You know that ancient story of the farmer who discovered that his wheat field was full of weeds.  He concluded that only an enemy could have done that – a person had consciously and deliberately (“with malice and forethought”) sewn his fields with a plant that would reduce his yield, and could possibly make people sick from his otherwise healthy crop.

A little research revealed that it is commonly thought that the weed was darnel.  A plant that looks like wheat (and as a city-dweller, I am sure I could not tell them apart) until it is harvest time.  Apparently, darnel turns black and remains standing, while wheat becomes “amber waves of grain” and leans over.  Without doubt they have to be separated because the darnel can make humans sick – but it would be best to wait until harvest to be sure of what is which.

While no one could say I have a “presence” on the internet (more like Churchill’s belief in a proper martini: merely turn toward France, but vermouth did not even have to be in the room), I was recently attacked by a “hater.”  Someone had gone out of their way to accuse me of some vile things.

I linked the two: the old story and the new experience.  Imagine purposely cultivating weeds to have enough seed to ruin someone else’s livelihood.  Living in suburbia, that would be like collecting dandelion seeds and then throwing them in my neighbor’s lawn.  Or, trolling the internet and then sending an email to my former employer asking the inflammatory question of whether or not they wanted an employee like me (turns out, it didn’t – given a choice, that former employer preferred the accusations from an anonymous source, than someone who had been an employee for 35 years).

Like I say, someone took pains and went to great lengths to smear my reputation.  On the one hand, it is probably someone I know, because some familiarity is usually a factor in such behavior.  But, what I was accused of came from someone who obviously has no idea who I am.

So, that old story took on new meaning.  I now have a clear example of applicability between my life now, and a story from 2,000 years ago.  The villain used a great deal of effort and the tools at hand to try to destroy someone else.  Of course, in that old story, the villain was probably thinking the farmer would have to sell the field at a discount.  In my case, it isn’t likely I was moved out to make room for someone else (but here in 2020, stranger things have happened).

In any event, I now better understand human nature (especially on the internet).  In that old story, the darnel was also collected at harvest time, and thrown into the fire.  And so I will treat the “haters” on the internet.  I suppose I should feel flattered that anyone took the time?

While I would certainly prefer that Life was all skittles and beer, I know that I would become fat and lazy if I didn’t have to work at it.  Some ask why bad things happen to good people and to me the answer is easy: it’s called opportunity.  Of course that is a Christian way of looking at Life.  A pagan point of view (something I would expect of a darnel) might be that “Mother Nature” (aka “Fate,” or “Destiny”) is capricious and arbitrary and that this life as we experience it is all there is.  While there are no gods on Mt Olympus and the stars couldn’t possibly give a fig about us, the natural world presents each and every one of us with choices.  Some have to choose between silver spoons, most of us have to worry about our paycheck (and the vast majority of people worldwide worry about their next meal).  But for those of us who have some choices, how we decide does determine how we exist in the Next Life.  To borrow from a movie, “Choose wisely.”

You see, I firmly believe that Eternity is a Long Time.


Matthew 13:25

“Indiana Jones”

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