Saturday, October 15, 2005

California On My Mind

I am frequently in awe at how many odd transitons my life went through from 1981 to 1989. I am even more amazed at how many of them had been forgotten until my 20th high school reunion brought me to California last week. Bits and pieces of memories were reconnected, forming a much more continuous chain of events in my mind, and giving me a better grasp of how each season of my life was entered.

But my thoughts this week are not so much on the past as on the present. Present-day Southern California, to be exact. What in the world has happened to my former homeland? Housing prices have literally skyrocketed, making me wonder how anybody at all can afford to own a home. The population also seems to have doubled in the 16 years since I left, cramming more cars into a traffic system not designed for such density.

But the climax of my disgust occurred when traveling southbound on Interstate 15. The traffic was thick, but moving at 70mph. Just ahead of me, I heard the squeal of tires and the sickening sound of crunching metal. Then I saw a vehicle airborne. Airborne! A pickup truck was flipping end over end, spewing metal at each impact with the center divider and the ground.

As I slowed my rental car, hit the hazard lights, and merged to the right, I grabbed my cell phone and dialed 911.

A busy signal blared in my ear.

911 was busy? I hung up and redialed.

Busy again.

Four calls to 911, four busy signals. I never did get through.

And in an instant, I came to a realization: In spite of the abundance of unique retail and entertainment, in spite of the noticably reduced smog, the sunny weather, the beach, and the tempting lure of opulence, I was done. No longer did I feel like a relocated Southern Californian. Never again would I long to return to the scene of my youth. I was simply done. At no time had God's words to Aaron been more personally applied to me than at that moment:

Num. 18:20 ..."You shall have no inheritance in their land nor own any portion among them..."

If you are entrenched in Southern California as you read this, let me encourage you with the Lord's command to Abram:

Gen. 12:1 ..."Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you."


At 6:22 PM, Blogger Candie said...

Funny, our neighbor (to the south) was a CHiP-CA Highway Patrol, and for about 6 yrs after they moved here to Cheyenne, they went *home* a lot. Now they make folks come here if they want to visit. Seems absence doesn't always make the heart grow fonder?


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