JASPER OPTICAL LAB
Be Entertained by the Stories of Dr. Gordon
Aside from books, Dr. Gordon of Jasper Optical Lab writes short stories. Read some of his works below and find a different outlook on life. For more of his stories, you may reach out to Dr. Gordon in Jasper, Indiana.
Coming Up Empty
Since my youth, the great and mighty Ohio River has been a source of inspiration and
Today our oldest son Josh is 29 years old. He is a naval aviator. He currently lives in Virginia Beach. He is stationed at Oceana and is currently flying the F18 Super Hornet. Yesterday he flew across the country and fueled up in Terre Haute. That is where he went to college.
Exactly 10 years ago he was up in Terre Haute pursuing his aviation degree. It was like this one, bittersweet because we were not with him on his special day. The one 10 years ago was even more difficult because it was his first birthday we were not together as a family to celebrate.
We have a lot of plants and flowers in our yard. Josh always grumbled and fussed more than his brothers when he had to help water them. He said when he grew up there would not be any stupid flowers in his yard. He was going to pour concrete in his yard and paint it green so he would never have to mow.
Ten years ago today there was a knock on his dorm door. To his surprise a local florist delivered flowers from me with a greeting and instructions of how to water them. I think his roommates enjoyed the expression on his face and the cusswords. I swear I wish I could have been there.
We just got back from being with him and his wife. We know he would soon be leaving in a jet plane. While there, I bought him an inexpensive watch. It is black with blue numbers and markings. He had the same watch before but it no longer worked.
I have the same watch. Over the years, he has sent me pictures of his watch in many different settings. I do the same and it's kinda cool to know he would send a thought and a picture back home. I received a picture of his watch not long ago over the snowcapped mountains of Alaska. A deer stand is about as high as mine gets. Yesterday I got a picture of his watch high above the earth. The time showed it was 12:12. He later said he was over Missouri when he took it.
More times than not, it is 10:10 on my watch when I send a picture to him. Almost always, he will text back to me the scripture below. It was the first Bible verse he ever memorized.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and have it in all its fullness.
Over the years, I have explained to people 10:10 is the time most often depicted in sales catalogs selling watches. Get on your phone right now and check it out. It is because the look is symmetrical and it looks pleasing to the eye. You are more likely to buy it. Have you ever noticed this before? You have looked at more than a few, I'm sure. Could there be other things we have been looking at our entire lives and not seen either?
If a police officer hears 10:10 over the radio, they know that means a fight is in progress. I have had people come up to me saying that they heard me speak years ago when I shared this 10:10 tidbit. As I suggested, they have continued to set the alarm to go off at this time daily. It reminds us that there is a fight going on for all of us every single day between good and evil...for our souls!
Josh dreamed of being a pilot and landing on aircraft carriers. God has given his dream wings and he does just that. His dream of a concrete yard and no flowers or plants has not worked out for him. He met and married a beautiful girl named Christina. We have taken her in and we could not love her more if she was our daughter. One of the things I love most about her is she had a love for flowers and plants and works hard in the yard. Josh is not home a lot but when he is he has to help her! We have a magnet on our refrigerator that covers this. It says: We plan and God laughs.
Sometimes when I'm in my deer stand I will hear a hawk and when it soars southward it reminds me of a memorized Bible verse. I know God is up there and He has dome something to get my attention.
Does the hawk fly by your wisdom, and spread its wings toward the south?
Dads love to hear from their kids. Get on your knees tonight and thank Him for your day, His son Jesus and this crazy thing that's flying by called life!
The world has forgotten, in its concern with left and right, that there is an above and below.
LONG WAY AROUND THE BARN
At the office I sometimes see casts, band aids and sometimes even missing fingers. Often, if time allows I like to ask the patient how they got hurt. More times than not, it is because they were in a hurry. One of life's greatest parodies, indeed. We hurry and cut corners to save time and it often does the opposite, and it is what I call the long way around the barn.
Earlier this week I needed to move our black stallion, Aztec, into the small barn for the night. The weatherman had predicted freezing rain topped by single digit temperature and 30 mile per hour wind gusts.
I needed to put him in where he could have shelter and not in the upper barn right next to females. This could lead to possible injury or death if his hormones took over and try to take him up and over his stall.
