Event Planning 101

  1. Never completely trust an “I wanna go!!!” Save yourself the heartache. Don’t get excited until you’re all on the road / at the party … etc.
  2. Asking “Do you want to go on a road trip?” is the same as asking “Do you like road trips?” It gives you no indication of whether the person will actually go on a road trip with you on any day you suggest.
  3. Instead, ask, “Do you want to go camping at Location Alpha with myself and so-and-so from the umpteenth of Mayvember to the impteenth of Apruary? It’ll cost $300. We’re leaving by 19:07 and returning by 15:29.”
  4. Remember that your friends are still your friends, even if they keep bailing on you. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Sometimes, I feel that righteousness alone would not actually be that hard. (Now really, it is, but let us conjecture for a short while.) That would be to claim, perhaps rightly, that you are in the right and have been wronged and there’s no argument about it anymore.

But to have righteousness with grace and mercy and peace is another thing completely. To be in the right but not to boast, or be proud, or seek to dishonour others by pointing out that you were in the right (unlike somebody), and not be easily angered, and yet after that to keep no record of wrongs, and then following all the aftermath to still want to trust and hope and persevere? This is where the Bible gives us a far far higher standard than to merely be righteous.

Advertisements

Seasons

SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

So begins John Keats’ ode To Autumn, the oft-chosen favourite of high school poem reciters. This is due to its great multisensual imagery as well as its accessibility: it’s not too lewd, not too metaphysical, and still a classic poem. I quote it here because it mentions seasons of fruitfulness and how full they seem; so full that you begin to think this is they way things will always be.

When you’re in a season of something, it is easy to imagine it going on indefinitely, whether in good times or bad. The thing is, we are not to know when everything will come to pass, or when seasons begin and end. What we do know is that God has fixed these times for his good reasons, and he changes the times. You may have a season of joblessness, or of loneliness, or of public acclamation, or of deep companionship. The fruit from these times will last, but they are fleeting in light of eternity.

6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:6-8)

20 Daniel answered and said:

“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
to whom belong wisdom and might.
21 He changes times and seasons;
he removes kings and sets up kings;
he gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to those who have understanding;
22 he reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what is in the darkness,
and the light dwells with him. (Daniel 2:20-22)

livid, adj.

Furiously angry

blue with rage?

also defined pale with rage.

Livid because of the Careless.

Careless are Tom Buchanan, Daisy Buchanan, Jordan Baker and the like; so wrapped up in themselves but lavishing the cheap love of a millionaire donating in pennies.

Careless because you smile; not a care in the world.

Even when Tom takes Myrtle as a mistress. Daisy smiles. “Nick. You remind me of a rose, an absolute rose!”

In a careless society, the great Jay Gatsby met his death.

The careless society that shoved everything messy under the rug, smiled, and glittered, leading a glamorous life.

The Roaring Twenties.

Feedback for Chambers

Here is July 13th from My Utmost for His Highest. Is it a little harsh? Or dead on? Your feedback is appreciated. (Feedback does not necessarily have to be a comment on here.)

“In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw also the Lord.” Isaiah 6:1

Our soul’s history with God is frequently the history of the “passing of the hero.” Over and over again God has to remove our friends in order to bring Himself in their place, and that is where we faint and fail and get discouraged. Take it personally: In the year that the one who stood to me for all that God was, died — I gave up everything? I became ill? I got disheartened? or — I saw the Lord?

[…]

It must be God first, God second, and God third, until the life is faced steadily with God and no one else is of any account whatever. “In all the world there is none but thee, my God, there is none but thee.”

Keep paying the price. Let God see that you are willing to live up to the vision.

This was entitled, “The Price of Vision.”

Elijah and Elisha

The parts of 1 Kings and 2 Kings that talks about Elijah and Elisha made me cry, and I’m not really sure why. I suppose it is partly because they are clearly close friends. More so, when the two first meet, Elisha’s immediate and loyal dedication to serve Elijah is a rare breath of fresh air among the treachery and disloyalty to God that the other stories in 1 Kings display. It is something rather raw and innocent compared to the caution that we (understandably, I think) show people we do not know, even if we have good reference.

So I have a question to which I have formed only uncertain answers: When should we be so like Elisha? (I sat there but could not think of a suitable adjective) To God of course we should strive to be so, but to what people and when?

Elijah Summons Elisha; Elisha destroys his previous trade and becomes Elijah's apprentice

Elisha sees Elijah taken up to heaven and tears his clothes in parting grief

Children and their magical mentor friends

In doing my 60s research for a history paper, I crossed paths with Peter, Paul and Mary and their song, Puff the Magic Dragon, [see lyrics] along with a link to the cartoon adaptation. I watched this ardently as a six year old!

Watch it at Google Video. (Duration 23:41)

“If they have Puff,” I thought, “maybe they’d have The Snowman too…” And they do.

Watch it at Google Video. (Duration 26:09)

Now, in reference to the title of this post, I will proceed to spoil the ending to the stories by talking about how they seem to relate to each other.

Aged 5 or 6 at the time I first watched these movies, I was an impressionable and sensitive young’un. These cartoons, produced 1978 and 1982 respectively, had the deepest impression on me, and I never really understood why until now.

In both Puff and Snowman, little boys discover a dear friend in the titular character, who appears ‘magically’ (in the sense that they should technically not exist). Puff and the Snowman respectively help the two boys discover more about their identity, self-expression, adventure, and the world; they are life mentors. Then, they disappear.

Whether with a formal goodbye, or silently in the night – the boys lose their dear friend of a moment. At the end of these stories there is a deep sense of loss, a slight sense of betrayal, and no sense of excitement for the future. Perhaps the Puff animation adds a little cheer to the original song, but Snowman is a tragic love story. It is a love story in the same way that The Princess Bride is a love story – between the grandfather and his grandson.

Passion we know is fleeting. Friendship we truly depend on. The love is not based on attraction, but trust. That is why these two are more tragic love stories than any romance is capable of being.