there, kind-of looking down. Very morose! I thought to myself, “This guy has to be CIA or Mafia! One or the other!” He looked like Luca Brazzi (The hit-man in “The Godfather”). Definitely the destroyer-type! A real Apollyon! A formidable Abaddon! Becky and I were both nervous with this mystery man in back of us.

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BECKY GOES RIGHT TO WORK TO GET INFORMATION!

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After a while Becky said, “I’m going to talk with him”. So she went back there and sat down in the seat just in front of him. As I said, Becky was a gifted conversationalist. But I couldn’t hear what she said. I suppose the rain was making such a loud sound on the roof, that it would have been impossible for me to hear (not to mention, the sounds of the rickety tracks below).

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But to my disappointment, when she came back she didn’t have much to say about her conversation with this stranger. She probably did most of the talking. But this mystery-man was definitely on a mission! That was for sure! I didn’t need anyone to tell me that! And it didn’t look good for somebody! But just who was that “somebody” gonna be? That was the $64.00 question (As my high school math teacher, who didn’t like me too much, always used to say!)

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“SOMEWHERE IN THE DARKNESS”…

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Eventually we arrived at the end of the line, which was the eastern seacoast of Belize. It was about 10 pm or so. The rain had completely stopped. This part of town was completely deserted. Well, it looked like we might be in an old industrial section of town. Or maybe the docks and fish canneries, by the ocean. Yeah, it was the fish canneries, no doubt! 

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We walked through the dark, wet, empty streets. And beside us, the only sounds were the echoing of our shoes, as we nervously (and hurriedly) made our way through this deserted area of town. And all the while, I no doubt listened intensely, so as to make sure there weren’t an extra pair of shoes echoing! But fortunately, the long row of tall buildings probably amplified every little sound. So I would have immediately known, had there been somebody following us! But probably still, a chill ran through my adrenalin-laced body! On such occasions, it always did! And really, what are you going to do, even if there were an extra pair of shoes echoing? You can’t really run! And so we just kept walking. Quickly!

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We finally found a room. The clerk told Becky about a restaurant. Shortly we found it; a large pizza parlor, miraculously still open! First of all, I was astonished that there was an Italian restaurant here, much less being open at this late hour! So we were happy about that! This large restaurant with big rooms and tall ceilings was totally empty; and there were only several employees, at this late hour. But as we entered, we were somewhat shocked at what we saw inside! Yes, over in the corner, sitting at a table, was the Destroyer (the CIA/Mafia man)! Sitting there alone, looking down at his table, as if he were waiting for his next contact, to give him his final instructions!

man in the corner

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Now Becky could liven up any room, and I’m sure she did…to a certain extent in this mostly empty restaurant, talking to the one or two employees still working. But still, the destroyer just sat there, off in the distance…looking down. The shadows in the far corner of this restaurant providing him with an extra cloak of darkness. Either he was trying to find something or someone….or trying to not be found! But if he was trying not to be found, he probably wouldn’t look so CIA-ish! The business suit made him stand out like a pit-bull at a poodle-picnic! So logic would insist that he must be trying to find something…or someone!

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“THE GAMBLER HE BROKE EVEN”…

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We never spoke to, or saw that mystery man again. But one day, some time later, upon mentioning that incident, Becky informed me that there was a murder in that sea-town…at that very same time!

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OK, so I guess my gut instincts were right about that guy! Sometimes you can tell about someone by just looking in his eye!

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AN INCIDENT LONG AGO: DOS MUY MALO HOMBRES!…

And speaking of getting the “heebie-jeebies” about someone, I recall one time, a few years earlier, at our restaurant, that two guys walked in. I could tell that they were from out-of-town. But the moment they walked in, they just looked at my cash register like it was a New York Steak!! Medium Rare!! I knew that these two cool customers wanted to cash-in on my cash register, real bad! But since I was standing there like a Mother Hen guarding her eggs…well… they probably just figured they’d have to fight me for it, and gave up on that idea! So nothing happened that day!

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But those two bad hombres had larceny in their eyes! And sometimes ya just get the chills…cause you know a man’s got murder in his eye!

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And this guy was no exception! This Destroyer was sent. He was following orders… orders from the Boss! His orders were to get the job done and apparently he did get it done! I guess this Apollyon has been getting the job done for a long, long time!

