Monthly Archives: November 2011

THINK ABOUT IT THIS WAY

(Blogger’s note:  I posted this late last summer just as fall began to arrive.  I’ve thought about it ever since, and felt it would be worth your visiting it again.  Some things are worth repeating.  We can never plumb the depths or wear out some ideas. With finite minds, we cannot define infinity or eternity. We’ll never be able to do that. But we can think. ~dk)

As an exercise in thought, here’s something I’d like to suggest that you consider: For a long time, scientists thought a molecule was the smallest particle in existence. Research went a bit further, and we were taught that neutrons and protons and atoms were even smaller. Nobody ever saw any of those things! They were able to observe effects of their presence, but no one ever actually saw an atom. They can see what the wind does. But no one has ever seen the wind.

Much of our knowledge about some scientific facts (astronomy, for example) is based on mathematical calculations. That’s how some of the planets were discovered, and how other intergalactic objects (distant planets and stars) were located, identified, and tracked. Before Albert Einstein, atoms were considered to be the smallest particle(?) in existence and his “Theory of Relativity” grew out of the research of a massive mind. He was a theoretical physicist. All his work was cranial. It took place between his ears. He never conducted actual physical experiments, but his thought experiments were the basis upon which theories were developed, the atom was split and the nuclear age emerged. And our world was changed dramatically, forever.

One of the practical results of Einstein’s thinking was that the atom, once considered the smallest, indivisible particle in the universe, was split! Some disastrous consequences of that theoretical research were the atomic bomb, the horror of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the birth of the nuclear age. We have yet to see where that discovery may lead.

I simply cannot comprehend the enormity, mystery, and potential of some of the ideas which Newton, Einstsein, Hawking and others considered. Nor can I, on the other hand, understand the profound and powerful statement John used when he spoke of the entrance of Jesus Christ into human history. Here’s his version of the Nativity. Here’s how he tells the Christmas event:

THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH AND DWELT AMONG US, AND WE BEHELD HIS GLORY, AS OF THE ONLY BEGOTTEN OF GOD, FULL OF GRACE AND TRUTH. (John 1:1 and following)

May I just ask you to ponder this statement further? If such incredible power could be released from the ‘splitting of an atom,’ can we even begin to understand the reversal of such a process? Can you imagine compressing eternity into time? Not just turning loose all the stored up energy and power in a tiny atom, but getting all that colossal power compressed again into such a tiny space?

What John is trying to tell us is that the Son of God stooped to become a human being. The Apostle Paul had his own way of tracing this great descent. A baby! Asleep in an animal’s feed trough!

Eternity did not simply intersect time. The glory of God, the living Word of God (Jesus Christ), the “only begotten Son of God” was funneled into that little infant, sleeping, gurgling. With dimpled elbows, arms and legs and all the jerky motions of a new-born, in the sleepy, but busy, little village of Bethlehem? And the entire event was almost unnoticed out on the edges of nowhere in ancient days.

Can you imagine! Really!

Can you even begin to imagine????

Response: We don’t even know how to respond, because we have no idea what we’re trying to understand. Awe. Adoration. Jaw-dropping wonder. Sheer amazement! Those seem to be the only appropriate responses.

One of baseball’s all-time great, colorful characters and catchers was Yogi Berra. He worked some athletic magic with his catcher’s mitt and his bat, but he’s probably equally well known for his malapropisms, his mishandling of words. No one could bungle words or mangle the language quite like Yogi. Like no other I’ve known, he could get his tange all tongueled up! His expressions are the stuff of legends. Even the ones in doubt are delightfully inappropriate. When asked about the Napoleonic Era, they say he said: “It shoulda been ruled a hit!” And this: “I never said all the things they said I said.” Or, “It looks like déjà vous all over again.”

Once on a rare occasion, he dropped a routine popped fly. When he tried to explain what had happened, he commented: “I musta nonchalanted it.”

We do things like that. When in the presence of mystery and things that are eternal, we sometimes ‘drop the ball.’ We ‘non-chalant’ it. We skim lightly over strong, heavy, profound words and scarcely grasp what they really mean. Truth be told, we probably hardly even try to understand.

