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Closer...


In 1982 I was a middle school student in Mrs. Larkin's 4th grade class. I know it seems strange for 4th grade to be middle school, but that's how things were in our quaint little village in Upstate New York. We young'uns were tucked away safely on one side of the building while the big kids - those wild and unpredictable 7th and 8th graders - were housed down the newer long, mysterious, and almost mystical annex on the other side of the building, which might as well have been another world entirely. This is what I looked like back then, and here was my motley crew of a 4th grade class...



(Those blue pen marks are about 40 years old...my last name was often misspelled, much to my chagrin.)

Anyway, Mrs. Larkin was ahead of her time in terms of giving us access to computers, and it was at age 9-10ish that I was first introduced to Logos and the triangular little "turtle" that could be programmed with very simple code to draw basic shapes and Etch-a-Sketch-like designs on the monitor screen.


One day when it was my designated time to have computer privileges, I must have completed my assigned task early (using 90 degree turns to draw a square or some such thing) and was fiddling around with the turtle, trying to see what else I could make it do. At some point, I remember creating a curved line, which I had never done before. I was intrigued! Mrs. Larkin peeked over my shoulder just at that moment and encouraged me to keep experimenting. As the minutes passed, I kept adding a few degrees at a time to the typed command, turning that turtle farther and farther to the right and telling it to move forward. Low and behold - that curved line started to get rounder and rounder. My teacher grinned at me and told me I was really close to an important discovery. She gave me permission to keep working (an engaged student alone in the empty classroom...imagine that!) while the rest of my class went to lunch, and she told me to join them in the cafeteria once I was finished.


278 degrees...296 degrees...312 degrees...345 degrees... Closer, closer, closer to the brink of an epiphany. In slow increments I kept turning the turtle a little farther around and sending it forward. Finally, maybe 10 minutes later, I typed in 3-6-0 (and I think, if I remember correctly -you had to type GO to make it move) and what do you think I saw before my eyes? A perfectly round circle! I will never forget that moment, or that geometrical fact, and I will always be thankful to Mrs. Larkin for giving me the time, freedom, and confidence to discover it all on my own.


It was a discovery that came in steps, and all I needed other than time to experience success was a little guidance, encouragement, and curiosity.


Which brings me to my point.


I feel like I've been on a very long journey with my health. I'm sure many of you could say the same of yourself. It's too much to type here, but suffice to say it's had many confusing ups and downs since those halcyon days of my youth. And as I've moved from regular western allopathic medicine with all its lotions, potions, tests and pills...to alternative and functional and holistic medicine which admittedly have their own assortment of lotions, potions, tests and pills, I've had this sense that I'm getting steadily closer to cracking the code on this thing. This thing being the answer to the question - Why isn't my body working correctly? And while I'm there, I might as well ask - Why are so many other people's bodies not functioning correctly either?


I know I'm not the only one pondering this. I pray and wonder about it often. Daily actually.


There are so many layers to these questions, and with the help of countless teachers, colleagues, licensed practitioners, mentors, and God's leading, I've been doing my best to pull the layers back one at a time, always hoping the next layer is the last and final one leading to the ultimate aha! moment. I'm not there yet, but I do feel like I'm closer all the time. And while the answer goes far beyond food or sleep or exercise (though all of these are essential parts of the solution), I'm discovering the real treasure of understanding is both profound yet, at the same time, far more simple than I ever would have thought it could be.


I guess that's my teaser for now. I'm finishing up a related book on this topic that was recommended by a friend, and I still need another week or two to test it out for myself and my family and make some sense of it all. But I'm hopeful I'll have more to share as time goes on. Until then, stay curious. Ask more and better questions of yourself. Seek understanding. The answers you're looking for are probably closer than you think.

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