Sunday, May 24, 2009

Recipe for a Happy Memorial Day

Here's a quick reminder of what it takes to have a happy Memorial Day: THANKFULNESS! Without our soldiers, those that have paid the ultimate price and those that served both now and in the past, we would not have the freedom to celebrate Memorial Day the way most of us do: self indulgently.

I don't say that with a pointed finger. I say it to myself as much as anyone. It is so easy to plan fun for the family or work for the yard or whatever, and just be glad you have the day off to get it done! We don't have to fear arrest for doing what pleases us such as worshipping how we feel convicted, nor do we fear tyranny to work for the state or die. We can do pretty much anything that suits us 365 days a year in the U.S. of A.

Why can we go about our business independently absorbed in scrapbooking, blogging, weeding, swimming or whatever else we can find to pass the day? Because of a lot of brave men and women that have fought for the right to make it so. They have fought for the freedom of those that want to burn flags, spit on soldiers and force prayer from schools. Freedom to express our opinion, our outrage, our dreams, and our religion. Freedom to be individuals and yet part of the whole of America.

It is a thankless job in many ways. One taken for granted and way, way under appreciated. I cannot fill the void of favorable, well deserved public opinion in this one, little blog. But, I just want to remind those that may peruse my "two-cents worth" of advice to take a moment and say a prayer for those that have sacrificed so you can have this leisure time...and wonderful ownership of computers, cushioned chairs to view them on, and an air conditioned home to enjoy it all in...pray for the soldiers, the law enforcement and fire departments too. Most of all, notice how great you have it!

Notice your blessings, be thankful for this free country that God has blessed you with, be involved in keeping it that way, and thank those that have fought for your right to vote, to worship, to play! Remember that freedom isn't really free.

The recipe for having a happy day, any day, is always thankfulness! But on this Memorial Day I hope you will pause and really think that over and pray for those in our government, in civil service, and most of all those in harm's way (and behind the scenes too), all while you are deadheading those petunias or slapping on the SPF.

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At the Intersection of Creation and Evolution: A Dream

The alliterating story below is based on a dream I had several years ago. Please contact me for permission to reproduce.

Darkness devours me.

I am enveloped in emptiness.

Are my eyes open or are they closed? I strain against this shroud of night and still see nothing.

What is this place?

An image illuminates in front of me. A large, leafy tree streaks past and vanishes.

It deserts me to the darkness again.

In a moment, more images appear. A rapid succession of snapshots and thoughts clamor before my eyes and mingle in my mind.

I see seedlings. Several supple shoots have emerged before me and then swiftly stream away.

“The first trees on earth were not seedlings”, my mind observes. “They were not created as small insignificant saplings.”

That thought is rapidly replaced with a vision of a man.

He’s maybe 30; he is muscular and needs to shave.

He fades away.

In his place I see an infant.

A tiny bundle of pink skin upon a soft blanket flickers briefly in my brain.

“Man was created with age,” is the next statement I hear. “Adam did not begin his life as a baby, he began as a grown man.”

The voice seems like my own.

The thoughts do not.

Reeling before me now is a blur of rivers, forests, mountains and even layers of the earth. It is like a movie rushing rapidly before my retina.

The soundtrack of this epic is proclaiming a peculiarly plain concept:

“The earth was created with age. Creation and evolution are not in total opposition. There is a reason that science finds the earth to be quite old: it was made that way.”

Thoughts continue to tumble through my mind; pictures parade before me. I listen in amazement to what seems to be puzzlingly profound and yet rather apparent all at once.

“Adam was created as an adult. Trees and plants were made fully grown.”

I suddenly feel quite certain that, if I were to chop down some of the trees that had been spoken into existence, I would find a range of rings running through their trunks.

“The earth was brought to life with age built into it… just like Adam. He did not begin life as an infant. The earth came into being with what it would need to sustain the life that was created. It was old when it was young. The world was
made with maturity; it was also produced with purpose.”

These thoughts are thrilling. Why had I not seen this before? It seems so simple. Obtusely obvious. Had others not observed this correlation? If they had, why wasn’t it being candidly conveyed?

In the span of thirty seconds I have been ravaged by a radical revelation. I feel the weight of its worth resting on me; it is tantamount to tangible.

I am neither a theologian nor am I a scientist. I don’t claim that the ethics of evolution are completely compatible with the Bible’s account of creation. But certainly Science can come concurrent to creation and affirm our faith with facts.

Of course, the Omnipotent Originator of the Universe is exceedingly elusive to what our mind could ever envision. Above what science could ever extensively elucidate.

Accordingly, creation is confounding too. Each diverse discovery deems it more marvelous to grasp. Many scientists have reluctantly relented to the theory of Intelligent Design.

That’s why, alongside those facts, we also need faith.

Lying inexplicably at the intersection of those two essential elements is an exceptional endowment: the intermittent insight of our dreams.