38. With me all the way
The reason I refused to visit a psychiatrist, despite mounting pressure from my family were three-fold. One, I was living a normal life, working, volunteering, being active in the community. Two, despite still interpreting “veiled messages” about death, fleeing, seeing the US etc almost daily, I stayed calm and held no fears. I had reached a point of giving up everything for the cause; even if this meant another stay in hospital. Thirdly, there is no way any psychiatrist would believe my outlandish claims, especially after looking at my mental health record.
My worst fear would be the diagnosis - mentally ill, hospitalisation and drug treatment essential. If I were to pursue my weird thinking and behaved irrationally, my wife made it very plain, she would again admit me to an institution. She did not know what she was saying. She must still have the memory of me as the mental patient I once was, when I had reached a far higher level of consciousness. God had lifted me up. Was HE really putting me onto a pedal stool?
Often I had heard preachers talk negative about mental health professionals. I have done so myself. But the more my life entered the realm of the supernatural, the more I felt misunderstood and scorned, the more I could identify with the thought – If Christ came into the world today, they would probably lock HIM up in a Mental Institution.
Because I spent so much of my time outdoors and in traffic, I was aware that both supporters and enemies were shadowing me. As long as a friendly car registration plate appeared amongst the hostile ones, I didn’t mind. Seeing car registration DEAD ...(with one of my key numbers) suddenly slowing down ahead, gave me a mild scare.
But when I read LEGEND …(again with a special number) or SUPER or BRAVO, I encouraged myself by imagining, they were just for me. Many times after I visited a place, or dropped a business card somewhere etc. which may have been part of my walk, I would see a ‘friendly’ registration plate. Had there ever been a war of licence plates?
One morning a courier driver, friend or foe I was not sure, nearly collided with us during a driving lesson. My young female client and I saw a van slowly drifting over into our side of the road. The driver looked away into another street. As he came closer, he kept looking away to his right, staring at something. When the point came, where I had to take action, I leaned across to sound the horn and braked at the same time, narrowly avoiding a collision. As the van flashed past us, I caught a glimpse of the company’s name. It belonged to a large chain of couriers; the name I interpreted as – “Flee fast star”.
After a few days I felt the urge to revisit the street, called Alicia Street. I wanted to see, if the dangerous driver had stared at something in particular. The locality was such that apart from residential houses, there was nothing of significance. As I turned the corner it didn’t take long to find the clue: a trailer with large letters written on its side: “City Cross”. It was parked beside a house, slightly raised, and clearly visible from Alicia Street. Nearby was a residential village called ‘The Grove’. Now I knew it was no co-incident.
Many months later on 18/8/04, as I drove along the main road nearby, I felt urged to again visit the scene of the ‘city cross near collision’ in Alicia Street. Inside me something seemed to say - there is a link in the address of the Nursing Home. I found out that morning that the entrance to ‘The Grove’ was not in Alicia, but via Lennox St. (L&N on cross). The actual entrance to the nursing home was still not Lennox St. Another short street, the actual address of the premises, lead to the nursing home. I decided to pay a brief visit.
After finding the entrance I drove my Suzuki right up to the administration office of the place and walked up the desk. An old man on a walking stick was just ahead of me. He said to the receptionist: “It’s about time that you’re back.” (Or words similar). He turned to me and motioned me to have my turn. I simply asked: “What is the residential address of this property?” The young lady answered: “This is No. 1 Steele Street”. There was my answer – The L and crosses won!!
But there was more to come that day. The timing of my Steele St. visit coincided with a big news item I later read in the Newspaper and heard on TV/Radio. I had no idea at the time that there was a company featured that very day, a big steel manufacturer ONESTEEL. It had announced a ¼ billion Dollar expansion in their Whyalla operations. There was a multi-page feature in the Advertiser just on ONESTEEL.
ONESTEEL runs a large operation in Port Adelaide. At the nearby junction of Settlers Drive and Frederick Roads I had noticed months earlier obvious signs of a major road crash, including a fatality. It was right outside bus stop 35. Lots of flowers, broken bushes, tyre marks etc. testified to the major incident. It was too far away and I was too occupied to research any further. The name Settlers Dr is what teases my brain.
June 21st 2004 was one of those ‘non-stop magic’ days, of which I experienced many around the middle of 2004. If I were to try and explain everything what is written in my journals, the connections, the bizarre places I visited, the emails I sent, I could write a whole chapter daily. Maybe there will be a book one day, titled: “Now the rest of it all”
The day started with a “delightful” biblical discovery. I stumbled across a verse that contained the three words, plan, heart and stand in one bible verse. (Those three words are a feature on the index page of the book you are reading). Proverbs 19 and Verse 21: “There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless, the Lord’s counsel – that will stand. I took note of the date – June 21st - the number 21 would pop up more than once that day.
