If one soul-mate exists in the world how does one go about finding that person? In 1985 there were about 4.7 billion people on the third rock from the Sun. In a planet swarming with humanoids, an individual has about a 1 in 2.35 billion chance of finding that soul-mate. Considering that my odds of winning the lottery are about 1 in 175 million, I was definitely on the safari of the century.
Searching in that big of a pool I really had two options; find that 1 in 2.35 billion or eliminate 2,349,999,999 close seconds. I have always preferred slash and burn, as opposed to seek and find. The task isn’t that daunting when you consider how quickly you can shave off a couple of billion women.
I was 23 at the time so I started ditching possibilities based on age. Deleting minors under 18 and cougars over 35 it cleans off about an easy half a billion women or so. That left me only having to sort through1.85 billion.
Next I eliminated those women with no geographic possibility of contact. After sending regrets letter to the tribal women in New Guinea, and the penguin herders of Antarctica, I eliminated another easy billion. Now I am under a billion at .85 billion.
Next I eliminated most women not even remotely interested in me, although I did try to pursue a few of these, and I was left with 283 women. If I dated one of these a day for 9 months I could find the elusive soul-mate. This should be easy as pie, but not to be so.
I have never been much of a sport when it comes to hunting or fishing. To me good fishing is shooting trophy bass with a scattergun in an aquarium. Shooting a lame blind deer at 5 feet with a machine gun is my idea of sportsmanship. The object is always to win. I visited campus of Bob Jones University when I was a sophomore in High School; the place was a sea of perfumed, beautiful Christian women. Hunting over a baited field, how could I go wrong? At least 250 of the 283 possible soul-mates must be there.
The hunt was both exhilarating, and heartbreaking. I had several great relationships over my time there. Some I jettisoned, others I crashed and burned in flames. Four years went by in a flash, and I began to see that I wasn’t going to get the soul-mate at the checkout line before they threw my diploma in the cart on the way out of the door of the market. In my heightened state of senior panic, I enrolled in Graduate school. I’d get that soul-mate or get a PhD trying.
During my summer between my junior and senior year, I worked with a little church on the San Carlos Indian reservation outside Globe Arizona. It was during that time the Lord was working on my heart about my involvement in missions. I did a class with Dr. Earl Nutz during my junior year. Doc, as those of us who are in his inner circle call him, had a minor issue of not staying on the subject. His favorite diversion from a dusty doctrines book was a wild story of his escapades in Manitoba, Canada. It sounded like my kind of ministry.
The summer team was definitely a baited field! Two years of graduate school, two years of summer teams and I found myself bagging another diploma without bagging a bride. Who wants a bag for a bride anyway? With a BA and a MA under my belt I was resigned to a Master of Divinity if I was going to net my quarry. My dating was getting a bit more desperate by this time. During the last couple of weeks at school, I started an improbable fling with a girl I had known for a while. We both were veterans of the Western Canada Summer Team, but were never really interested in each other.
It is one of those relationships when both of you start with reservations about the other, but you ignore your best judgment. My flame was from New York. As a team partner to my flame the team included the beautiful young lady named Dianne Kliewer from California. I had met Dianne a couple of months earlier.
See Dianne the Early Years
Dianne went home with my flame to New York because it was too expensive for her to fly to California for the two weeks between the end of school until the start of the summer team. Dianne delighted in teasing my flame about Sidney, Sidney, and Sidney again. Sidney, New York; Sidney this and Sidney that, Dianne delighted in her tormenting taunting.
The team gets together as we are united for our training session and then we would be spread to the four corners of Canada. Then the inevitable started to happen on my doomed relationship. Flames were shooting out of the engines of my not yet budded relationship with the current not Mrs. Hagen as my attempt at romance entered the graveyard spiral. With my altimeter unwinding, and the farm I was about to buy filling up the windshield of my doomed aircraft, I came up with a brilliant plan to get my bearings as another relationship augured into the ground. I would flirt with Dianne in front of my flame, and see if it bothered my flame. If my flame was jealous, I knew there was not grass in the windshield yet. If not, Dianne was really nice.
Tune in next time kiddies for the continuing story of “As My Stomach Churns.”