Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Geometry, Philosophy, and 2D Christianity

Part of what it means to "father" someone is to encourage
a healthy, pervasive sense of Self-Worth in that individual;
to help them overcome feelings of inadequacy and to
prepare them to move into Life as a well-grounded,
disciplined, emotionally-stable and intellectually mature
Adult who skillfully uses his/her talents and abilities...
Nobody does this perfectly, of course, and many of us
do it badly...

From the early age of 4, beginning in Pre-School for most,
children move through our educational systems and there
experience the lion's share of their development; some kids
"take" to school seemingly naturally, while others struggle
with the numerous academic and social challenges, and for
a wide variety of reasons...

I was in the latter group, mostly doing my best to "survive"
the scholastics in order to get to the more interesting and
fun parts of School: Art, Music, lunch, recess, field trips,
doodling, sports, girls and (in later years) mostly sports
and girls...

The very first glimpse I ever had at what kind of student
I could be came during my Sophomore year in high school
(if I remember right): It was in Dick Swanson's Geometry
class... For some reason, though it was listed as a "math"
class, Geometry just "made sense" to me... It was all about
how this set of formulas were used to determine the size
and shape and volume of those pictures, and there was a
certain element of Drawing to it, etc... For the first time in
my life, I myself understood that I could do well, naturally,
at certain subjects, because (as I would later learn in much
more detail), I was naturally "wired" to be good in that area...
It felt good to see a glint of approval in Mr. Swanson's eyes
when I did well in the class... I think I remember him even
giving me props for my work, in front of classmates...

The "I can be a good student" lesson was followed up years
later by the, "Gee, I have a decent Mind and I can think"
lesson, which I experienced when I minored in Philosophy
at Liberty (one of its more outstanding departments).

It was these two major milestones in my life that helped me
(albeit long-time-coming) to begin to develop a certain sense
of Self-Worth... More lessons have followed in the years since,
having to do with things such as Emotional Strength, and
knowing when to Stand Up and when to Defer to others, etc...
I trust there will be more lessons, in the years ahead, on through
the end of my natural life...

So what does all this have to do with God, and the Faith, and
World Views, the typical subject matter of this Blog??

Just this:
The gradeschool and high school that I went to was a strict,
Fundamentalist Baptist outfit, really just an extension of the
church we went to; this was the kind of place where mantras
such as "the Bible is our only Textbook!" were taken seriously...
And as I have moved out into life, I have, from time to time,
encountered Christians who ONLY want to read the Bible,
who see an absolute CHASM between the Secular and the
Sacred, and for whom the call to so-called "personal holiness"
is the highest pursuit of their faith...

These are the folks who, if they speak to the "unsaved" at all,
do so only to quickly present the "plan of salvation", shove a
tract at them, and move on to their cloistered life with its
4-times-a-week Church activities...

It is my very humble opinion that this 2-dimensional version
of Christianity is nowhere near what God intends for us;
I believe He is profoundly interested in whether or not every
child develops a healthy sense of Self-Worth, and whether or
not that child finds out what he/she is naturally good at, and
whether or not they become emotionally and intellectually
strong individuals... the kind of GOD we worship is One who
is acutely concerned about these and other seemingly "secular"
issues, who approaches us as a Father, who desires a relationship
of Love with us, who knows far better than we do what is best
for us, and whose great Joy is not in what we DO for Him but in
what He can make of us, if we'll let Him...

Monday, June 19, 2006

Hockey Season is over

The 2005/2006 season of the NHL is finally over; the players
get about another 90 days or so to rest and heal, and then we
crank it all up again as 30 teams launch new campaigns to win
the Stanley Cup, the most prized trophy in all of pro sports...

It's no secret to anyone who knows me that I am a huge fan
of the Dallas STARS, so I'll be keeping an eye on what they do
during the off-season; and I know that Edmonton already has
a "Prospects Camp" scheduled for later this week... I, too, play
hockey on a weekly basis (I have a tournament coming up this
weekend), so my mind is never far from the ice...

I've really enjoyed this post-Lockout season: The Rules changes
have made the game faster, and the new CBA has helped create
an environment where Money is less of a factor in winning...
The "NHL Center Ice" package, and my 42" plasma TV, have
made it possible for me to enjoy hockey just about every night
of the week this year, giving me a much better picture of what
was going on around the League as the season moved along...

So a big THANK YOU to the Owners, the Management, the
staff of each club, and the Players, all of whom continue to show
us fans -- through hard work, sacrifice, determination, and skill --
why Hockey is the greatest sport in the world...