A regular client had a driving lesson at 7.45am. Right at the beginning we were driving in the lane beside a truck. I read the company name – Burns … it belonged to one of the companies mentioned in Chapter 31 (on my ‘mysterious guided walk’ on 23/4/04). Just for fun I told my client to overtake the truck and change into his lane. Then I asked her to immediately change back again. The client needed practice changing lanes … (Me putting on the hazard lights briefly was against the law. Naughty, naughty).
During a coffee break at home I listened to a morning program on the radio. For a number of days the newspapers had reported a drug scandal amongst the cyclists of the Australian Institute of Sports. The host interviewed a popular Adelaide sporting identity, an ex-cycling champion, about the scandal. From what I heard my sensitive spirit saw that this matter was blown up out of all proportions. Was it another - one of those stories?
The interviewer made an error, a slip of the tongue, which my ears picked up. It made me consider visiting the ex-cyclist, speaking on radio, at his bicycle shop. The slip of the tongue was the person’s name - at first pronounced wrongly with ‘n’, then the correct name with a ‘t’. (I am more than ever reluctant to identify particular people).
Since I had to drive to the Eastern suburbs I decided to drop by the bicycle shop on the way. The ex-champions brother was on duty at the shop. I asked him, did he believe the allegations of widespread drug use amongst top athletes were true?
“Would it be possible to falsify results and fabricate a story that no one can verify? It would be a good way to dump someone from the team for the Olympics?”
The young man agreed with me; one couldn’t believe everything one reads in the papers. In the media I had heard only the location, where the drug taking was supposedly had taken place, as ‘Australian Institute of Sports, Henley Beach. At the end of our conversation I learned that the property is called ‘Del Monte’. This raised my interest somewhat. I would be paying a visit there sometime, no doubt.
My excursion to the Eastern suburbs was not a driving lesson. I was planning to see a lady named Joan, a parishioner from our church, in hospital. She was very ill with cancer (She has since passed away - on 12/8/04). Perhaps I took my bible reading that morning, Jonah 21,11 as confirmation that God really wanted me to visit the lady?
I arrived at 120 K. Road not long before midday. The head nurse on the first floor (Joan’s Room number was 154) told me Joan was not well. She apparently had requested to not have visitors. Mildly disappointed I wrote her a brief note and walked back downstairs. On the inside I questioned God, why HE had led me all this way, about 20 kilometres from home, only to just scribble a short note to the sick lady?
I walked into the hospital’s cafeteria, ordered a coffee and sat down to read the day’s newspaper. A horror road smash was reported near Bendigo, Victoria. Five people had reportedly been killed when a 17-year-old learner driver lost control. Amongst the victims was a 12-year-old and a 15-year old French exchange student. My dairy adds: ‘French is the name of the drug cheat, who is trying to implicate his mates (5 altogether).
Out of the corner of my eye, as I drank my coffee, I saw a girl, sitting on a narrow, low retaining wall just outside the cafe, eating a sandwich and reading a book. While I drank my coffee she kept reading, barely looking up. After ½ hour on leaving I walked over to her and asked: “Why are you not sitting on a table inside the café?”
This was just an excuse to talk with her. She looked hardly 20 years old, most likely a nurse on her lunch hour. The book she was reading so intensely was the bible. If the girl hadn’t had my attention already, she certainly did now. While we exchanged a few trivialities, I could clearly see that her bible was opened to Isaiah, Chapter 45; a clear plastic sheet covered the pages.
Verse 5 of this Chapter was the amazing scripture I had ‘uncovered’ as the number of my son’s Volvo. I read it as one of the magic verses that proclaims a great message: that the Lord is God, the only one. Linking this verse to the licence plate number had completed a ‘magic hat trick’ (Chapter 7). Isaiah Chapter 45 had me fascinated for another reason. God willing I will expand on why, in a later chapter.
Before leaving I asked the girl her name. She said: “Alicia”. Had I been led here to meet up with her instead of Joan? I firmly believed in God’s sovereign guidance. Every morning I made a fresh commitment, to be led by HIS spirit’s prompting and to be obedient to go, wherever HE would lead me that day.
