Saturday, September 1, 2007

So Much To Say

There have been so many thoughts, observations, and happenings that have sleeted through my mind over the last month that make me smack my head and say, "That would make a great story!" But they've gone unwritten. Some snippets will stick in m' haid and leak out later, when I have the leisure required to maintain a writing hobby. A couple things to log though:

Um, the motorcycle crashing wasn't severe. It was enough to cause some damage that's still not healed up: A blunt-force contusion on my elbow and a busted turn signal. And a scratch on my helmet. Other than that, all is well. Here's what happened, and feel free to mock me like most of my coworkers did.
My day job's parking lot was sealcoated a cuppa weekends ago. Nice, shiny blacktop. It rained for days and days after that. I was leaving for lunch on my vroomscooter (heh - just made that up) and turned to go out the gate and down the drive. Suddenly, at around 8 MPH, I found my wheels making way more of a turn than I was (or was it way less?). At any rate, the bike slid out from under me sideways, skidded 30 feet to a stop, dribbling gas and turn signal lens parts along the drive. I was unceremoniously dumped on my right side with all the force gravity and other various laws of physics could muster. I was wearing my leather jacket (thankfully) and hate to think how much bone meal I'd have left on the parking lot otherwise.
I've ended my career at the Kwikee Mart, due to high powered schedule issues at the day job. And I know on which side my bread is buttered, so any extra hours will be spent making the world a better place for construction workers rather than for Squishee drinkers.
Yes, I'm aware construction workers can enjoy the occasional Squishee, stop splitting hairs at me.
There's a post on the interwebs that got me thinking (and reacting) more than usual. So there's only one thing for it: To offer the other side of the pancake.
First, go see Kingfisher's post. I'll wait. Now, I like and respect Kingfisher a great deal, but I couldn't agree a whole lot less. I offer this in the interest of open-minded discussion of ideas, rather than pretending to be an all-knowing end-all authority on existential matters. More discussion is a good idea.
I fear that much of the rambling which follows will be useless if one rejects the very idea of God's existence. But it comes from a perspective I've wrestled and reasoned out for most of my life, and I can say I wholeheartedly believe it.
Without faith it's impossible to please God. Faith takes humble acceptance of things not seen or fully understood. A recurring biblical theme - the greatest wisdom of man is confounded by the simple truth of God. It takes a childlike (not childish, immature) faith to understand, accept, not miss it. I would assert that it takes far more faith to believe that all things that we see happened by convergence of just the right elements and energy, and creative accidents continued to advance life to the stage we now see. That doesn't happen anywhere else in the observable universe - chaos and decay are in charge without intervention. If God's an invention, then it's pure foolish grasping. As CS Lewis said, you either have to believe Jesus is who he says he is (the divine son of God), or he's a madman, on par with one who says, 'I am a poached egg.' One can't simply say he was a great teacher and reject the bit about his claims. Cafeteria style truth isn't an honest practice. If God's a revelation, then it's due reverence, awe, and thoughtful consideration. Nowhere does the bible say to reject reason or science or observation. The senses are designed to inform us, not betray us. The black-and-white assertion that one must either accept Carl Sagan or the Bible leaves little room for discussion. I believe in Carl Sagan, and have learned from and had my curiosity piqued by him. I also happen to disagree with him on philosophy. To 'know' is to farking END CURIOSITY, which is why scientists become scientists. To explore. To question. Every answer produces more questions. I would think this exhilarating, not infuriating, to intellectuals and scientists. If WE are created in God's own image, then that alone evidence of importance. If God alone is worthy of our worship, then he must believe us important. If God deems us worthy of redemption, that's the ultimate trump card. It takes humility, not hubris, to accept truths greater and more durable than we are in favor of demanding to know - with acceptable proof to our satisfaction. Is the only answer to unsatisfied questions that God MUST be a cruel taskmaster?
Just because things aren't the way I prefer doesn't make them malignant, cruel, or spiteful. I could trip on a steel ball and curse it, just as an olympian celebrates his record-setting shot put. I could glory in the beauty of a mountain at sunrise as an unseen climber falls to his doom on its harsh and icy face. A tree that provides me shade blocks my neighbor's view. Or, a favorite among the inspirational email forward crowd: the traffic jam that makes me late could be what saves me from going over a collapsed bridge. I believe there is room for the harsh and unyielding laws of physics/ nature AND God to coexist.
Yes, interpretation is subjective, belonging solely to the individual. Knowing we have "The Correct" interpretation is a luxury we aren't afforded. That takes faith.

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