Things worth doing

by Chris Lorensson on 29 August 2008 with comments

There are things to do, and then there are things worth doing. This is no mystery, yet no matter how pervasive this principle, it still evades our daily lives. I believe that the highest calling a man can ever endeavour to fulfil is to simply love God. And what acts- what things worth doing respect the nature of such a calling? Perhaps this is an easy question, and no doubt there have been preachers, evangelists and urbanists who have done their deeds wholistically. But the principle remains to love God first.

A man who strives for such a calling surely will experience the highest heights and deepest depths of the Christian life – which encompasses the whole of life itself. Contemporary Christian ideology sees Christian life as a small segment of the pie-chart of world culture. What they do not realise is that culture is created by God, and therefor a pie-chart is the incorrect method to use when trying to represent this fragmentation because the ‘camps’ cannot actually be divided.

It would be more accurate to use a map of fragmentation; a block of culture marked by what is not yet under God. This also could not be represented in a linear fashion lest the model should fail. But this ‘fragmentation map’ should be wrapped around a sphere- independent of size and time. Endless and needless of scale.

I have travelled far and have met others far wiser than me. For every philosophical mountain I have scaled there are ten others where I have died at its feet. There are only self-imposed boundaries for the human mind- the bottleneck is found at God’s feet. We think our bodies contain our spirits, and the bottle (the world) contains our bodies, and God stands on the bottle, but the mind only lacks the strength to unstop the cork from inside the bottle. This weakness is called self. It can, however, be overcome. If one should only become his spirit and commune with God outside the bottle. For the vessel itself is only the body and mind, but the spirit is not controlled by the physical except by will.

reprovement and time

by Chris Lorensson on 29 August 2008 with comments

Marcus Aurelius, in his book Meditations makes the point that the best thing a man can do in life, similarly to the Author of Ecclesiastes, is to live your life in pursuit of Truth and Justice while tolerating those who are neither truthful nor just.

While I wonder about the truth in the second part of this statement, aside from that, does it follow that, concerning reprovement of others, that it is best to simply not waste time trying to correct people but rather spend the time in ‘forward motion’?

It is difficult to generalise on topics like this, but it seems that these types of generalisations are very nearly the same, if not totally synonymous with philosophy itself. I suppose there’s more than one way to skin a cat, and one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. In this case, one may call a principle ‘a generalisation’ and another may call it ‘philosophy’.

But after an exceeding amount of disagreements and realistically even arguments with people, perhaps it is indeed better to ‘tolerate those who are neither truthful or just’ rather than wasting time, and often unsuccessfully, reproving them in hopes that people will change. Though I believe people can change, I have not seen it very often- maybe a few notable instances, but generally I would say it was a rare thing.

Is Consumersism backfiring?

by Chris Lorensson on 29 August 2008 with comments

I wonder if this western generation – the first to grow up in shopping malls, in homes with microwaved tv-dinners & personal computers, a wealth of GAP clothes and too much choice – is the same generation who has already becomes fed up with too much.

In today’s world of the doctrine of over-consumption, there has been a massive shift in our thinking. Hot topics are global fair trade, bio-diesel-based travel and sustainable energy sources. We victimise Tesco, Wal-Mart and other corporate behemoths along with those who shop there. And people have begun to change their patterns of consumption- shopping locally, preferring bicycles ans public transportation over planes and Hummers.

It’s incredibly amazing how quickly we have seen this obstinate a reaction- and it’s not dying, but on the contrary, these issues are being forced into public policy among general viral opinion. It was only in the late 80’s that typical households could get computers, but now the famous Moleskine composition books are all-the-rage. People are buying ‘vintage’ bicycles – not because they’re better – but because they’re ‘recycled’, and that makes them cool.

I wonder what our children’s socially and environmentally-aware behaviours will look like. Will they look back and be unable to fathom that their parents woulld have taken no less than 50 travels by air – that the cars they drove actually ran on oil? will they be perplexed as to why it took 50 years to ban the trade of petroleum generators and lawnmowers? Will they be still enjoying the fruits of the uranium power-plants, or will their household appliances run on hydrogen or by gyroscope?

Marcus’ Meditations

by Chris Lorensson on 29 August 2008 with comments

I’ve been reading the famous Meditations by Roman Emperor and Philosopher Marcus Auerlius, and I’m yet again astounded at my basic assumption that, since wisdom is from God, it must therefor lie most commonly with those who know Him. But after reading works by non-Christian authors such as Robert Pirsig, Douglas Coupland, Marcus Aurelius, and poetry by Jacqueline Moore and Cole Swensen, I’m yet again confounded and embarassed at my own self-righteous and ignorant behaviour.

Aurelius reflects, in Book 2 – Meditations, about the common vain pursuit of foolish men:

Nothing is more miserable than one who is always out and about, running round everything in circles – in Pindar’s words ‘delving deep in the bowels of the earth’ – and looking for signs and symptoms to divine his neighbours’ minds. He does not realise that it is sufficient to concentrate solely on the divinity within himself and to give it true service. That service is to keep it uncontaminated by passion, triviality, or discontent at what is dealt by gods or men.

Lately God has been specifically challenging me to see to it that my faith in Him is not sharing its foundation with anything else – his Church, or the practices of other Christians included. I’m realising how truly He wants me for Himself, and I intend to fulfil that call.

Design and Response- finding handmade people in an identikit world

by Chris Lorensson on 29 August 2008 with comments

Los Angeles, Orange County and Southwest England all have in common this explicit truth in Design: demanding response.  I suspect that it’s not just here, but probably is a prominent feature in each of our contemporary, metro-modern lives.  Whether demanded by commercials on TV or  web-ads, it doesn’t take a rocket-scientist to figure out that the goal of modern marketing is to elicit our precious responses — even if that response looks something more like road-rage or pop-up frustration.  Sure, this Design-and-Response model is always looming overhead in everyday life, but does it correlate with how we understand God’s ultimate design: ourselves?

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When People Have Guns

by Chris Lorensson on 29 August 2008 with comments

Q: “You know what happens when people have guns?”
A: People get shot.

Q: “You know what happens when people don’t have guns?”
A: People who do have guns shoot them.”

This is something I’ve been pondering for awhile now, and partially in response to my recent post about Christian Non-Violence theory. Don’t have much more to say about it now, and as before I’m not exactly sure where I stand. As before, Shane Claiborn and Darrel Lict have been helpful on the subject, but it’s a tough one. Let me know what you think about this Q&A session.

my Crumbling Dreams of Fame

by Chris Lorensson on 29 August 2008 with comments

continuing from Illusions of Grandeur and DJ EKG’s response to it

The problem that is apparent to me in my desire for greatness is that it’s for me– not God. It doesn’t take much digging to find that part of me that’s actually wanting God’s will done before mine. I want to see Him in glory, and I feel like this is the highest calling– to be a contributor to even the tiniest part of that glory. The paradox of this is that the glory I can give God only comes from Him in the first place.

The Gift of letting go

This leads me to a book plug: The Gift by Lewis Hyde. In The Gift, Hyde talks about the importance that the gift doesn’t stop moving. The examples used are from ancient and modern gift-giving cultures alike, and they are very enlightening. The concept is not far from another widely studied idea, Creativity using the ‘Death-Cycle’ because in order for it to function effectively, something must first be lost. In the case of fame & fortune, our desire for it has to be lost. After all, we are most effective when we are ineffective– that is to say that when we are weak, He is strong, which makes me want to be as weak as possible!