Filed Under the “Huh?” Category

I went to the AMA Motocross Championship at Glen Helen today. I went with a friend and took my two sons. All in all we had a great day. We had a good spot to watch the race and we saw some good racing. It was a good day of guy stuff.

Glen Helen raceway is located in San Bernardino, CA. For those familiar with the area, you know that means it’s going to be warm. Now you must understand that ‘warm’ in San Bernardino would be considered ‘down right hot’ in many places on the earth. However, San Bernardino has its own special definition for hot. Fortunately, it was not hot today in San Bernardino, it was only warm. Warm equates to the mid-90s in San Bernardino. I think the announcer said it was T-shirt weather. Yea, like I’d wear a jacket when it is 95 degrees. I think T-shirt weather starts at about 65 degrees, but I digress.

So as we sat in our chairs in the warmness of San Bernardino, I looked around and noticed that many people had umbrellas or other shade producing paraphernalia. As my brain slowly cooked like a fried egg, I was able produce only one logical thought, “I need shade too.” So I set out on a quest to purchase an umbrella. A short walk brought me to a Glen Helen authorized souvenir stand and there on the counter in all its glory was a big Glen Helen umbrella (think big golf umbrella with motorcycles and graphics all over it). I was saved! I casually enquired about the cost of this highly desired item. I was trying not to show how desperate I was and how much I would have been willing to pay for this valuable item. It must have worked because the vendor quoted me a very reasonable price; far under the 4-digit figure I was willing to pay for some shade. Yes! Success was with in my grasp.

However, my good fortune quickly reversed. The vendor walked around the smallish souvenir stand and then reported that they didn’t have any more umbrellas. What?! I’m standing right here next to this one that is proudly on display on the counter top. But the vendor firmly reported that they didn’t have any more umbrellas. My desperate mind raced for a solution to this problem. Clearly they did have at least one umbrella, even though the clerk was sure they didn’t. In a last ditch act of desperation I suggested that they did have one more umbrella, it was right here and she should sell me the umbrella on the counter. She looked at me like I was crazy. She informed me that she couldn’t sell me the one on the counter, because they needed it to advertise their umbrellas. Huh?!? Even my slowly cooking brain understood the absurdness of that statement. Why would a business want to turn away a sale to advertise for an item they don’t have anymore? Who knows how many more times she was going to have this discussion with other shade seeking individuals? With one easy move she could save herself from having to tell people she was out of umbrellas all day, she could have one more sale AND I could have shade. That seemed like a win-win-win situation to me – but unfortunately not to her. She stuck to her guns and refused to sell that one last umbrella. Denied. No!!!

I wonder how many times I’ve denied someone something that they thought made sense, but I didn’t. I wonder how many times someone asked me for something simple, and I made it difficult. I wonder how many times I was asked a question about God and all the asker wanted was a simple answer, but I made it convoluted and hard. When I think about the stories Jesus told to people when they asked questions there is one characteristic they all have. The stories are simple enough to be easily understood. There is no doubt what the primary point of the story is, yet many of those stories also contain deep truths. That's so cool. But for now my goal is to be simple enough to be understood. I'll defer my desire to be simple AND deep for later.

If you are concerned about me, don’t be. I was able to stagger to another souvenir stand and purchase an umbrella from a smiling vendor who understood the value of making a sale. I had my shade, my brain didn’t cook, and I’m still around to ponder.


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