Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I just figured if I was going to make the world a better place I would do it with cookies

I had coffee with a buddy today and on his cup was the following:
Growing up, my parents always said, "You will leave this world the same way you came into it: with nothing." It made me realize that the only things we do in this world that count are those things that make the world a better place for those who will come behind us.
--Tyrone B. Hayes (biologist, herpetologist and National Geographic Emerging Explorer)
I know what a biologist is and I can guess at an Emerging Explorer (goes to an Emergent or Emerging Church, right?), but isn't a herpetologist someone who studies snakes? Is he a snake handler? We don't actually go for that at our church, but I'd be curious to ask him how he's done in his roles at making the world a better place.

Incidentally, you can scope out all of Starbuck's The Way I See It slooge, but their site does require cookies.

Speaking of cookies ...

I watched a movie tonight that arrived in today's post courtesy of Netflix, Stanger than Fiction. I thought the film was brilliant, particularly the literary underpinnings.

Anyway, Harold Crick realizes that his life is the product of a novelist and his life unfolds as she writes it, while she is writing it.

Crick meets and is intrigued by Miss Pascal, a baker who dropped out of law school. She said, "I just figured if I was going to make the world a better place I would do it with cookies."

Having seen that Hayes quote earlier in the day, these words got my attention. (Hold that thought ...)

Crick learns that part of the plot is that his character will die, so he's pondering his life and how to spend what remains of it. He asks his friend, "If you knew you were going to die, and relatively soon, what would you do?"

I found it more than a bit theologically interesting, from the perspective of God being the author of a story in which we are characters. It brought to mind issues of determinism and confidence in the author/Author.

Aside from the concept of living a life already planned out by an Author and not necessarily being happy with the way it goes or the outcome, I had to record both of these quotes for further reflection. I don't take this as a sign that I will die soon, but if I do I guess we saw it coming.

Yet every day people die and fewer than we like to realize are really prepared for it.

In the scheme of eternity, my life (and yours) is but a vapor. Since we know we are going to die, and relatively soon, what should we do?

What are you doing to make the world a better place? What means a better place?

Potentially contrary to those folks cited above, I see the world as a better place if God's glory is better spread, in my life and the lives of others.

That means more than my/our personal holiness with regard to our spiritual disciplines and our self-discipline with regard to avoidance of sin, though that's huge. It also means being agents of God's grace in the lives of others that they might experience joy as I/we serve them for the reputation of Christ.

So ... what are you doing to make the world a better place?



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