If even a tiny fragment of the Christmas story is true, the time to yawn and stretch Is gone! “Ho-hum” is not a rational approach to such profoundly beautiful, wonderful concepts.

The Bible says simply, plainly, that the Word…The Eternal Living Word of God…became flesh, just like us. And lived among us.

As summer settles into autumn and we head toward winter and into the Christmas season. . . and before we get caught up in the red and green, insanely profit driven rush to make the cash registers ring . . . wouldn’t it be wise to pause and consider the real significance and wonder of the real meaning of Christmas?

God’s son and servant, your friend, brother, and fellow student, ~donkimrey

“Wherever you go preach the Gospel. And when necessary, use words.” ~ St. Francis of Assissi.

DREAM ON

DREAM ON
Genesis 37: 16 – 20 “And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks. And the man said, They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan. And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him. And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh. Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.” (Genesis 37: 16 – 20)
“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.” (Joel 2:28)
“Your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.” (Acts 2:17]

A few days ago, while hospitalized, I watched a couple of documentaries on the surprising emergence of Susan Boyle. Judged by outward appearances, she looked like the deck was stacked against her from the start.
She was obviously very shy. Not really very attractive. Not young. Unknown and to all appearances out of her element. Completely and embarrassingly so. Even I felt uneasy for her, afraid she might humiliate herself or trigger a cruel avalanche of boos and hisses.
The crowd, including a cynical “judge” gasped in amazement, though, as the first notes of her song were heard. Jaws dropped. It was that obvious.
One thing that most of us would have failed to take into account in this kind of situation is that lady, Susan Boyle, had a dream. In addition to talent which had lain undiscovered, unnoticed for more than four decades, she had a dream. That was what made the difference. That was what enabled her to overcome her reluctance. Overcome her fears. Stand up against the naysayers. That is the extra factor that enabled her to stand strong in the face of almost certain scorn and humiliating, brutally embarrassing failure.
If she had bolted off the stage before the first note, I’d have felt sorry for her. I could almost see her at the last, weeping, rushing for the exit, hiding her face and nursing her sorrow and embarrassment for perhaps the rest of her days. But she had a dream. And she refused to let the dream die!
Even her song selection, “I dreamed a dream” from the successful production, “Les Miserable,” was a dead giveaway. She seemed inspired. Gripped. Driven. Confident. Invincible almost. In a word, she “knocked the audience back on its heels” with the power and haunting beauty of that incredible voice.
Most folks who’ve read anything I’ve written over the last several months know the simple single string I’ve strummed is the Scriptural study of people who were considered defeated, useless, human rubbish even. I’ve focused my attention as intensely as I’m capable on why they failed or were apparently ignored and beaten down by life. And how they were able to recover and become great leaders.
Joseph, for example, had a dream in his youth that was fulfilled in his later life. He was ridiculed because of the dream, but he held fast to it. Remember his resentful brothers out on the dessert that afternoon so long ago and so far away: “Behold, the dreamer comes” they spat his name out on the desert sand with bitter resentment when they saw him coming with their lunch. Joseph suffered great consequences because of that dream, but when you see him you can ask him yourself if it were worth the cost. He never forgot that dream, and that was certainly one of the things which sustained him when he could very easily have died in despair and been forgotten by history.
This is something to which I’ve devoted a great deal of thought lately. There’s a statement in Scripture which you could easily overlook if you read casually. “In the last days, your young men shall see visions, dream dreams.” (Joel 2:28).
I’ve read a lot of stuff in my life about people who did not stand a ghost of a chance. It feels as if I’m sort of on a mission now to discover as many of these folks as I can, and LEARN from them. Look at history. Look at Scripture. See how many you can find who succeeded mainly because they had a dream and would not be denied. Susan Boyle is just one beautiful example.
Based on my own experience and observation, I’m guessing that someone somewhere someday will read these words and remember. You once had a dream. There was a time and a place when it seemed that God was more real to you than anything. The fact that you couldn’t explain it does not mean it was not real. If your mind is open, even now you can recover that dream and never let it die!
Susan Boyle had a dream. A vision, not of what she was but of what she could do and become. Joseph did. Edison did. Winston Churchill did. Steve Jobs did. Martin Luther King did.
Do you?