Sep 10

Love, Angels and Devils

In Brief — A passing flirtation with theology allows the author to explore the relationship between love in our hearts, those we feel are our angels and the bad things that can make life miserable. [Written in April-May 2017.]


Life is Like a Box of Chocolates (Forrest Gump)

Your life is like a roller-coaster ride: ups and downs. As Forrest Gump wisely continued in his analogy, “…you never know what you’re going to get.” Up, down, good, bad, every experience, no matter how seemingly insignificant, adds to the person you are.

Imagine a graph with a vertical axis and a horizontal axis. Let’s arbitrarily say the vertical line is Love and the horizontal one is denominated Angels. Where the two lines meet in the corner, or the zero point, we will call the Devils. Each line is graded, up and horizontally from zero to 100. The people or the incidents in your life will fall somewhere on that graph.

With that as a starting point, I will take a look at my life and place significant people and incidents on that graph. I don’t have any enemies that I know of, but there are certainly painful incidents that have affected me. Good ones, too. You might want to think of your own life in these terms.

Richard Bach’s “Illusions” says, “There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts.”

I will modify this wisdom only to the extent of saying that gifts come with every incident in your life, not just the problems that have plagued you. Accept those gifts in the realization that they are adding to the person that you are becoming. Whether you realize it or not, you are growing as a result.

The people in my life, wives, children and their significant others, friends and relatives sit somewhere on that graph. I’ll say only that my current wife, my children and my dear friends rest on the high end of that graph. I love them and consider them angels.

My former wives sit slightly lower on that graph, but I hasten to add that they have taught me more than they will ever know. Some of those lessons were painful, but I grew because of them and their gifts. For this I’m thankful. I hope they are, too.

One of my angel friends sends me books, sharing her pleasure and adding to the person I’m becoming. Other dear friends send me thoughtful articles, films, laughter, the latest news, pieces of the larger world and glimpses of themselves. All of these are gifts and become part of me.

Former girlfriends shared themselves with me. Most of them think I’ve forgotten them although I haven’t. Even though I have a suspicion they’ve probably chalked me up to a youthful mistake, they taught me about myself. More importantly (though they may not want to know this), we have both contributed to the individuals we are today.

I often complain of the physical limitations I’m dealing with since the operation, but if I look beyond the surface, I find that I’ve grown because of the limitations. I’ve had new experiences, time to think, read and reflect. I’ve been able to contribute in small ways to others. I’ve grown.

Look at your own life, the love, the angels and the devils. They’re there, sometimes hiding, often not, but they’re there.

Consider this quotation from “Illusions”: “Here’s a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you’re alive, it isn’t.”

The Weekly Sampler—

As a reminder, go to the Archives on the right side of the page and click on the month and year of that week’s featured Sampler. If you wish, go to the January 15, 2017, blog (“A Simple Reading Assignment”) for more thorough instructions.

If you want to read the entire piece, simply click on the box titled “Continue Reading.” When you want to read the next piece, simply swipe your cursor across the one you have been reading and you will find the next one. Do this every time you want to read the next piece.

Don’t miss the Comments and my replies. Even though the Sampler pieces are from the past, feel free to comment…or not.

Go to the Archives on the right side. Click on June 2016.


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  1. what a gorgeous sentiment. I want to share it in our hyp news newspaper. is that okay by you sweet Don?
    Love always

      • Don Bay on September 11, 2017 at 07:06

      Dear Angel, yes, you can add my scribbling to the newspaper. Let’s hope that your readers find gifts in those words.

    • Dave Meyers on September 10, 2017 at 18:26

    Funny that you have us envision a graph that plot our lives.
    I have always pictured the progress of my life in a similar way. I see it as that familiar cardio trace graph… know….the jagged line that runs from left to right quickly traveling up and down from a horizontal base-line recording the beats of ones heart.
    My good and treasured experiences spike up from that base-line and my painful or unhappy memories are marked by the line spiking down.
    I haven’t really plotted it out with pencil and paper. This image exists only in my head. I will say that the spikes that dart upward and represent the positive out-number those that shoot below the base-line……and I suppose that is why I see life as mostly positive and worthwhile. I’ve had my share of negative moments that plot well below the median, but all and all, to quote another author, the Beat Goes On. Thanks Don.

      • Don Bay on September 11, 2017 at 07:03

      Great minds travel the same road. You have added to the the person I am in more ways than you will ever know. No doubt your creativity, good humor and wisdom will continue to add positive spikes to your graph. The beat goes on.

    • Arthur Ulene on September 11, 2017 at 00:56

    Thank you for the gift of that message. Still growing at 81….. Art

      • Don Bay on September 11, 2017 at 06:55

      Smooth talker. Here’s to lots more years of growth.

    • Donna Boe on September 11, 2017 at 01:02

    those are wonderful thoughts, Don, and I agree. You have certainly added much to my life, partly by some of your cynical comments I disagree with, ( but they always stretch my thinking) and certainly by your affirmation of some of my thoughts and actions.

    The angels and devils scale of growth works not only throughout a life time, but even in a short time situation. For example, Roger was distraught after he pushed the wrong button on the computer, and erased four hours of work! But had he not done that and remained home struggling with restoring the work, he would have missed the anticipated phone call he’d been waiting for from the neurosurgeon in Salt Lake City. – a minor example of how what seems very negative can sometimes result in something else very positive.

      • Don Bay on September 11, 2017 at 06:49

      Again, thanks for the warm words. You are one of my angels. As Roger knows well, gifts can be delivered at the most unexpected times. Accept those gifts. They may hurt, but they add to the person you are today…and we’re still growing.

    • Arthur Ulene on September 11, 2017 at 01:09

    Donna….. I’ve done the same thing Roger did (several times), but each time there was a gift. Please share this with Roger: The second version always came out better (and shorter) than the first….. Art Ulene

      • Don Bay on September 11, 2017 at 06:53

      Thanks, Art. You see, even the most annoying and discombobulating occurrences in life add to the person we are. You added to me and the many you have touched.

    • Kathy on September 11, 2017 at 05:13

    What a beautiful, positive outlook. Thanks for sharing this! 🙂

      • Don Bay on September 11, 2017 at 06:41

      Thanks for the kind words. Believe it or not, I have a positive outlook…it’s in there somewhere.

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