Thursday, September 18, 2014

Hiking the Dolomites

The Dolomites have appeared on my bucket list a few times. It is, in my opinion, the most beautiful place on earth. So beautiful that I've questioned whether the photos are shopped or actual.  

Today I ran into a friend who went on a hiking trip there. He confirmed to me that they do, in fact, exist. It is not just wallpaper for your phone. To quote Jackie Chiles (Kramer's lawyer)  "They are real and they are spectacular!" It's going down. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

And Then?

A young man, whom he had known as a boy, came to an aged professor of a distinguished continental university, with a face beaming with delight, and informed him that the long and fondly-cherished desire of his heart was at length fulfilled – his parents having given their consent to his studying the profession of the law. 

As the university presided over by his friend was a distinguished one, he had repaired to its law school, and was resolved to spare no labor or expense in getting through his studies as quickly and ably as possible. 

In this strain he continued for some time; and when he paused, the old man, who had been listening to him with great patience and kindness, gently said, “Well! and when you have finished your career of study, what do you mean to do then?” “Then I shall take my degree,” answered the young man. 

“And then?” asked his venerable friend. 
“And then,” continued the youth, “I shall have a number of difficult and knotty cases to manage: shall attract notice by my eloquence, and wit, and acuteness, and win a great reputation.” 

“And then?” repeated the holy man. 
“And then!” replied the youth, “why then there cannot be a question- I shall be promoted to some high office in the state, and I shall become rich.” 

“And then?” 
“And then,” pursued the young lawyer, “then I shall live comfortably and honorably in wealth and respect, and look forward to a quiet and happy old age.” 

“And then?” repeated the old man. 
“And then,” said the youth, “and then- and then- and then I shall die.” 

Here his venerable listener lifted up his voice, and again asked, with solemnity and emphasis:

“And then?” 
Whereupon the aspiring student made no answer, but cast down his head, and in silence and thoughtfulness retired. This last “And then?” had pierced his heart, like a sword had darted like lightning into his soul, and he could not dislodge the impression. 

-by Octavius Winslow

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Coffee Hands

After church service I was helping clean out the coffee urns when I accidentally spilled some coffee on my hands. No big deal, I'm a servant who is not above menial work. It's just the kind of guy I am. Smart, caring, patient, and humble (above all). Besides, the coffee wasn't that hot. 

Anyway, I caught a whiff of my hands a few hours later and the smell was delightful!!! It rivals the Cinnabon smell when you're walking past the store!

Now I'm thinking, "Why not always use coffee as lotion?" You ought to try it. If it wasn't so weird I'd seriously be walking around asking people to smell my hands. 

This may become a morning ritual for me. You are welcome to try it, too. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Keep... On... Running!

Next year I plan on running a half marathon (The Flying Pig) and a full marathon (Columbus).

This is a bit of a brag, but I'm very happy with the progress I've made in just a few months. When I began running I could barely imagine doing a 5k. Today I did 10 miles (the last 2 did me in)!

RAN 10.15 MI ON 8/30/14

Meshach Kanyion
AUG. 30, 2014at 7:06 MESHACH KANYION

It's amazing how loud your mind speaks when you are running. Mine tells me that I cannot go a step further, or "YOU MUST WALK NOW!!!" Sometimes I listen, and that all a part of improving, I guess. But there are times when ignoring the mental chorus helps you see how much you can actually do.

Something else that helps me is seeing what my "friends" do on MapMyRun and other running apps. It is not a competition, but when my phone buzzes letting me know that they completed another run, I am encouraged to get up and hit the streets myself.

In one month I am going to try 13.1; we will see how that works.

If you use MapMyFitness, or RunKeeper, look me up. We can be running friends... But nothing more, LOL.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Mere Ideas Part 2

Last week I wrote about how advertisements reveal the philosophical ideas that govern contemporary society. You can see the post here. The point was that we live, by and large, by the idea that our lives should be governed by our feelings.

"I Will What I Want"
Earlier this week Richard Dawkins expressed this idea in response to a tweet he received.

The internet exploded with responses to Dawkins suggestion. Parents, friends, and anyone with a general sympathy towards those with Down Syndrome, were justifiably angry at him. His statements  should enflame anyone who has a heart, including those who have gone through the process of aborting any birth. It is certainly a subject that deserves much conversation, and should not be handled in less than 140 characters.

