Maybe I’m just a confused old man. Maybe my confusion has lead me to just this side of a Silver Alert. I really don’t know exactly what’s going on within each moment I live these days. But I know some things.

It puzzles me, too, why it is that I know what I know. “Why the hell did this happen to me?” I ask. “I’m not special. I don’t deserve this.”

We all have troubles of one sort or another. I am no different. And when it happens, like all of us, I question my very own worth. And I somehow find comfort in rumbling around in my own misery. For a while, anyway. Then it grows old, like me, and all I want is something younger and fresh.

I know folks like me who are basically loners at heart. I have heard some say that they don’t want or need friends. Honestly, I used to sort of feel that way as well. Mostly all I wanted was to be left alone. On a farm somewhere. A place where just my dog and I could live our seemingly happy and lonely lives in peace.

One thing I know, I have known for quite some time. There are some twisted folks out there who actually care about me and my well being. What’s really twisted is that they care about many folks who are not me. “What the hell is wrong with them?” I have asked.

Look, I really have been confused about life in general these days. None of it dangers my physical well being. It’s just external stuff that somehow disturbs an old man. Being the loner that I am, I have internalized most of it. “I am smart enough to figure this out on my own,” I tell myself. Eventually, I call myself a liar and ask God to take me where I need to be. He always delivers.

He has taken me to some old and dear friends, one of which is my only child. They have each tried their damnedest to put to rest, in simple and honest and compassionate words and ways, the confusions. They have mostly succeeded.

They made differences.

It’s very easy to argue religion and God and what’s right and what’s wrong with it all. It’s even easier to dismiss the value of friendships. But, damn it, when old friends come out of the woodwork to calm our fears and confusion, and when God leads them to simply make a difference in our lives, well….

Here’s what I really know. Making a difference, even a small one to a simple and confused old man, is what God and the universe demand. I am still confused and puzzled about why I seem to know such things, but not so much that I cannot say that’s absolutely why we are here on earth.

To simply make a difference.

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