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So now that his job was finished in this town, where would this hit-man go to next? To the next job, no doubt! This Abaddon would find the next person… or group of persons who weren’t holding up their end of the bargain.

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“THE LOST ISLAND OF THUNDERBOLTS!”

.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:LightningFL.jpg

Lightning FL courtesy Craig O’neal for wikipedia creative commons license 2.0

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“MERCY? SORRY, I’M FRESH OUT!”

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The next day, Becky bought two tickets for a commuter boat. I had absolutely no idea where we were going. I was kind-of in my own world. I was preoccupied with the spirit and his incessant talking.

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The boat was filled with passengers. Maybe 30 people! Maybe 50! (It looked similar to this Wikimedia photo, but about twice the size, or more).

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Now, the spirit was condemning me very heavily at this moment. I distinctly remember that this was definitely a Hitler Day! And as I said, I was in my own little world. This was because, on this day, the spirit condemned me really heavily that, “You just might have been Hitler in your last life”. The spirit was probably coming on stronger than on any previous day, except maybe for that day back in  Antigua, when I was bombarded with noises all day. But once again he was literally crushing me under the weight of his accusations and damnation!

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“MERCY’S JUST A LADY THAT LIVES DOWN THE STREET!”

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:LightningFL.jpg

As the boat cruised across the water, I just couldn’t take his threats and condemnation any longer! It became way too much! Finally, in desperation, I pleaded for mercy… “God please have mercy!!”, I silently cried!

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“Oh you want mercy, do you?” said the spirit, pointing me to a large black lady passenger, squeezed into this crowded boat, “Well that’s Mercy sitting there! You see, Chuck, Mercy’s just a lady that lives down the street!”

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But I still kept crying out for mercy (silently of course…in my thoughts). But each time I did, the spirit kept repeatedly pointing me to that same heavy-set middle-aged lady, saying, “Mercy’s just a lady that lives down the street!” Well at the time, I took this to mean that God had no mercy left for the likes of me! You know, just like saying “Mercy? Sorry, I’m fresh out!” But it wouldn’t be till much later, that I would find out what that was all about. I was to eventually meet Mercy! And she did live just down the street! But I’ll have to tell that story much later.

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Photo of  Belize commuter-boat courtesy wikipedia & Mrcveliz  share-alike license. Click here for link.

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”I SEE EARTHQUAKES & LIGHTNING…

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I HEAR THE VOICE OF RAGE & RUIN!”

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:LightningFL.jpg

After some time the boat landed on an island. I guess it was an island. I guess they call them “cays” here in Belize. Anyway, about a dozen little children, only wearing shorts, came running up to the boat and were all fighting to take our luggage. I looked at all the very big wide eyes, staring at us…obviously working for tips! But there were no smiles. They were all business! Vying for our luggage! A bunch of little right-wing capitalists, no doubt!

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Anyway, we gave the two or three of the “winners” our luggage, and they led us to a motel on this island. It actually was a pretty nice two-story motel in an otherwise primitive looking…uh…jungle village, I guess you could call it. Our motel room was very well-kept, and had a great balcony overlooking the ocean. Actually, nicer than most modest-priced motels here in the States! 

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Under different circumstances, this would have been a dream vacation!

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But before long it grew dark. The rain began to fall again. This time the rain was accompanied by thunder and lightning. And not only did it pour buckets of rain, but the lightning was super bad! “KABOOM!!!”…”KARRACK!!!” It sounded like it was directly overhead! I can’t recall ever hearing thunder as loud as it thundered that night! This went on for much of the evening as I recall. It was so loud, I think we had to cover our ears! And even the walls shook, maybe! And because of the intensity of this lightning and thunder, it really seemed like God was angry with me! “KABOOM!!!”…”KARRACK!!!”

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commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lightning_1882.jpg

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OK, OK, I can just hear you, the Reader, thinking to yourself, “This guy is bending everything against himself…now even the lightning and thunder!” OK, OK! I understand! I understand! But let me just say that if you ever go through such an intense lightning storm while at the same time an unseen spirit is accusing and condemning you…then you’ll probably understand why I felt the way I did! 

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“Cast forth lightning, and scatter them: shoot out Thine arrows, and destroy them…The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of Heaven shall He thunder…” Psalm 144:6 & 1st Samuel 2:10.