But as I was reading the comments directed at Dawkins I noticed that many people were stating—in various ways—that they were angry because his comments went too far.

"Going too far" suggests that his thinking is along the same lines as yours, but perhaps it is in territory that you are not ready to walk. It suggests that his logic is of the same stuff as yours and the difference is only in degrees, not in kind. But if this is the prevailing ideology of the day that many happily live by, who are we to suggest that he is wrong? What right do we have to be angry at Dawkins because he went a little further than we would usually go? Why can we have our wants guiding our will and he can not?

He is just living out the popular philosophy of, "If it feels good do it." "Do what makes you happy." Or:

Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
(Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
(Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you feel like that's what you wanna do
Well what would make him happy is the abortion of a baby that will be born with Down Syndrome. Why has the clapping stopped?

Being angry at Dawkins because he went a little too far is like judging the person that uses more dangerous drugs than the ones you use. You are traveling down the same road, they are just running faster. It is foolishness.

The call, then, is not for Dawkins (and those of his kind) to back up a little and not go too far anymore. But to become the kind of person who isn't governed by such ideas at all. What needs to happen to Dawkins, and many of us, is total life transformation. Then our will will be governed by that which is ultimate goodness (God), rather than the pursuit of a certain feeling we want.

To be governed by wants and feelings is a path to destruction by implosion. It is what the apostle Paul calls "death." Conversely, "to set the mind on the Spirit [unfathomable goodness] is life and peace. (Romans 8:6)"

Life and Peace!
I think that's what people want anyway, right? Do you think Richard Dawkins wants life and peace? Do you want life and peace? I sure do. Well the way to get there is not by willing what you want, but by setting your will on God and God's kingdom.

Paradoxically, God wants to give us what we want, but in order to get there we must get the directions, as it were, from him.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Mere Ideas

Advertisements are some of the most powerful conveyers of contemporary philosophy. Take, for example, Under Armours new slogan.

This, to be sure, is meant to be understood in a context of athletic achievement. I want to excel athletically, therefore my will falls in line, and I become what I want. 


But is it wise to have a will that is subservient to ones desires? Wouldn't it be better to have a will that is not governed by your wants? Sure it is fine when your wants are for good things, but if you are the type of person who wills whatever you desire, will you not soon end up getting things or becoming someone that is not good? 

Isn't it better to will what is good and let that govern your actions? That way if there is a conflict between will and want the better might prevail.

Shouldn't the slogan be, "My will is founded upon what is good and it is good to be physically fit, so I want that. Under Armour!" 

Not as catchy.

Anyway, it's just a commercial! Right?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Never Taste Death

Her name was Lulla. She was five years old, a Brahman child of much promise. She had sickened suddenly with an illness which we knew from the first must be dangerous. We could not ask a medical missionary to leave his hospital, a day and a half distant, for the sake of one child, but we did the best we could. We sent an urgent message to a medial evangelist trained at Neyyor, who lived near, and he came at once. He arrived an hour too late.

But before he came we had seen this. It was in that chilly hour between night and morning. A lantern burned dimly in the room where Lulla lay; there was nothing in that darkened room to account for what we saw. The child was in pain, struggling for breath, turning to us for what we could not give. I left her with Mabel Wade and Ponnamal, and, going to a side room, cried to our Father to take her quickly.

I was not more than a minute away, but when I returned she was radiant. Her little lovely face was lighted with amazement and happiness. She was looking up and clapping her hands as delighted children do. When she saw me she stretched out her arms and flung them round my neck, as though saying good-bye, in a hurry to be gone; then she turned to the others in the same eager way, and then again, holding out her arms to Someone whom we could not see, she clapped her hands.

Had only one of us seen this thing, we might have doubted. But we all three saw it. There was no trace of pain in her face. She was never to taste of pain again. We saw nothing in that dear child's face but unimaginable delight. 

We looked where she was looking, almost thinking that we would see what she saw. What must the fountain of joy be if the spray from the edge of the pool can be like that? When we turned the next bend of the road, and the sorrow that waited there met us, we were comforted, words cannot tell how tenderly, by this that we had seen when we followed the child almost to the border of the Land of Joy.

The above story is from Gold Cord by Amy Carmichael. 

"Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” - Jesus