Saturday, September 29, 2012

Saving Our Bacon

The last time I had a strip of bacon was August 13, the day before I left for college for my last year there. It was then that my parents could afford to let me have a strip. I can't remember when the bacon famine began, but it was hitting everyone hard. My entire family sat on the floor around a cardboard box that was all we had, once we sold the table, chairs, silverware, and microwave to buy the single pigslice. The single fluorescent light swung gently above use, casting its glow, which the strip on the box reflected with effulgence. To our family, this strip of bacon was passed down from the Father, brought down on the wings of angels, giving a chorus of praise and worship to this almighty fragment of swine.

Indeed, it was a glorious piece of bacon: the red parts seemed rigid enough to be crunchy, the pale slivers cutting a path through the valleys of gracious, rolling red. The entire swine slice glistened under the fluorescent light, adding another layer of holiness to the awe-inspiring cut.

The next door neighbors were bound in the living room; after hearing of our acquisition of the package, they attempted to steal it. However, my father put a stop to that before it began, hanging their patriarch out front. Horrid place we live in where one must murder to keep this treasure.

After fortifying the front entrance, we turned from the stalkers on the road. The bacon strip called to me, and I knew it was time. The family looking on, I picked up the slice, broke off a piece, and put it in my mouth. The flavor hit me immediately, dizzying me. The pure elation of flavors in my mouth paralyzed me, with the rest of my strip in hand.

The slice took a half hour for me to eat fully. Once I ate it, my father went out front with a shotgun, firing off a single shot. I remember back late in the year 2012, when this epidemic was simply a “shortage”, a curiosity, a farming mishap. Nobody expected the pigs were dying, but they were. In order to damage their masters, and thus lessen the damage done to them, they committed suicide en masse. This led to the “Great Bacon Race of '13”, where people rushed to Texas to grab the bacon before it became scarce. After the bacon baked away, the economy collapsed, hope vacant from the capitalist system. Now, in the fifth year of the Bacon Crisis, synthetic bacon is top dollar, and the true bacon piece I ate legally doesn't exist.

Please, 2012. Don't let this happen. This is just the beginning. We must unite, for our lives and livelihoods! We need to save our bacon, both literally and in a figurative sense! We must continue eating, keeping the pigs away from cliffs or sharp objects. The future is in us. The future is in bacon. The future is now.

Paid for by the Organization to Save Our Bacon.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

My God is an Initiator.

This post was inspired by the image below, and both describes my feelings about my religion and inspires this post.

I once drew during class. It was a tessellation, and it was one of the most detailed things I ever put onto paper in a fifty-minute setting. It was a simple pinwheel, but I expanded it, using a set length increment to increase its size, I very meticulously worked at it, getting the lines perfect. I added more and more complexity, finding that the patterns I added to it synthesized with the old ones, becoming a more intense pattern, which expanded and contracted multiple times, before finding its happy end in the middle, where I started.

Inspired by this, I went home and expanded further, going into the third dimension. I no longer have this, as it was made with Lego sticks, but upon completion, I had a retractable ovular third-sphere, which, due to the seemingly random color choices I made, looked like an eye – black pupil, green iris (with many blue and red imperfections), and white background. The extra dimension was unintentional, but the physical pieces, unhindered by the second dimension I drew in class, stretched to make this amazing creation. Intrigued, I reversed the pattern near the corners of the eye, using other sticks I colored myself, now intending a plan for this.

In short, I made a face, it was quite large, and very flimsy. Sadly, the thing disintegrated, and I forgot the patterns I used. But, for that brief moment in time, I was god over something; I used an intentional pattern to make something I found satisfying. It was only much later, staring at the pile of Legos pulled apart by gravity's lure, that I made the connection of an overarching Creator. For I, with my limited means, made a beautiful thing within a single day, and which didn't last very long. I ignored it, and it went into shambles. But my God (I would go further into explaining this God, but that's not the purpose of this blog post) made the world, and did not leave it alone.

For, true perfection is something which is added to constantly. I could have added more structural stability to my creation, but the stability would have damaged the face of my creation, and would not have made it beautiful in my eye. I also could have stayed with my creation, not only maintaining, but expanding further, using my patterns to make the rest of the body; my God did, and so much more.

