Thursday, December 30, 2010

The façade of immortality crumbles

I’ve pontificated before on this blog about the spectre of death and my children’s conciousness. My wife and I sidestepped (a nice way of saying changed or lied about) death in several Bible stories read to our eldest. But what started a week ago as sighting a dead bird has snowballed in my daughter’s mind to questions of human mortality. “Who will care for my stuffed animals when I die?"

The event is more beautiful and horrifying than I anticipated. With death on the horizon we live life more ardently but seeing the mind opened to The Fall is enough to make one tremble. I encounter news of tragedy every day, however it’s a slow harvest of bad news (most of the time). For the first time vistas of pain and suffering are now clear to my daughter. Everything tragic introduced at once: all things decay and die. 3 weeks ago all animals were happy and likely people’s ages were fairly static for her. The world has changed. I’m sure she doesn’t fully comprehend our collective mortality (do any of us?), but real fear is evident.

My beautiful wife briefly explained the narrative of redemptive history to my daughter when she started asking questions about death. I thank God that my daughter was not in a daycare when these questions surfaced. I struggle imagining what response she’d hear or what uncomfortable brush-off she would receive. Label: morbid child.

As a coincidence (is there such a thing?) we’ve recently started reading a pericope or two a night in the gospel accounts. With each reading the Gospel is explained in part and the wife and I pray for this little one to take hold of it.

Chesterton pointed out that the attraction of children’s stories lies in the secret magic behind the ordinary. “These every-day beans grow a stalk tall enough to reach the giant’s castle.” OR: “At the stroke of midnight the carriage and men will return to a pumpkin and mice.” But there IS magic behind the ordinary (see: post-synapse protiens resistent to change). And so as terrifying as is death stalking us, her eyes will grow to see the beauty of this fallen world, still laden with magic…a man and woman reached for an apple and destroyed the world. The Man took Adam’s place dying on a tree, but lives.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Random Post-Christmas Stuff

*Read this very sad blog post by Druber today. His dad has had 5 M.I.’s (heart attacks) now?! What’s worse is the foolishness of the folks from his dad’s church – in my own town! I know people at this church and I have a hard time understanding the thinking as relayed by Druber: people seeking miraculous healing from God eschewing proper medical treatment. Granted, modern medicine doesn’t get it right every time but it does get things right a great deal of the time! Further, miraculous healings happen, but they are not the normal course of events. Consider in the Bible how often miraculous things happen. Perhaps while reading it will seem like something amazing happens on every page, and it does! However, that history involves millions of people over thousands of years. Sorry folks, but the normal course of things (in an athiest or thiest universe) is for infrequent miraculous occurances. The worst part of all is how Druber describes his own departure from some kind of Christian faith as a result of this well-meaning but foolish miracle seeking on the part of others. I think I would make the same decision: If this is what you guys are about, I’m out! People want signs and wisdom but they need Christ. An interesting aside is how athiest Druber attended more Christmas services than I did this year. Maybe I’m just being too cynical about all this and need to reread George Mueller’s bio? Not sure, but Druber’s attitude is quite a good example despite exceedingly difficult times.

*I’ve recently discovered’s “What’s New” blog. It is delightful. Literati with bike snobbery? My kind of people.

*My good friend The Dude started blogging again. I told him a few months ago that I deleted his blog from my reader because he never posts. What does he start doing? Posting again. Ha! Although I shouldn’t be too hard on him, he’s probably just experienceing some slight jurisprudence withdrawl or maybe outright shock.

*The wife read me an article from the latest New Yorker on the “Jevon’s Paradox” during our drive to Indiana. Fabulous stuff (in a sense; the article). Thinking about the piece during the drive and subsequent trainer rides there I see the problem as twofold. First, human nature is inherently sinful. We are engines of consumption. As a result efficiency gains through technology will only be leveraged to acquire and use more (- this is the “paradox” -) rather than use less. Our hunger will not be sated by getting what we are already used to – with less cost. Therefore I think Jevon’s paradox (this facet of economics) is a consequence of total depravity (theology/psychology). We can’t stop – we always want more more more, because we were made for God and we want to put other things in his place while nothing else will do. When thinking about it this way, it shouldn’t be that surprising a conclusion. Secondly, Jevon’s paradox underscores the fatal flaw of the cult of technology. (…still I love technology!) It is the belief that we can solve all of our problems by simply pressing forward into future technological advances. Of course our current problems are largely produced by our technology and the processes of procurement and advancement.

*The life of Steve Tilford is worth following.

*I’m pretty excited about the 2011 road season. I got a good bit of base riding in over the Christmas week without doing permanent damage to my marriage. Unfortunately I also ate my weight in chocolate, pastry, and meat. One step forward, two steps back.

*Read this after seeing the link on aomin. For the record – there is a universe of difference between A) “We don’t know, therefore God.” and B) “We see this is awesome, therefore God.” Don’t confuse the 2!

*WANT. Also, check out the sweet euro-van towards the end of this post here.