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December 25, 2011

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Stevie Wonder once musically mused that "believers keep on believing". How could they not? Back in the late 60's and early 70's, I was a casual drug user with a pretty substantial amount of experience with psychedelics, and I had pretty much convinced myself that if there was a separate and completely autonomous "God" that could declare existence to be null and void on a whim, then such a "God" would definitely not be worth trying to know.
Way back then, in the early 70's, a younger brother of mine told me that he had accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior. I responded with polite rhetoric akin to "yeah, whatever, good luck with that" and pretty much left it at that.

Fast forward to the late 1990's - the last time I had any contact with this particular brother. I told him that my viewpoint had not changed one single iota since his joyful announcement to me that he was saved. His immediate retort was that he could not be swayed in his viewpoint, and that further discourse in regard to such matters would serve no purpose. I agreed.

Here are some measurable facts about the two of us.

My brother married, and he and his wife raised two well-behaved and successful children. He is a vice-president of one of the larger US brokerage firms, and needless to say his earnings eclipsed mine decades ago.

I am divorced. My ex-wife and I parted company long ago, and our three children were pretty much left to raise themselves. They each have more than their share of difficulties. I am retired due to medical reasons and subsist on Long Term Disability and Social Security Disability.

It sure looks like I got the shitty end of the stick, doesn't it? Still - I would not trade my life for his, even if I could.

Does my brother's relative good fortune have to do with his willingness to believe in miracles? It is alleged that Jesus Christ admonished his followers to "murmur not amongst yourselves, for no man cometh unto me except it were given to him by my Father". Sounds vaguely fatalistic to me!

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