Tag Archives: jesus

The Last March of the Ents and Oil

Posted by David

I am presently troubled by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf and it has reawakened a love for the planet—for God’s creation—that has been with me as long as I can remember.

When I was in my early twenties, like many passionate, justice-desiring youth, I was spellbound by nature, forests, rivers, oceans and living creatures in general. But as the pressures of human life (and sin) burdened my mind and body, I took less notice of the problems our planet faced. I still have taken notice, but not as an activist, more like a seabird that has been pressured out of his coastal home or a young Doug-fir surrounded by intersecting overpasses.

But even though part of me looks in scorn towards man’s greed and the things we do, I suppose I have matured in that I feel more long-suffering than I did when I was younger. I feel less like an environmental activist and more like an ent.

Do you remember Tolkien’s Ents? Ents are patient forest-dwelling creatures found in the Lord of the Rings. They are a race of men that resemble trees.

“Hoom, hum, I have not troubled about the Great Wars”, said Treebeard; “they mostly concern Elves and Men. That is the business of Wizards: Wizards are always troubled about the future. I do not like worrying about the future. I am not altogether on anybody’s side, because nobody is altogether on my side, if you undertand me: nobody cares for the woods as I care for them, not even Elves nowadays.”

After lengthy deliberation in The Two Towers, the Ents decide to take action against the evil wizard Saruman. They march against Saruman’s Isengard and eventually become so enraged that just the power of their voices alone help destroy Saruman and Isengard. “If the Great Sea had risen in wrath and fallen on the hills with storm, it could have worked no greater ruin.”

As oil gushes up from the seafloor, I feel like Treebeard in a quandary. Our world is controlled by a Saruman archetype and he and his brood cause suffereing to our planet, its creatures, and us. Thankfully, the damage is not forever. But like the Ents at Entmoot before they marched, I am still in deliberation about what to do.

As the oil bubbles up, I think to myself, will this event is a turning point for mankind? Is this the point when the stones cry out saying, “Look, you humans! Look what you are made of. Look at the black, slimy filth that fills the sea. Take a good look. Can’t you see covetness, the false god of profit, and murder in your own heart? Who have you heard say, ‘I wish gas prices weren’t so high‘?”

Folks, it does get better, but only in the man we know of as Jesus of Nazarus, for it is to him and only him that the stones cry out in tears of black.

I can hear Treebeard now, “Hoom, hoom, a-hoom…”

As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

Luke 19:37-39

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Love: a perptual motion machine

Posted by David

I’ll be piggy backing on a theme written by Mike Mason—that love is a perpetual motion machine.

[T]here is only one true perpetual motion machine in the universe, and that is love. Love is the only energy that will keep on going forever, which is why it is the mainspring of eternal life. How can love keep working forever without getting tired? The answer is simple: because the way it works is by resting.”

-Mike Mason, the Gospel According to Job

Is love really an infinite process? Doesn’t love fade like a burning fire?

Alarm clockThe Death of Entropy

Over the years, I’ve abandoned entropy as a fundamental assumption in my understanding of how the universe works. To understand entropy, think of a wound-up mechanical clock. The clock is given energy during the winding process and it ticks down and finally stops.

But is this really the way the universe works? Are we, our universe and love just deterministic clockworks? If we look up at our majestic starry skys, we will see many seemingly endless cycles, whether it be the earth going around the sun or the solar cycle. Closer to home, we see cycles in geology, water and life. I love the life cycle of the tree, because it’s so simple: a seed grows into a tree, a tree makes seeds, a seed grows into a tree, and so on. One who believes in entropy argues that all of these processes eventually wind down. They may fluctuate or change state, but they don’t just vanish, do they?

It’s our modern understanding of death that gives birth to our human-contrived concept of entropy. We see death on the horizon for our bodies, so we apply that concept to the universe. But is this projection true? Is death really the end to all things?

In ecology, death is always a metamorphosis. Death is a transformation of energy from one form or state to another. The typical scientist will argue that there is always a net loss within a system to heat and this net loss is the slowing down of the system. However, the energy or heat is still there. The energy has just transformed. Something must happen to it. It’s doing something. I expect we think we see a loss because we don’t understand energy very well. It may also have to do with awareness and consciousness, but that’s another story.

I acknowledge that we do see entropy in our human inventions, like clocks. Human technology is the only entropic system in the entire universe, which is why I believe that one day, the energy put into our technology will finally be exhausted and it will wind down to a halt.

What does love have to do with it?

