Before my 2007 Kauai trip I read a review of a hamburger place called Duane’s Ono-Char burger which made me really want to find it. So on one of the days when I decided to drive all the way around the island I kept an eye out for it. Somehow I could not find it! I knew I was in the right vicinity but no Duane’s Ono-Char! So I pulled off of the highway and took a winding road down towards the sea which eventually ended among some homes and a little beach park. As I sat there for a minute trying to decide whether or not abandon my search for the elusive Duane’s burger, a young guy came out from behind one of the homes and headed towards the park. From the car I called out, “Can you tell me where Duane’s Ono-Char burger is?” I swear that his response was, “I can no make it betta.”
I thought, “What?” So I asked again and he again responded, “I can no make it betta. Got smoke for me?” “I don’t smoke. So you don’t know where Duane’s is?” “Ya, go back a few mile. But I can no make it betta,” he said as he started approaching the car. Being made uneasy by the strange incoherence of our conversation, I called out “Okay, thanks. Have a good day!” and headed back towards the highway. Back on the highway I went in the other direction and sure enough there it was in plain sight! I had already driven by it twice without seeing it!
So there certainly is a life-lesson in this which is when we are flailing around in our “lostness” we just might want to turn around in how we look at something in order to see it as it is! In Orthodox Christian terminology this “turning around” is called Repentance. By this term we do not mean weird and denigrating practices but a sudden realization that the direction in which I have been going has been contributing to my being lost, and an equally sudden conviction that I need to do something about it! This does not mean that we will suddenly know where we’re headed! The transfiguration of the individual that is the fruit of repentance is not a goal to arrive at but a process, a journey and the manner in which one takes the journey!
Repentance and Transfiguration are spiritual realities proper to every human being’s growth, no matter one’s religious affiliation or lack thereof. Without a spiritual core we are carried along by every emotional and cultural tsunami that sweeps over us and threatening to overwhelm our inner life. The way that we live needs to manifest what we believe. Or rather, the way that we live will manifest what we believe no matter what we “say” we believe! And we’d better believe in turning around, or we’ll stay lost!
Dunae’s Ono_Char burgers are really good, with a gazillion ways in which to construct yours! If you’re ever heading up to the North Shore of Kauai look for it. And also bring cigarettes for those who help you turn around along the way!!