“I know the Bible is God’s word because it says so.”
It’s a silly notion, no? It also rightfully causes a certain anger to develop, assuming you haven’t hardened your heart against God so much that you can’t feel anymore. Well, know that I’m with you. It’s illogical. The particular fallacy is named “Begging the Question,” if you care.
Now for the fun part. I need you to take all your willpower and see that I get to be just as righteously angry when you say, “God (or anything supernatural) doesn’t exist because science says so.” That’s also begging the question. We’re talking about the almighty triune God. Measurable? For your sake and mine, appreciate that He isn’t and wouldn’t be.
Speaking of books that contain prophecy, check this out. At work the other day a 17 year old man asks me, “Isn’t Sam Smith (the singer) dating some hot chick?” I said, “I don’t think Sam Smith is heterosexual.” He said, “What’s a heterosexual?” I said, “I’m not telling you that one. Google it if you care.” He googled it, then said, “So, they like multiple people?” I said, “What?” He read, “A person who is attracted to persons of the opposite sex.” Luckily, his online highschooling surfaced and he realized that persons wasn’t indicative of many before I lost my mind.
This little scene led to me randomly considering that George Orwell got it wrong when predicted the message “Big Brother is watching” would accompany the future all-encompassing government surveillance. The metaphor no longer works. American kids don’t even know what that means. Big brothers aren’t overseers anymore. Like everyone else, they don’t have a clue or a care about anyone but themselves, if big brothers even exist. (I indict myself as a parent of an only child here too.) All you parents/grandparents who made the book a “classic” have failed. How does that feel? You’ve ignored your children in favor of yourself, in favor of work, in favor of the dollar so much that all brothers and sisters care about is themselves, let alone you, me, or God. Taken with the fact that kids think government is their lord and savior–the righter of all wrongs–the only choice this arrogant, selfish godlessness leaves us is Trump or Clinton. No thank you. If you want to find me, I’m taking my Bible–the very revelation of the one true God to humanity–to the streets. There is only one Hope, there is only one Lord, and there is only one Savior. Pray that He has mercy on us.
As I was delivering pizza tonight, I looked out of my window to see a partly cloudy blue sky. Against a setting sun, it was particularly striking. I was moved to think, “Of course there is a God. Why else would that look so beautiful?” Then I reprimanded myself and said, “That’s so stupid, Pete. It’s just clouds and the appearance of the color blue caused by the light of one star out of billions.”
Remember I wrote that a professor said Christianity is just glasses? Glasses with which to view the world? Well, let me use my hero-ness to twist that metaphor a bit. I offer that Christianity is night vision goggles.
Night vision goggles have to be focused by pilots before every flight. The best they can guarantee a pilot is 20/40. Obviously this isn’t the 20/20 of daytime, but we’re talking about seeing at night. Well, one part of NVG focusing is that they have to be focused upon either a fixed distance or an indeterminate distance. The way we flew with them, we’d focus them on an indeterminate distance in order to see outside, and then we’d look under them to see the flight instruments with our naked eye.
Well, as the NVG-focusing lore goes, back in the day there was a pilot who thought he’d be real smart and focus one tube of the NVGs to see the dimly lit flight instruments, and the other tube to see the outside world. Suffice it to say that the next day he wore sunglasses to work because he jacked his eyes up so much that he didn’t want anyone to see them.
The point is, just like pilots adjusting their NVGs before a night flight, all of us are adjusting our vision every day. This activity is inescapable. Yet if we get it wrong one day from the next, God spares us and we live on.
Christianity is the only adjustment that gives 20/20. Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do to prevent you from zooming in closer than 20/20 (Buddhism/Quantum-ness) or not close enough (atheism/agnosticism/the belief that I am merely an observer, not a participant). Reality is no different than how there was nothing that poor pilot’s friends could do to get him to not experiment with the NVGs. The beauty of Christianity is that it never disputes the experienced reality that I do not possess the ability to focus your NVGs for you.
In other words, I concluded that the partly cloudy sunset was beautiful because God created it to be so. And so are you. Believe it.
So I don’t like admitting that there are ever any parts of anything to do with Batman that I question, but for a long time I had a lingering doubt that the whole “Make the climb…without the rope” theory would work. You know, the idea that only when we are spurred on by the fear of death in all its finality will we truly find the strength to do what needs to be done. Well, it turns out I was wrong. The fear of death does increase jumping distance.
Picture this: H- and I at the pool. Goggles on. We’re in the three-foot deep shallow end. Every four seconds she’s adding the post-script to what I can only describe as an entry into a no-holds-barred splashing contest, “See, Daddy? I can swim?”
I smile and say, “Just about.”
Then she says, “I want to jump in.”
I say, “Go ahead.”