For a stallion, he is a very good boy. I have worked with him daily since he was very young. He and I are very tight and he will come up to me all the time. I can lead him anywhere.
It was pitch dark the other night when I got home...to save time I didn't bother putting a halter on him. I just threw a lead rope around over his huge neck and we went slowly sloshing and sliding down the hill.
I lost my footing and my feet went up and my butt down. The rope came off his neck and he was off to neck with his girlfriend up on the hill. He was enjoying his freedom and ran from me and I chased him in and around for almost 45 minutes. My short cut literally led to the long way around the barn.
I was lucky that only my pride was hurt. I doubt that I have fully mastered this lesson. Other opportunities will come along giving me multiple ways to slip up again.
Sometimes we slip up and do things we should not. Other times we don't do what was required. Both slip ups can cause us to get a knot in our stomach. My best guess is that thing we get in our gut is a slip knot.
This farm continues for me to be a great teacher. The lessons I learn have spilled over into many other areas of my life. This is "knot" my first rodeo but life continues to show me the ropes.
"There are no mistakes, save one: The failure to learn from a mistake." -Robert Fripp
Under A Tack
We live in a world that has taught us that bigger is better. I find that is not always the case. Some of life's greatest pleasures can be found on ordinary days in normal moments. They can stand out like jewels.
Even though our eyesight makes this harder as we age, our minds see things that the clear eyes of youth clearly miss.
Mountain top expectations often stand out in our minds. Often we realize that the small things along the way en route to that mountain and stand out years later, such as a cherished photograph, memory or laughs that happen along the way.
Maybe we take the picture to work with us and put it on the wall in our cubicle or office. We fasten it up and onto the wall with a tack. The memory is stored in our head. That picture has been brought to your office because of your heart. It serves to remind you of that special time and to be not only remembered, but also to be shared.
Little things can often do things that big things cannot. May I make a point? I cannot think of a better item to perhaps illustrate this point than a tack. You can sit on a mountain but not on a tack! I hope you will never look at a tack the same way. On days when life is moving too fast, do we not glance at those shots? Often photos of our family are up there to remind us why we are doing this when we are ready to give up. They somehow allow us to take a few more punches and try again. When we are under attack and life is putting bumps on us faster than we can rub them, a glance at them gives us the courage to press on and persevere.
"Who dares despise the day of small things..."
"The heart has reasons that reason does not know."
"The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself."
We are off work today. It was not a scheduled day off, but early this morning as a boss I had to make a call. I called the radio station to announce our eye clinic would not be open today. I also made several texts to let the staff know to stay put
I called the Indiana State Police and they reported all country roads were treacherous and hazardous. Most of our staff has to travel quite a ways to get to work. Since today is Friday, no one seemed upset with me for giving them an unscheduled 3 day weekend.
I explained to my staff last night that I doubted if we would work today. The local weather reports were spot on. I told them the story that follows before we went home:
It was years ago when I was in optometry school. I was driving around town to sell some IU basketball tickets. It was starting to sleet as I drove down the street. I slid down a large hill and tore up the front of my black Buick. I was ok, but the damage to my car tore me up. If I had known my car could slide down a hill that fast, I would have entered it in the Winter Olympics! Sometimes clues exist and sometimes they do not. My clue that day, which was clearly missed by me, was the fact no one else was out on the road. (At least the one's with brains).
You see, I felt comfortable with my ability to drive in snow. That is where I messed up. That was ice, not snow. It was misdiagnosed on my part. It is a scary thing when you are sliding down a hill waiting to see what you will hit and are not in control.
You see, that lesson was expensive to me but helped me make a better call today. Even though I put it all behind me, I have not forgotten it and it helped.
The snow continues to fall as I sit and write this. This was also predicted last evening. I am sure the road crews are doing their best to battle these conditions. This is a noble and brave profession and an opportunity for prayer as well.
I have noticed in the past that sometimes trucks use snow loaded on the bed of snowplows to give them weight and stability. It enables more power and traction in rough conditions. The very thing they are pushing through is helping them solve their problem!
I think that this is a good analogy for those of us who persevere and push on as Christians. If used correctly and properly the very thing we went through can be used to aid us as well. Past experiences can be useful to help and protect others as well. These lessons can help us, not only with what we are facing now, but other problems further down the road.