“Suppose we save this woman?”
“Save the woman Mr. Fogg!”
“I have yet twelve hours to spare; I can devote them to that.”
“Why, you are a man of heart!”
“Sometimes,” replied Phileas Fogg, quietly; “when I have the time.”
(excerpt from Around the World in 80 Days, by Jules Verne)
One of my best friends died 5 months after I was born. He has made me laugh, entertained me for hours upon hours with his stories, and opened my eyes to mysteries in ways that are marvelous to me. Every time I think of him I am thankful that he shared his thoughts with me, and none more than these thoughts that inspire me and fill me with hope:
“And this brings me to the other sense of glory—glory as brightness, splendour, luminosity. We are to shine as the sun, we are to be given the Morning Star. I think I begin to see what it means. In one way, of course, God has given us the Morning Star already: you can go and enjoy the gift on many fine mornings if you get up early enough. What more, you may ask, do we want? Ah, but we want so much more—something the books on aesthetics take little notice of. But the poets and the mythologies know all about it. We do not want merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words—to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it. That is why we have peopled air and earth and water with gods and goddesses and nymphs and elves that, though we cannot, yet these projections can, enjoy in themselves that beauty grace, and power of which Nature is the image. That is why the poets tell us such lovely falsehoods. They talk as if the west wind could really sweep into a human soul; but it can’t. They tell us that “beauty born of murmuring sound” will pass into a human face; but it won’t. Or not yet. For if we take the imagery of Scripture seriously, if we believe that God will one day give us the Morning Star and cause us to put on the splendour of the sun, then we may surmise that both the ancient myths and the modern poetry, so false as history, may be very near the truth as prophecy. At present we are on the outside of the world,
the wrong side of the door. We discern the freshness and purity of morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure. We cannot mingle with the splendours we see. But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumour that it will not always be so. Some day, God willing, we shall get in. When human souls have become as perfect in voluntary obedience as the inanimate creation is in its lifeless obedience, then they will put on its glory, or rather that greater glory of which Nature is only the first sketch. For you must not think that I am putting forward any heathen fancy of being absorbed into Nature. Nature is mortal; we shall outlive her. When all the suns and nebulae have passed away, each one of you will still be alive. Nature is only the image, the symbol; but it is the symbol Scripture invites me to use. We are summoned to pass in through Nature, beyond her, into that splendour which she fitfully reflects.” – C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory
I have often felt that the friends of C. S. Lewis cannot help being friends of each other.
– George Sayer in Jack: a Life of C.S. Lewis
Not a big Stephen King fan? I have been and then I’ve sworn him off and then come back again. You could say I have a love-hate relationship with his work. Mostly my qualms come from his ultimate plot resolutions. In that vein, I thought the ending of his novel It was the worst ever. But here’s the thing about Stephen King that is undeniable: he has almost unmatched powers of description and just about a pitch perfect ear for dialogue. I’d say he is just about a literary genius when it comes to creating spaces and people that I want to find out more about. 11-22-63 is one of those books that I can’t get out of my head. The characters are friends and the story is going along at pace. I’m writing this in the middle of the reading so I don’t know if the ending is going to disappoint…I actually think I don’t care. Does that make sense? The book is so good to this point that I could walk away and say I’m glad I got to go this far, even if it hits a dead end. For me, that’s about as good an endorsement as I can give.
“You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” (John 5: 39-40)
If you want to learn things that can’t be found in books there are two steps. The first thing you have to do is believe there are such things. The second is to stop looking for them in books.
I have to admit that I wasn’t interest in Ender’s Game until I saw a preview for the upcoming movie. My Sci-Fi go to growing up was Robert Heinlein and I never found anyone else too appealing in the genre. I just finished the trilogy by Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game, Speaker for the Dead, and Zenocide. The first two books are pretty good and worth the time, but I think the last book would be better in an abridged format. Card says in a 20th anniversary edition interview, that he wrote Ender to get to Speaker for the Dead, which was the book he really wanted to write. This shows. Speaker for the Dead is a very imaginative book with good pacing and characters and ideas. Zenocide descends into a thinly veiled vehicle for the author to put forward his personal “theory of everything.” It is boring and the characters are flat. The first book is really the best example of Sci-Fi storytelling and is worth the read – I just wish I could have avoided falling into the trilogy trap. The movie will represent a significant departure from the book – it can’t be helped due to the interior nature of the story telling in Ender’s Game, but Card was integral in adapting the book to the screen and it may not be a total bomb…we’ll have to wait and see.
Cover of Ender’s Game (Ender Quartet)
“I did some reading on Jewish dietary laws. In one article the author was emphatic that we Christians must not eat such meats as rabbit and camel. The question that immediately came to my mind was, “If I no longer eat rabbits and camels, will I get along with my wife better, will my children grow up knowing the Lord, and will I be able to overcome my depression and defeat?”” – Sidetracked in the Wilderness