Monday, July 28, 2008

Children and Perspective

We had the grandkids over for a couple of days this past weekend, and I'm reminded again of the difference between my normal view of the world and theirs. Somehow the things that worry me are invisible to them. I don't have a lot of profound wisdom to share on the topic, but here are a few random observations:
  • Right now is really all that matters. Regret about past sins or worries about tomorrow's problems doesn't mean much.
  • The world is a generally interesting and amazing place with lots of cool things to do.
  • Some of the really great things to do are completely made up in your head. No "stuff" needed.
  • Some things are funny every time you do them, over and over again.
  • Surprises are often fun.
  • Making people laugh is something worth working at.
I don't know if much of this has anything to do with Jesus' assertion that "...the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (Matthew 19:13-15).

Just thinkin'.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Laminin - Gimme a Break!

I threatened to write this post last week, but resisted fearing it would be just another rant. I can't resist it any longer so please don what ever flame-retardant materials you use while surfing.

As I was preparing for the lesson, I came across the suggestion to use this video by Louie Giglio. The reasoning was that it illustrated the point that we are sustained and supported by Jesus, the Living Water. The video describes a molecule called "laminin" that forms a major part of the supporting structure of our cells. It's sort of a "scaffold" on a molecular level. He then goes on, in dramatic fashion, to reveal the shape of the molecule. It looks like a cross. A quick Internet search will turn up dozens of links to this topic. This basic building block of our bodies is cross-shaped, and this is a sign of the divine in us because Jesus dies on a cross.

What a load of trash!

It's ideas like this that give Christians the reputation of being fanatical wackos. (Just check out the Wikipedia talk page for laminin.) There's nothing spiritually significant about the shape of a cross. It's not a magic shape. Attributing spiritual meaning to the fact that laminin is mildly cross-shaped is the same as concluding that waking up at 7:47 one morning means that God wants me to fly somewhere. We are very good at seeing patterns and reading meaning into them, even when there is no meaning.

I firmly believe that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and that we continue to exist from moment to moment because God actively wills us to exist. However, I don't think that a particular oddly-shaped molecule is a "message from God."