Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Complaints That Prove Life is Good

I'm on my forth cell phone and it's time to renew my contract with Vorizon so I suppose I'll soon be on my fifth. It seems that every phone I've had, has had at least one or two things about it that irritate me. My current phone has probably come as close as possible to keeping those irritants to a minimum. I was working in the back yard yesterday and I could feel my phone vibrating in my pocket about every two or three minutes as it switched itself from vibrate to ring to vibrate to ring and on and on. This is one of the irritants that I have grown use to with my current phone, and it happens because one of the external buttons, when held down, changes the phone from vibrate to ring and back again. I suppose the manufacturer didn't foresee the obvious result from such a button when placed next to a set of keys in ones pocket. My previous phones have had a way to disable those external buttons. I suppose those manufactures did have the foresight.

This feature causes the most irritation when I go through the normal ritual of searching for my wallet, keys, and phone before leaving the house. There's always a fifty/fifty chance when I dial my phone that it will actually ring and give away it's whereabouts, or silently vibrate; which incidentally sounds kind-of like nah na nah na nah nah.

Life is good, when these are our complaints, wouldn't you agree? Before being able to afford a cell phone I probably couldn't have imagined being so easily irritated once I got one. And I can think of a hundred things that could happen that would make these complaints seem not worth mentioning, which of course they are not, even if nothing did happen. So there; have a nice day, and be thankful!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Some Thoughts On The Christian Walk

An all-time favorite book of mine is Pilgrims Progress. For those who might not know, this is a book written mostly in a jail cell by John Bunyon in the seventeenth century. It is an allegory of a young man named Christian and his journey along the path of life from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City. Wikipedia shows this book as number six on the all time best seller list of books. One reason for the book's success, I think, is because Christians easily relate to the story as well as to characters such as Faith, Love, Obstinate, Vein Hope and others which the character Christian faces in his sojourn. Also I think many Christians find the book comforting because the allegory aspect of the book causes its encouragement to be timeless. The reader finds solace knowing that the struggles he is experiencing are no different than those who have gone before him; that he is indeed surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.

My own path out of the City of Destruction began fifteen or so years ago in Nashville, Tennessee. The path seemed like an up hill climb at the time as I studied scriptures, listened to teachers, and attempted to apply what I had learned to life. I had not read Pilgrims Progress at the time, and never anticipated the fact that the journey was just that; a journey. I can remember looking forward to the day when I would become a confident and competent Christian and the path would level out and be smooth and easy. Of course this has not happened, nor do I any longer expect it to. Sure there have been periods of rest just as there were with Bunyon’s Christian, but for the most part this walk has proved to be fraught with traps, snags, and dangers that lurk beyond every bend and crest.

Some might ask, then why take the path at all? To answer I will cite one of my most beloved events in Scripture. It can be found in John chapter six. Jesus was telling a crowd that to have life; they must eat his flesh and drink his blood. These words caused the crowd to disperse quickly leaving Jesus alone with his twelve disciples. Then Jesus asked them, "You do not want to leave too, do you?" Then Peter responded, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” Peter’s question is one of my most favorite scriptures of all. I love it because I have asked the same question many times, “to whom shall I go?”

There is one more thing I’ve learned about this path that Bunyon doesn’t’ mention. This is the fact that at each step, the path behind me crumbles away. No matter how many steps I take forward up the mountain, so to speak, it is always only one step backward to the bottom. There are no intermediate destinations along the way where one can drive in a steak and say this is as far as I’m going, and it is far enough. No, the Christian walk is one that is for life, and one that has a destiny that is not of this world. We fix our eyes not on what we see, but what we do not see, a city with foundations whose architect and builder is God himself. But one of the most precious things we can know about this walk, whether it be during a difficult stretch, or a smooth one, is we are not left here to go it alone. The Author and Perfecter of our faith is always there to lead and guide us, and though we may occasionally fall, we are not cast down, for he will always uphold us with his hand.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

The Bridge to the 21st Century

When I first heard the news that the bridge had collapsed in Minneapolis my first thoughts were probably pretty normal; what a tragedy, and thoughts of those on the bridge headed home from work. It wasn't long before those thoughts gave way to wondering how this would be parlayed into politics by blaming president Bush. I have been trained by experience to think this way, though It was still a half hearted thought. I have been reluctant to think that everything bad that happens can be blamed on the same person every single time. I mean it's not like we were actually living in utopia before the 2000 elections were stolen. This reminded me of the words of President Clinton and his Bridge to the 21st century. Seems his party has been busy burning and destroying them ever since, this red banner being just one more example of such an exercise. Surly the "people" will eventually see a pattern, and see this incessant blame game for what it is; a shameless grab for power. I have now concluded that to over estimate the lows to which the Democrats will stoop might be quite impossible. Do I hope in vane that the American citizen sees though this charade to what it is, an insatiable lust for power by any means? What will they do with power if they are ever allowed to wield it unimpeded? I shudder to think.

Never-the-less, there they are, on the banks of the Mississippi River proclaiming that if we were not at war, this bridge wouldn't have fallen; and what ever else may ail you wouldn't ail you; and your dog would still be living; and your tooth wouldn't hurt; and on and on and on...... ad nauseam. All the while we hear no ideas, vision or plans, only impossible platitudes such as increasing spending and lowering taxes for the poor; living happily ever after, and oh yea, did I mention bashing president Bush?