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So, see!? I’m not so crazy, after all! As these above verses reveal, thunder and lightning are used in the Bible as pictures of God’s wrath upon His enemies! (I’m glad I didn’t know about these two verses back there in that motel room!) 

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Lightning photo courtesy Axel & Wikipedia. Copyrighted with permission.

Lightning 1882 – Wikimedia – US public domain commons

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FOLLOWING THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD…

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In the morning the sun came out. It was as if the previous night’s storm had never happened! I guess the tropics can be very forgiving! Because now the ocean was a beautiful turquoise blue. The sand was white. The breeze was soft. The air was warm.

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And this tropical place, or island, or whatever… could’ve been used on a “Gilligan’s Island” episode. (Pretty much like this Wikipedia photo!)

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Photo courtesy wikipedia. click for link.

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“DEFINITELY A RIGHT-TURN EXTREMIST !”

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And so I decided to go for a walk, to get the lay of the land. I began to wander off from home-base. That was my first mistake. I should never have left Becky, and wandered off by myself!

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Not knowing where I was going, I found a path, not too far from the beach. And so I began to follow the path. It led into a thick jungle. But where it would take me, I just didn’t know!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Morne_Trois_Pitons_National_Park,_Dominica_-_jungle.jpg

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But soon the spirit began a very odd phenomenon with me. Now the spirit was leading me to believe that this little excursion was some kind of quest to find something valuable. A kind of mystery hunt for hidden treasure or something. And for some reason, he made it impossible for me to turn to the left. I simply could not turn left. I could only turn right. As I walked through this very primitive little jungle village (much like this photo), I had to turn right. If I wanted to make a left turn, I soon realized I could only do so by turning right for a three-quarters turn. The problem was, I had to do it inconspicuously, so no one would notice! And there were other people, villagers, also walking along this pathway! Now if I wanted to turn right, there was no problem. But to turn left—that was a different story! So I would kind-of hesitate, as if I was just examining something off in the distance. You know, like a tourist might do. Then I’d turn right a little more. And then a little more. Still pretending to be examining. And finally I would make that three-quarter turn necessary to go left. Ah-ha! I did it! Nobody thought me strange! lol

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This jungle was very beautiful, and very overgrown! And just a beaten path to walk along. Native people were walking back and forth, going about their daily business, no doubt. Some more capitalist-right-wingers, I suppose!

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similar-type-jungle-wikimedia-public-domain1.jpg

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“YOU CAN KEEP THE CHANGE!”

Right Turn Extremist

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Anyway, the various little huts were interspersed within the thick jungle. I finally found a “Seven/Eleven” quick-Mart. Well not exactly a “Seven/Eleven”. OK, so it was just a grass hut with one side open with a little counter. But I couldn’t be choosy at this moment! IT WAS THE ONLY STORE IN TOWN!! So I bought what ever it was I bought. Probably some gum, as I remember. Why gum? I just wanted to buy something! And after making a rather quick inspection of her inventory, I opted for the gum! 5 or 10 cent gum! 

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(EDITOR’S NOTE: This drawing to the right does not depict nearly as much foliage as the actual island had. The artist (me) was just too lazy to draw in all the extra trees and bushes!)

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WORLD’S MOST EXPENSIVE GUM!

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OK, so 5 or 10 cents for gum! Not a problem, right? Well, there was a problem! You see, this otherwise simple transaction became complicated, when the spirit overwhelmed my mind, insisting that I show my faith, by not getting my change! A five dollar bill (about $15.00 or $20.00 in today’s money, and maybe $50.00 or more in theirs!) For 10 cent gum! With a straight face, the lady accepted the rather large tip. But I suppose I was purchasing goodwill from these quaint folk. Probably not! They no doubt decided they were dealing with just another idiot or something! Imagine that!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Wrigley%27s_Juicy_Fruit.jpg

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But whatever this lady thought of me, one thing was for sure! The gum that I bought from her, was the most expensive gum I would ever buy! And she unflinchingly took my money as if she were taking my soul!

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 “Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry; But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house. But whoso commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding: he that does it destroys his own soul.” Proverbs 6:30, 31 

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But then having bought that gum, I proceeded forward on this treasure hunt, or whatever in the world it was! By now I knew better than to trust this unseen being! He was just too changeable to put any confidence in!