Everything. Unlike human technology and the power that drives it, love is the ultimate force in the universe.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth…Love never ends.

– 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Admittedly, the more I understand what love is, the more I realize how truly blind I am to love, how unnatural love is to me, and how akin I am to the other love, the one that drives my lusts.

The irony is that God’s love—the perpetual motion machine—is enterable only through the cross of Christ. This may sound a lot like Theology-mumbo-jumbo, so I’ll clarify with a poem.

The Nobility of Love

When you put aside your task for mine,
You are diminished.
When you praise my work above yours,
Your ambitions fade.

When you swallow my anger,
You drink bit of poison.
When you swallow your anger,
You keep me out of harms way.

When you listen to my pain,
You take on my disease.
When my gossip stops at you,
You burn from the flames.

When you take my punishment,
You die a little more.
When you follow Jesus to his cross,
You die with him.

Through his narrow gate of love,
You live with him forevermore.

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.

– John 11:13-14

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Outside the Camp

Outside the Camp
Posted by David

I couldn’t think of anything to blog about and it’s been a while, so I worked on this graphic. It explains my current state best.

I don’t feel at home with the conservatives. I don’t fit in with the liberals. I certainly don’t fit in with civilization. I feel best fit with the misfits and children out there, but even in their company I don’t connect all that well. I do feel at home in the wilderness, but I know it’s not my true home either. I do feel a familiarity which is akin to home with my family, but there too, like in the wilderness, it’s a fleeting home, rarely so comfortable that I’m at peace.  I suppose one of the places that I feel most at home is closing my eyes and singing the gospels with other Christians, but that only happens regularly once a week. Again, like family and wilderness, it’s fleeting.

I will venture to guess that depression in all it’s forms is simply a manifestation of homesickness. If we’re not in some state of feeling homesick, we should ask why we’re not.

In my past I had a couple of bouts with what some might call depression, but that relentless deep empty feeling has not resurfaced in years, in particular since I realized that my home is outside the camp with Jesus.

Home is where the heart is and my heart is with Jesus.

And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.

-Mark 1:35

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The First Step to Counseling Others

Posted by David

When someone comes to me with a problem, I’m finding that the most important step in providing good counsel is to understand that I have ownership in their problem. You may ask, “What ownership do I have with so and so’s problem?”

We all are connected. In many ways we are all a part of the human organism. We affect each other in ways that we don’t understand. The frustrations that I provide one person affect another person and so on. Even the things that I don’t do or even hesitate to do that I know I should do affect others in ways that are damaging. What I’m saying is that on the grand scale, I have ownership in Mankind’s problem, even the ones occurring on the other side of the planet. We are all connected. The anger I spill out in a simple look of my eyes can spread like wildfire. It’s imperative that I know this simple fact when faced with a position to counsel another. If I say to myself, “His problem is his problem—I’m a neutral party,” then I’m missing the big picture and I’m missing the biggest part of reconciliation: repentance. In repentance, water is sprayed on the wildfire. I must repent for my part before I can do any good. In fact, the act of my repentance is part of what does some good. When we are faced with another person’s problem, we must seek forgiveness for ourselves first as part owners of the problem. Then we can become true intercessors.

Naturally, this becomes a burden for us, if done with the fullness of our heart. We are in a sense, shouldering the judgment owed to the other, which if truly felt and truly accepted will cause us suffering. However, this burden does not need to be heavy for us. Because the ultimate intercessor of Mankind is Christ, so our burden is on his shoulders and nailed to his cross. This is my recent Lenten discovery.

On the macro-scale, this is what Christ did for the world. He shouldered the judgment owed to mankind and allowed for reconciliation between God and man. But Jesus passed this role on to his church. We are to go throughout the earth and consume the wildfire of man’s sin, through our repentance first. We do this through interaction, intercession, and counsel with others. But we first do this through acceptance of our involvement. Even if I think I’m remote, distant, disconnected and neutral, I’m not. Your problems are my problems. The only important distinction is in choice. I can choose to ask for forgiveness. This happens within my will. We each have domain over our own wills.

Forgive us for our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us.

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The Marginalized

Posted by: David

Society will always marginalize this or that group, no matter what group is in power.

If Party A: the poor are marginalized.
If Party B: the disabled are marginalized.
If Party C: the weak are marginalized.
If Party D: the hard workers are marginalized.
If Party E: the justice-seekers are marginalized.
If Party F: the peacemakers are marginalized.

Blessed be the marginalized, for they shall be brought within.

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