Viva Las Vegas

Last week my wife and I were in Las Vegas. We saw the wonders of Egypt at the Luxor, we dined in a French cafe at the Paris, we bought cookies from a shop on a Canal in the Venetian, but we really didn't.

Those weren't Egyptian wonders, they were replicates in a hotel-casino. Our French bistro was in the shadow of slot machines and our conversation was being drowned out by the ringing of slot machines bells; and our cookies were from a shop next to a concrete canal with gondolas being powered by people with a Jersey accent. It seems to me that Las Vegas "works" because it sells illusion, and that appeals to us.

Many live with the illusion that money will buy happiness but it's amazing how many people, who have won millions of dollars through the various states' lotteries, end up in abject poverty and misery.We admire celebrities and seek celebrity status for ourselves yet many celebrities long for true friendships, some going incognito (hiding their celebriti-ness) just to connect with people.

I think a lot of life is an illusion, pursuing the things that we think will bring us happiness or purpose for living. In my life's wonderings and wanderings and various pursuits, the thing that is real to me is God.

God is not something that I can see with my eyes, I see God in my soul; God is not something I can explain but I seem to understand. The illusion of power, celebrity, and millions are replaced with trying to understand others, accepting others for they are, appreciating who they are- forgiving others and myself.

The skeptics might reply that I have simply replaced one set of illusions with another, and maybe so and if so, it's a wonderful illusion. It's an illusion that celebrates life, celebrates people for who they have been created to be, celebrates hope in the midst of chaos- celebrates compassion in the midst carnage.