She gets out of the pool and with a decent running start proceeds to jump into this same three-foot deep shallow end of the pool. Her head never does go fully under the water and she says, “Ow.”
I say, “You should tuck your knees up so you don’t just land on your feet.”
She says, “Like a cannon-ball?”
I say, “Yep.” So off she goes for attempt number two.
“Ow. I can’t really do a cannon-ball.”
I say, “Well, then, you should come over to the deeper end and jump in.” She starts shaking her head and I soothe, “I’ll be there. Don’t worry.”
Notwithstanding all the splashing, she actually can stay afloat a while during her attempts to swim in the shallow end. And if I remember right, swimming is like riding a bike. Add these things together, and you will see me a decent bit away from the wall in the hopes that when she jumps in, she may just start swimming to me and more importantly, realize she actually can swim. Ta da.
Instead, I learn that she can jump a helluva lot farther than I ever expected or have seen before as she nearly tackled me in a leap that can only be described as springing from legs attached to a brain that really thought a visit to the pool with her father might be the last event on her earthly journey.
The lesson: Teach kids how to swim before how to read the number four.
“I just don’t want to do the sock hop. I want to skate,” the boy declared.
The minivan door opened wide. Rushing to the plain brown building simply labeled “Skateland”, the children realized their hurry was wasted as they needed their mom’s money to make it past the gatekeeper.
Blue and red slushy mix marked the snack bar as a the smell of un-buttered popcorn and warm feet invaded their nostrils. Looking to see if pizza was an option, he nearly ran into a girl struggling to roll on the carpet.
“Yes! They have it.”
Pretending not to notice it, he was glad the couple’s skate was happening now. That meant he had time to focus on getting the right fit, and also time enough to check out the newest ABEC bearings for sale.
As I’ll Make Love to You faded into Thriller, his body drifted towards the rink. Almost falling, he cursed the carpet. Almost falling, he cursed the silky floor. Almost falling, he cursed his skates.
First stop, the DJ.
“What’s up kid?”
“Um. Could you play Hanging Tough, by New Kids on the Block?”
“We just played it a little bit ago.”
“I’ll see what I can do, though. Anything else?”
“Um. Ice Ice Baby, by Vanilla Ice?”
“Just played that too.”
“Okay. Never mind.”
Undeterred, he zoomed along the far wall, scanning the rink for his friends. A tap on the right shoulder warned him they were passing on his left. Catching up, he hoped that his speed and skill impressed any interested girls as the still air became a pleasant breeze.
Being told “five more minutes!” earlier than desired, he skated out his remaining time just fast enough to not get yelled at by the dude in the zebra stripes. Returning to the benches, he was amazed–just like every visit–how light his tennis shoes were.
“Feel’s like I’m still skating, only lighter,” he professed to the others.
As the they walked out the door, the boys chattered excitedly that they just saw the cutest girl of the day walking in.
“Man! That always happens.”
Breakfast at 7:00 am with his woman, a quick shower at 7:45, and they’d be out the door by 8:30 on their way to the home store. After picking up a few essentials it would be time to head to the hardware store. He desperately needed a new tool for weeding, and also a bit of potting soil. Oh, and winter fertilizer. If things went perfect, they’d be driving away from the hardware store at 11:00 on their way to meet friends for lunch at 11:30.
It wasn’t quite a sit-down restaurant, but the couples hadn’t seen each other in what seemed like forever, so he budgeted an hour and a half for the lunch. Farewell handshakes and hugs would conclude at 1:00 pm, so he figured they could be pulling out of the parking lot at 1:05, which would leave plenty of time to drive to the ‘burbs for their nephews game. The kid was only 6, so it wasn’t exactly organized. From his perspective it was more like a bunch of adults forming a fleshy boundary which attempted to keep sacred childhood. Either way, he was excited to see his sister and brother-in-law.
From there, the plan was to split-up for an hour or so to clean up. Then everyone would meet back up at 6:00 for some Colorado-style pizza. He figured they’d be out of the restaurant by 8:00–8:30 at the latest. Afterwards everyone would return to their respective homes, and have a nice quiet night on couches.
Yep, he was pretty proud of himself for having such a thought out plan, but now it was time for bed.
Pulling the covers up–awkwardly as usual–to warm the back of his neck, he shut his eyes, smiling.
He awoke. Widening his eyes as if that helped him regain consciousness faster, he reached for his phone. Seeing the time before noting who was calling, he read “5:30” with some confusion. “Who would be calling so early on a Saturday?” he wondered to himself. The screen informed him who it was, and he couldn’t help but smile.
“Honey,” he said. “Honey, wake up, wake up,” he said shaking her.
“What time is it?” she mumbled.
“Huh? Why? That doesn’t matter. We’ve got to cancel our plans for the day. The mountains called. They’re open!”