He made not only me, but he made every single person on Earth, every fleck of dust in space, and every phenomenon. All of it is by his hand; every eruption, every downpour, every birth is observed and maintained by Him, and it all follows patterns of such unimaginable complexity that, using human words and terms, I would shame myself by attempting to describe it (though I will indeed attempt to).

Not only did he create it but, through a combination of the most complex algorithms and structures, he put forth patterns that replicate themselves, that increase in complexity, all by themselves. He is not only the Creator, but the Ultimate Initiator; Creation sometimes starts as a simple, small pattern, which expands exponentially by itself. But the Creator, the Initiator, stays with it, until the Creation is mature enough to give praise to its creation; at that time, the Creator, gracious and pleased by His Creation's praise, continues to expand, adding his signature to multiple parts of this new sub-reality. Eventually, this Creation becomes so complex that it meets the Creator's complexity, and melds with it. Even still, the Creation understands its subservience to its Creator.

My God happened to allow certain parts of this Creation to partake in His reality directly, upon their expiration in the sub-reality. If I join him when my tenure in this world expires, I will thakn him directly, for creating a Creation of such complexity as to allow for sub-realities to spawn within themselves; to allow a child such as myself, half asleep in a morning class, to build a miniature reality in fifty minutes, then to take that reality and expand it within a day to become something I didn't even imagine possible, which I could passively expand by simply letting the patterns I created take hold.

This is my God, who guides His Creation's creations.  

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fifty Stars Are Stripped?

A short message today,and a quick dip into the political schemata.

The Presidential Race has been throwing mud for over a year now, and I mostly felt it was even, and that I wasn't bought on either of the candidates. Recently, though, one of the major candidates' campaign replaced the stars in the American Flag with their campaign logo. This show of absolute and total arrogance, removing the individual states and bastardizing the flag with your own logo, your own ideal, is so against the original intention of the flag, that I fear your campaign has descended into Socialism.

First, a disclaimer on the matter: I would say the same for anyone. If Chuck Norris were to replace the stars with his face, I would speak out against him. If anyone does such a damning thing to my flag, I will never support such a jaded campaign.

The American Flag has fifty stars to symbolize the fact that we may be a unified State, but we are fifty separate States under one banner. Each state is different, and THAT is diversity on a map. The stars are an integral part of the flag, and if the two-hundred-forty-someodd-year old stars are replaced by such a fatuous, temporal symbol of your own over-blown importance, I will rip your logo off and place the shining glories back on.

This Flag will not stand for your arrogance. I will not stand for this, and I would love to hear somebody try to rationalize this offensive mockery of the flag.   

Sunday, September 16, 2012

My Two Cents on Hell

Outside of my campus' most famous eatery, I enjoyed a snow cone, courtesy of the Baptist Collegiate Ministry. Whilst gnawing through the solid, brick-like portion of the cone, I partook in evangelism. An older gentleman was questioning younger one on his standing on salvation. In the end, the younger one left with much to think about.

I had two responses, which I relayed to the older gentleman. The first is a question of the effect the speech had on the younger one's soul. Many people are quite against the Christian ideal of Hell. The arbitrary “pit of fire” seems like a threat to many people, Christians included. I would like to share my two cents on the subject.

First, to the non-religious crowd: I’m sorry, I don't have much of a witty remark here. Hell ain't rosy at all. I wish I could say something more kind on this matter, but I honestly cannot. Hell sucks. But it is not necessarily a pit of fire. Let me describe it like this. Many people understand drowning. Most of the world has seen water, and felt the need to hold one's breath when submerged. Though, when one drowns, it is not a climatic event; when one begins drowning in earnest, they just float there, nearly paralyzed. I’m not sure why, they simply do. It looks almost calm.

Burning alive, on the other hand, is different. Many people have not been set on fire; it is a terrifying mystery. What we know is that, when we put our hand on the hot stove, it burns. Thus, a pit of fire is seen as quite an excruciating eternity. Thus, it is a common image of Hell.

In reality, Hell is ultimate separation from God. To a religious man, it is a fate literally worse than death. For my idea on how one gets to this place, see below.

To the religious crowd: I’m not about to get on a high horse and order you, so I’m going to simply state my own opinion on the subject. I believe that, by default, I am going to Hell. In lieu of the actions I have done, and the man I am, I deserve and expect it. Now, if it turns out that God would like me to be with Him for eternity, then I will be eternally grateful and undeserving. That's for God to decide.