It was not far to the house of an elderly gentleman, a long time family friend. I had the time, so I visited briefly. A plumber was working outside, unblocking a drain. By the business’s name ‘Ken … I started wondering…? (A few weeks later I was led to visit the funeral of Ken, a total stranger).
While in the area I popped into a church to ask, what the sign outside meant: “Simplify, simplify”. It was what is called a ‘roadside pulpit’ situated on busy Glynburn Road. As did many motorists, I read their brief sayings every time I went past. A young receptionist told me ‘simplify’ means to just ‘live simply’. I sensed that there was more to the sign; it simply didn’t make sense - to simplify something by telling it twice. My diary says: “… ... (has lovely eyes), she knew me, I could tell.
On the way home I considered visiting our own church; but what for? I had no reason. I was no longer desperate for a listening ear. My doubts had all but diminished and I knew what I was experiencing was real, not invented. Because of the mysterious nature of this sage, it was so much easier to off-load it all onto my P/C. Luckily my P/C’s hard drive did not express doubt, felt pity, recommended tablets or accused me of wild imaginations.
Near our church for a fleeting moment I thought I recognized the face of one of our parishioners. The person was wearing heavy sunglasses. If it was the person I thought it was, I ought to turn around and offer her a lift, I reasoned. If it was my imagination, I had lost nothing. I turned the car around and it was the person in question. She lived a few kilometres just down the road on my way home. Giving her a ride home was nothing. The assurance that my inner voice had been the Holy Spirit’s guidance cemented my trust in HIM.
Later that afternoon, June 21, 04 I had a driving test booked with one of my clients. The licence examiner, who conducted the test, had never done one for any my clients. I was pleased the student passed; it was his first try. At the conclusion of the test, I could not help, but notice the registration plate of the examiner’s vehicle.
I couldn’t resist in putting on one of my capers. I asked both the student, as well as the examining lady, if they noticed something about the car’s registration number. They looked at the licence plate, then at me quizzically. After a few moments’ awkward guessing I solved the puzzle for them: “621 is today’s date - June 21.” What they thought of my strange observations, I couldn’t tell, but one thing I knew - it was not an illness and it would not go away by taking tablets.
One doctor told my wife once: “The reason some bi-polar patients won’t take their tablets is the fear of losing their creativity. If this was true, I would rather be “crazy” having fun outside a mental institution, than linger in a boring mental hospital, drugged to the hilt and bored out of my brain. As long as I wasn’t causing harm or hurt to anyone with my fun. And I wasn’t.
An item on the Radio News was just such a trigger for some fun. Our Prime Minister was quoted as directing the staff of Centrelink (the Social Security Department) to not ask for money back that was overpaid in error. Some recipients apparently, had received the newly introduced family child allowance twice; first into their bank account, and again through the mail in the form of a cheque.
According to the radio news report some people, who had been overpaid, did the right thing and wanted to return the money, but they were not allowed to. This I found was ‘pushing the barrel’ (going too far). I emailed ABC News Radio, just to make them think and have a smile.
If I received $ 600 in my bank account and $600 by mistake in the mail, how can I
be forced to not return the overpayment? A cheque in the mail has to be banked.
Until I bank the cheque I have not accepted the money.
Like a Christmas present under the Christmas tree - it may have your name on it but it's not yours until you take it, unwrap it and say thanks to the giver.
Dieter R. Fischer
Driving Plus Motor School
PS Could you please announce on News radio - Anyone having trouble returning money to Centrelink - sent it to me. Our company has a "money back guarantee".
That memorable day in June finished with a meeting of the small group that met in our suburb for “40 Days of Purpose”. The program’s theme was – “What on earth am I here for?” A large banner with those seven words hung for months above our platform at church. Every Sunday for those months everyone in the congregation sat under this slogan. Did anyone read it the way I did?
I stumbled across a different way of reading it, while doing U-Turn with a learner driver near the Lutheran Church on top on a hill. The slogan about the meaning of life was displayed on the large ‘roadside pulpit’, advertising their “40 Days of Purpose” Program. I unscrambled the slogan in my playful fashion:
“What no earth? “I am for re: he.”
Jesus said clearly that the present heaven and earth would pass away. (Matthew 24, 35). Those who are not for HIM at that time will not be saved. Those of you who trust in HIM (you are re: he) are you not glad to be part of it all? Cherish that hope for the future! Without HIM it looks bleak!
On June 21 I retired to bed late. What did the clock read? 10.35, 11.23 or 12.03? Did it matter? I knew my life’s activities that day could have been described as bizarre, absurd and even crazy.
Yet, God was with me all the way.