What do you make of strings of letters? PIRSDE… TRA… CANREC… IVLE… Seemingly random letters of the alphabet, placed together. Meaningless. But unscramble them and you have words – whose meanings might unnerve you: SPIDER… RAT… CANCER… EVIL.

Take the spider, for instance. Or let someone else take him if you prefer. Think big house spider that appears out of nowhere, runs across the carpet, causes shrieks or silent breath-holding, followed by a hasty call for assistance.

As for the rat, I was put off rats forever after reading George Orwell’s 1984.

Cancer. Six letters that spell uncertainty, drastic treatment and possible death. It ‘can rec‘ indeed. I received a blunt letter with Suspected Cancer glaring in bold type. The outcome of a hospital visit was, “It’s benign.” I was lucky.

Next: evil. Evil if you read it in one configuration, Vile in another. Either could describe spider, rat or cancer – depending on your mindset. If you reconfigure the letters once more, however, you have Live. And that’s what each of us has the chance to do right now this very minute. God knows how many minutes we might have. Cherish each one. Live now.

Today I’ve reached my three score years and ten. I’m profoundly thankful to God for giving me 70 years on planet earth. The string of letters that make up planet earth can be re-scrambled to read rate the plan (appropriate when thinking of the creator of the rolling spheres) – and elephant art. In case you’re interested…

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