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  • Dr Patrick C Marks

If a tree falls in the wood...

I admit to becoming discouraged in the past (Okay – maybe even today) with whatever marketing schemes I have devised or followed to the “T” from some super-cool internet ad to try and sell my books. Once upon a time I had over 9,000 followers on Twitter (back in 2012 I realized 90% of those followers were bots so I dropped it). This blog is a restart on a blog I started back in 2012 – and about the same results: roughly 100 followers. And on Facebook? Well, after years of posting, sending out links, ads…nothing seemed to catch fire. Book sales remained at essentially zero (I’ve not sold a single book in 40+ days) and it’s a real chore to justify all the work on marketing that doesn’t work. I tried Youtube video blogging once – posted 42 videos and again – no traction. Less than 240 subscribers after years of work, trolled mercilessly by Atheist vloggers and then, suddenly and for no reason, Youtube yanked the paid ads I was doing. Truthfully, back then, I was only making about 10 cents a month anyway. But the principle of it really stung.


So – what now? Why blog? Why try when all I’ve seen are dismal results. My critics will tell you it’s because I’m lame (just read the comments on my defunct Youtube page that I can’t even access anymore) I don’t know - maybe they’re right. In fact – they ARE right. Isn’t it astounding that after all my failures and inconsistencies and outbursts of nasty selfishness – God still kept the church going, still blessed my life with a wonderful wife (imagine what she has to put up with), gave me a lovely home, children, grandchildren and even two useless dogs that love me no matter what! I’m so blessed there should be TWO of me – and I absolutely, 100%, for certain, for real and in every other way you can describe CANNOT take credit for any of it. God did this. Jesus built this wonderful life for me – and He let me live when I should have died.


Maybe you’re new to my time line so I’ll let you in on the watershed moment in my life journey. On June 9 2017, I had a massive heart attack at age 49 (just two months shy of my 50th) and came so close to death – I could actually SEE it. I know that sounds weird, but until you’ve been there…you can’t really know. Take my word for it. Death is a real experience – and I saw a line, a dark, smudgy, shadow-like line. Maybe I was just weirding out because of Morphine – I don’t know. What I do know is I saw it and I KNEW, I knew as deeply as I can know anything, that it was “the valley of the Shadow of Death” and that if I crossed that line – I would never come back. Many things went through my mind – many feelings ranging from abject terror to the deepest sense of loneliness I’ve ever felt. Of course, I didn’t die – and I now have three stints in my heart (and I even have warranties for the stints that I carry in my wallet) and a new resolve. A real resolve – that since I only get one life and since I’ve so nearly lost it I just don’t want to waste it.


So…lame or not…I’m going to write. I’m going to write books and put them out there on Amazon whether people buy them or not. To blog or not to blog – that is the question and I’m going to blog when I can too. I’m going to do so because I’ve learned some very, very hard lessons since 2017. Whether I get “followers” and “subscribers” or not – I NEED to say something. I can respect people who don’t have that need. Maybe they are better people. I don’t know. But something inside me just…needs…to sing out so to speak. I think that’s okay.


Now, I’ve known a great many wonderful, wonderful folks who live quiet lives, simply going about life with integrity and joy and find no need to “say” anything. I’ve known others who feel that need – but in a prideful way and I admit that part of my reluctance to write, part of my departure or inconsistency in blogging in the past was fear that my motivation was pride. And God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble. I don’t want to be proud or full of myself or think I’m so important that anyone has to listen to me. It’s not about that. It’s just an itch that I have to scratch – even if it just bleeds when I do.


So – if you want to listen in, thank you. If you don’t, thank you anyway. Huh? What? Thank you anyway? Yeah, I mean that. Because being a part of the human condition in a way that fulfills who God made me to be (and that is someone with an insatiable desire to speak out) is a gift from Him in some way and being part of a massive swell of humanity, some of which is caustic, angry, and doesn’t care – well, I’m so darn grateful for still being here that I’m thankful even for those who aren’t going to think whatever I have to say is worth hearing.


That’s okay.


They say, “if a tree falls in the woods and there is no one to hear it fall – does it still make a sound?” The answer is yes – the vibrations through the air, bouncing energy from one atom to another through the atmosphere – that DOES happen whether there are any ear drums to interpret those frequencies or not.


So – I’ll drop my tree…maybe you’ll listen…but even if you don’t, it’ll still make a sound.

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