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Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit – Wikipedia – share-alike license

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“YELLOW BRICK ROAD IN REVERSE!”…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cowardly_lion2.jpg

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And so, after this pause, I resumed my quest to find whatever it was I was searching for. Still only making right turns. It kind-of started feeling like I was in that old movie, “The Wizard of Oz” walking along that infamous “Yellow Brick Road”.

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But unlike Dorothy, the Tin-Man, the Scare-Crow, etc., I was going backward…away from OZ!

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And instead of the road getting larger, the road only got narrower and narrower! Eventually, my right turns became sharper and more numerous until my path finally came to an end. This not-so-yellow-brick-road ended and I could go no farther! Was there a pot of gold here? Was this the end of my rainbow?

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Wizard of Oz – wikipedia – US public domain

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“YOU GOTTA KNOW WHEN TO HOLD EM,

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KNOW WHEN TO FOLD EM”…

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Well, as I said, I finally came to the end of the path! And was I ever surprised at what I found there! No, there was no OZ! No, there was no Wizard! No, there was no rainbow! And no, there was no pot of gold either!

.http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jungle_covered_ruin_Coba_2_(4374410534).jpg

So where was this? What was this?

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The place I came to, looked like an ancient ruins. Some building had been here! But now, only the foundation-footings remained (somewhat like this photo I found on the net). I sat down, and lit a cigarette, and contemplated what might this building have been at one time. Maybe this was once part of an ancient civilization! And now, just the ruins remained!

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Well, whatever it once was, one thing was for sure. It was now long gone! Now only this monument of a broken foundation remained! And even that was mostly destroyed! I felt like all this time I spent getting here, was a waste of valuable time! And all these right turns! It was a lose-lose situation! What nonsense! The building was long gone! It was too late! The cards were all laid out on the table as far as this treasure hunt on this unknown Island! A civilization gone…or destroyed! Too late to revive it! IT LOOKS LIKE THE “DESTROYER” (the mystery man on the train) HAD ALREADY BEEN HERE TOO! I guess this group of people hadn’t been holding up their end of the bargain either! You know…with the Commander! They hadn’t held up their bargain with the Commander!

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Jungle covered ruin (4374410534) wikimedia share-alike license

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“KNOW WHEN TO WALK AWAY,

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KNOW WHEN TO RUN!”…

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So after deciding that there was nothing more that I could do here, I knew it was time to walk away, back to home base. I guess I should never have wandered off, away from home-base! And so I went back to home base.

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I could once again turn right or left. Whichever way was more reasonable. That’s the way I once again turned. And never ever again would this strange phenomenon plague me! Oh yes, I lost precious time. And though it lasted only 20 minutes or so, at the most, looking back it seemed like 20 years lost! But I was forever cured of wanting to turn to the right (or even to the left!) The experience taught me a valuable lesson I’ll never forget! And the thing that must be remembered is this: even if I could have only made left turns, instead of right turns, I would no doubt have ended up in this very same place! And though this may have once been a great society, now it was just a No-Wheres-Ville, no matter which way you turn! Truly, truly, our train ride the previous day was only just a “train bound for nowhere”!

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.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:LightningFL.jpg

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So yes, truly this Lost Isle of Thunderbolts  experience cured me forever! Yes, I never ever wanted to turn to the right again! (or even to the left, for that matter!)

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And yes, this little experience seemed to be a harbinger of things to come, not only for me personally, but also for the society around me! But I’ll just have to explain this much later.

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Lightning FL courtesy Craig O’neal for wikipedia creative commons license 2.0

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“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life…Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.” Proverbs 4:23.26, 27

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“TIME ENOUGH FOR COUNTING

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WHEN THE DEALIN’S DONE!”…

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.http://www.flickr.com/photos/81195835@N00

“Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity…

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One generation passes away, and another generation comes:

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…and there was no profit under the sun.”

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Ecclesiastes 1:2, 4 & 2:11

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-Sand_castle,_Cannon_Beach Oregon Wikipedia share-alike license. Click here for link.

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Judgment Day license plate www.devouringfire.com

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To go to next chapter, just click here…

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Ch. 20  “Return, O Promised One”…

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The Mayans would’ve been proud! NOT!”

 

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