This is simply my view on the matter, as I have not studied enough of this subject to make a statement that concerns everyone. I would love to learn more, for, as a Christian and a human being, Hell excites and terrifies me. I offer these two stanzas of an as-of-now unfinished song as my closing:

O great father, I don't deserve the gift,
I’ve taken your inheritance and squandered it,
What I’ve done to deserve your love, I can't think of,
But let me work in your fields til the kingdom come!

Why do you kill the fatted calf for me?
After all I’ve done- I made you weep!
Is your love really this strong?
Tis the inspiration of this song!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

In Defense of Miracles

A short paraphrase from C. S. Lewis' Miracles, in my own words:

The nature of miracles is confused. People hold the belief, and for sound-albeit narrow-reason, that no perfect God would intrude upon this world and alter it in such a way that the bible tells. A perfect God would never need to add to his masterpiece. There's a similar camp which suggests that the “Natural World” does not need intrusion by a deity, and in fact rejects such intrusion. Now, I will answer these two claims, the second simply (and first), the first in a more complex way later.

The Natural World cannot reject an intrusion from the supernatural, much in the same way a “chair” cannot keep “someone” from sitting in it when said “someone” chooses, so long as this “someone” created the “chair” to be sturdy enough to support said “someone” (for, this “someone” is a very large, and powerful “person”. It takes a strong world to support Him). In fact, this “chair” oftentimes benefits from this “someone” sitting it it; its purpose is being fulfilled. In fact, this “someone” who made this “chair” is so skilled that the “chair” is, in a whole sense, invulnerable to any degradation or rot. A leg may break, but “someone” always fixes it to make it whole. The “chair” enjoys the creator's sitting, and fixing.

Secondly, this gets more difficult to explain (and that chair metaphor was tough to fill in the holes (i.e., “invulnerable chair”)). After all, I simply explained that Nature won't reject nor can reject God's “interference” or “intrusion” (indeed, it's more like a good King checking in on his serfs(constantly); they run out and greet him). It gets more convoluted attempting to explain the reason behind God's need to “intrude”, and I bring you to my friend. He's read through the first book in a series, and enjoyed the political intrigue. He assumed the other books would be full of the same machinations as the first one, an indeed it seemed the first book's ending fed directly into those assumptions. Though the author was much more interested in the first book leading into what he described as a book with “too much magic, not enough political intrigue”. Apparently, the gloriously famous book was more unlike the rest of the series, and this turned off many a fan.

Throwing another example into the mix, pick any outrageously famous poet, author, or artist you heard about in grade school. Remember how you noticed that they disobeyed rules that you were sure were set in stone, the most basic rules of the skill? Robert Frost was made an enemy for the longest time in my eyes with his piece, Mending Wall. Frost, in my eyes, ignored all functions of common poetry, writing a badly metered jumble of words (which I later came to recognize the beauty and flow of) that I could not stand. I complained to the teacher, asking how he could pass off the piece as poetry. In another case, I was infuriated at Shakespeare – how dare he make lines that make no sense; how dare he throw words of his own in the mix! In both cases, the artist had proven himself far superior, and was able to have more leniency in their pieces. In fact, these pieces became some of the most memorable pieces in their careers, and in my childhood.

Let's go back to the book series. My same friend went through the entire series (he is apparently a Masochist), muddling through all the magic fluff. He went back to me later, and praised the series. He said that the series turned around, that the magic actually led back into politics, and the two synthesized to make the story more massive than he believed. It was in reading further into the complexities that he understood that the author of this series, this creation, was using an entirely different storyline, using different rules than my friend has presumed. This mirrors many people's thoughts on miracles all too well, though they sadly do not take the extra step and read more deeply.

Last point, and I’ll close. The skepticism due miracles is because we view them as superfluous, with no goal, simply “a fluffy good deed”. Much like my friend above, they read into the first small bit of the creation they see, and use the rules viewed—the perspectives seen—to write their limits on God. But we are not the main story, and miracles are not aimless. If miracles do exist, then they are the heralds of every new chapter in the Book of Life. They are momentous occasions, which have been set forth from the Most High. Miracles are God's creative license, and, much like grade school children, we only see them as breaks from the norm (much like Frost's poems) and berate them for the author's “lack of ingenuity”, or “lack of skill” in the “blunder”. But, much (much, much) more than Shakespeare and Frost, God's poetic licenses are what make Him unique, inspirational, memorable, and ingenious. 

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