Today, October 2nd, is their feast day. Perhaps some of you are like I used to be, shortly after my conversion. I thought it was a sweet idea, like Santa Claus.
That all changed when mine got me out of a tight spot on the freeway and revealed his name to me.
That story – Chapter 8 – is attached at the end for your information.
Since then I have regularly made contact with Hermann, either with requests, or more frequently, with apologies.
But I want to use this occasion, their feast day, to upgrade my relationship with them and hopefully inspire you to do so also.
To begin with, let’s first try to elevate these creatures far above “a sweet idea” to a living reality.
Imagine that your biological father, out of loving concern for you in this dangerous world, has provided a 24/7 bodyguard (unobtrusive, but reassuringly present). And further, that this guard showed you the dangerous situations that he had protected you from. I’m sure that you would value his services and would feel gratitude toward your dad.
Well, this is close to the reality of our protective angels. The only difference is that our angels have to follow the same rules as their Creator – namely, they also must hide their actions (see Chapter – 232 – God Must Hide. Posted 4-22-2012).
The danger posed by our dads’ bodyguards is that we would become completely dependent on their constant protection and would not learn to take the appropriate precautions necessary to become adults operating in the everyday world.
Our supernatural guard provides discrete protection as we stumble around in the everyday world and, in addition, shields us from intentional spiritual attacks.
As we grow in our desire to become more obedient children of our Creator, He can “come out of hiding” more and more without violating our precious free will, and our angelic guards, also, may increasingly allow us to perceive their presence (and thus more frequently send our praise to our Father in Heaven).
8 – HERMANN
While I was in the Navy and stationed at Great Lakes Naval Training Center on
Lake Michigan I was introduced to One Design sailboat racing. One day a fellow
officer came running up to me . “I need a crew for this sailboat race. Mine didn’t
show up.” “I don’t know how to sail.” I said. “That’s OK. I’ll tell you what to do.”
The Navy owned a small fleet of One Design sloops (jib and mainsail) for the re-
creation of the Base’s personnel. We got out on the lake and started tacking back
and forth and I started shaking with excitement. It was chess on the water and Physics
come alive! I went to the library and took out several books on sailing and racing.
I took some instruction and came in third in the season’s standings.
Lets look at that chapter of my life briefly mentioned in Chapter One – Olympic Sailboat racing.
After I left UC Berkeley I got involved in the Cal Sailing Club. They had a small fleet of Lido14 sloops and I enjoyed racing them.
There was a small fleet of Finns – the Olympic single hander – on San Francisco Bay. (Cat rigged with an unstayed mast, single mainsail). The skipper hangs over the side since there is no keel.
After watching a regatta of these I decided to import one from Denmark and was soon throwing all my energies into physically and mentally becoming expert in its operation.
We formed the Northern California Olympic Classes Sailing Association and with the cooperation of the Coast Guard we installed a permanent Olympic Circle (8 buoys on a two mile diameter Circle) on the Berkeley Flats. I spent hours on a “hiking bench” developing stomach and thigh muscles of iron to enable me to support 15 wet cotton sweatshirts as I hung over the side of the boat in strong winds.
In 1963 I won the Northern California Quarter Finals. These were the races to choose the one representative in that class for the ’64 Olympics to be held in Japan. I was 4th in the semifinals but was eliminated in the finals which were in Southern California in light winds. I was used to the 30 knot winds of San Francisco Bay in July.
I’ve always been very competitive, and it even manifests itself in my driving. I’m
always thinking about strategic moves while I’m in traffic. One day, as I was heading
south on Highway 101 toward Petaluma, I saw ahead that the fast lane was stacked
up. About 10 cars being held up by someone in the fast lane who wasn’t passing a
car in the slow lane. I decided to go down the slow lane and try to pull into the fast
lane and politely encourage the blocking car to move ahead. I reached the car
in the slow lane and tried to squeeze into the fast lane. However, there was a pickup
truck who was not going to let me get away with it. Instead of accepting defeat, I
kept pushing while watching him in my side view mirror and at the same time watching
the car ahead of me in the slow lane. I was right on his tail and if he had slowed down
or put on his brakes I would have hit him. It was stupid, but my will was being challenged.
Finally, I managed to squeeze in. I knew that I had created a very dangerous situation.
I stepped on the gas and flew down the highway to get away from the very irate pickup driver.
I pulled into the slow lane to repent.
Then I jokingly said,“I wonder if that was my guardian angel who got me out of that situation.”
I didn’t believe in guardian angels (even though this was after my conversion.).
It was something that the Bible said, but it seemed a little sentimental.
Then I continued in the same vein, “I wonder what his name is.”
In that instant, the name “Hermann” floated through my mind.
I knew that wasn’t my thought and I didn’t like that name since it had associations
with Hermann Goering, one of Hitler’s cadre.
A week or so later I saw a book with the meaning of names. I looked up my name –
Armond. The book’s entry read: Armond – Hermann – military man. I quickly
apologized to my new friend and protector. He has been working with me con-
stantly to help me overcome that competitive instinct and to learn some valuable
defensive driving techniques – just a different kind of strategy. He finds parking
spaces, makes green lights stay green longer than they should and finds things when
St. Anthony is busy. I have recommended him to his employer for a pay raise