Wednesday, December 26, 2007

To Blog or Not to Blog...

As you may have noticed, my blogging has been rather sporadic lately. To be honest I just haven't been inspired to write. I think God has brought me into a time of "pruning" which can be painful at times but also causes me to want to talk and write less and listen more. So maybe I'll take a break. If you link here and don't want to link to a dormant blog I will not be offended if you "unlink" me. But there is always the possibility that next week I will regain an intense desire to write and will resume blogging. May you become ever more aware of the love of God which is displayed in the sacrifice of Christ's crucifixion and the joy of His resurrection. As always, I covet your prayers.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Into the Wild

"Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth."
- Henry David Thoreau

Tonight I saw a great movie. I saw Into the Wild with some friends in Vancouver. The movie tells the story of a young man, Christopher McCandless, who becomes disgusted with society, gives his life's savings to charity and then hitchhikes his way acrossed America, ending up in the wilderness of Alaska, where he dies. There is some controversy about McCandless' actual decision to go out into the wilderness in Alaska without a map (some call it a suicide) but I thought the movie itself was beautifully made and I found the philosophical side of the plot quite inspiring. I resonated with McCandless' disgust at so much of what goes on in our decadent and short-sighted society. Plots like this always make me think of Christian in The Pilgrim's Progress who desires to flee from the wrath to come.

I liked the characters whom McCandless met as he traveled the country almost as much as I liked McCandless. He meets and befriends a unique group of people in his travels ranging from a hippie couple to a wheat-farmer to an older Catholic man living near the Salton Sea in Southern California.

Along with the characters and the plot, I really enjoyed two other aspects of the film, the cinematography and the soundtrack. Eddie Vedder provided much of the soundtrack and being a Pearl Jam fan I enjoyed it. Much of the film takes place in the west and, of course, Alaska, with beautiful views of the Grand Canyon and the Alaskan wilderness.

* * *

Oh it's a mystery to me.
We have a greed, with which we have agreed...
and you think you have to want more than you need...
until you have it all, you won't be free.

Society, you're a crazy breed.
I hope you're not lonely, without me.

When you want more than you have, you think you need...
and when you think more then you want, your thoughts begin to bleed.
I think I need to find a bigger place...
cause when you have more than you think, you need more space.

Society, you're a crazy breed.
I hope you're not lonely, without me.
Society, crazy indeed...
I hope you're not lonely, without me.

There's those thinkin' more or less, less is more,
but if less is more, how you keepin' score?
It means for every point you make, your level drops.
Kinda like you're startin' from the top...
and you can't do that.

Society, you're a crazy breed.
I hope you're not lonely, without me.
Society, crazy indeed...
I hope you're not lonely, without me
Society, have mercy on me.
I hope you're not angry, if I disagree.
Society, crazy indeed.
I hope you're not lonely...
without me.

- "Society" by Jerry Hannan, performed by Eddie Vedder in the soundtrack of Into the Wild.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Still Alive...

Well, it's been a while. I'm 1/8th of the way through medical school! My final exams went well and were finished on Friday. I am now home in Battle Ground, Washington and look forward to two weeks of relaxation, enjoyable reading and time with family and friends.

The last three weeks have been challenging spiritually. God has made me aware of areas where I still struggle to trust Him. I am trusting that God will bring me through this though, to a greater trust in and love for Him and a greater love for all of the people in my life. In the midst of the struggle, I have experienced a new gifting from the Holy Spirit. Truly God provides during times of struggle!

I brought home a number of books to read. I plan on finishing the missionary autobiography of John G. Paton. I also borrowed "Aglow With the Spirit" by Dr. Robert Frost from the same brother at Christ's Church (Anglican) who lent me "Nine O'Clock in the Morning." There's a good chance I'll write about some of those books sometime in the next two weeks.

I thank God for weakness. Paul said:
"Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."