La La Shack

So you decoded it…I recently saw la la land and the shack.  But let the title serve its purpose.  In the Shack Mack has a dream, or is it an experience?  In la la land experience is trying to birth and give way to a dream.

Which brings me to ask…What is your reality?  What is your reality today?  What is your reality on Sunday morning?  What is your reality on Friday night?

Let’s start with today.  For me today was Fuck it!  I could be a drug pusher and feel no remorse.  That’s where my emotions were. Well strangely enough the day ended with me being a Christian pusher (one who is pushy) but now I feel remorse, fearing distancing myself from the one i love.

Philosopher Soren Kierkegaard said we are top to bottom creatures of emotion.  So then should we listen to our emotions more as opposed to always trying to conquer them?  Ah here’s the rub…within reason.  So reason is king again?!  Ah, I feel better again.

Back to the films…Both have guides.  The Shack has the Holy Trinity.  Hard to argue with that.  La la land has Seb, a dreamer after Kierkegaard’s own heart.  However the true dance in La La Land is initiated by the femme, coaxing a serious musician who is settling for a party band out of his comfort zone.  But as the climactic actual dance on the hill is transpiring, Sebastian is starting to almost retaliate by encouraging her to pursue a dream of her own.  Emotions certainly reign supreme as they wax and wane through career and relationship success and heartache.

So yeah, we got to dream big and work bigger to make sure we don’t wake up from the dream.  Because in the end the dream is realized and we are left to wonder if the ends justified the fork in the road.

The theme of Mack’s struggle is coming to grips with sacrifice, and how sometimes you gotta tear out for something else and new and wonderful to grow.  His emotions of bitterness are choking himself and his family.  He once told a story about a princess who sacrificed herself for her tribe.  Unbeknownst to him the wheels were set in motion to illustrate that same story in his life.

Mack’s reality is turned upside down by grace and his emotions are revealed to be the tools for forgiveness on many levels.

And there is our key.  Live and die by your reason?  Be ready to forgive and be forgiven.  Soar to new heights with your emotions…or old depths until they get the best of you?  Be ready to realize who and how you stepped on…and ask forgiveness.  But don’t neglect to forgive yourself.  Because yes Jim Morrison, sometimes “you gotta break on through…to the other side.”

Education to work, a welcome transition

So for the past 8 weeks I have been secuestered as it were in mental health institutions.  Not hospitals mind you rather programs designed to achieve first stabilization, then preparation, for re-entering society as a productive contributor.

The first 6 were full of groups, educating and inviting Analysis on poetry, expression through art and through open group venting and receiving advice from residents.  We ate a lot and bowled and played ultimate frisbee.  It was somewhat tolerable being holed up with 30 residents in one lodge.  But it was riddled with excessive downtime of which many residents complained.

The last week and half I have been in a different locale, one with almost no downtime. Makes me appreciate what I had but nevertheless what I have.  My mind became stable.  Now it is becoming strong, growing to be able to sustain regular employment again.

Just thinking.  More later.

‘Risen’.  A movie about the resurrection of Jesus Christ, experienced through the eyes of a nonbeliever.

So i went into this flick intrigued by the premise.  I thought midway through that what would be really interesting is a movie on this subject, made by non believers.

I was just about to watch Deadpool which I wasn’t so sure I would care for, when a friend mentioned Risen.  Well I was floored.  Definitely my favorite Jesus movie.

What I like so much was the perspective, from the head of the centurion soldiers.  Eventually he is brought face to face with a decision, to trust his eyes becoming his heart, or to let his life experience and presuppositions dictate.

He becomes acquainted with Jesus’ disciples, them fueling the fire of belief in him.  He also is a eyewitness to Jesus’ death.

The film also contains unusual vantage points, like Jesus and the centurion captain on a gigantic road in the middle of the night while others sleep.  There is also a dream the centurion has which challenges the mode of devotion held by many Christians.

All in all a question is posed.  What is belief and what does it require?  Definitely a must see.

Scam or legit?

We’ve all had the scenario.  ‘This person looks attractive.  But is he or she too good to be true?’  First indicator is a recent move to any part of Africa!  Then they’re real forward and nice.  Then before you know it you’re closing your computer and throwing your hands up.  Do good guys/girls still exist?!  I would venture to say no but then there is the silver lining.  Like Hosea for instance.  Married a prostitute, chased her all over town but there WAS a divine plan! So what, throw out the book and hook up with the scammer, pleading the divine plan fifth?  

Wait a week…

Lately it has been impressed upon me the concept of time, in this case one week, can work wonders in a relationship.  In proceeding with this advice, I have found myself incomparably frail.  That is I tried to contact her early on many occasions.  But about a week later she did finally respond…

How dark is the dark side?

In the latest installment of Star Wars, the force reawakens and the Dark Side is given some extra hues of black.  In a pivotal scene, Kylo Ren is shown praying if you will to Darth Vader’s mangled image, asking for strength to be true to the Dark Side, rather to be ever darker.

This brings me to ask, do we comprehend what we are doing, to what level we are achieving, when we ask to be drawn closer to the light, or to the dark?  A sermon I heard last night reminded me that it is not an abbreviated journey, to travel from light to dark or vice versa.  The preacher said we tend to see good and evil on a continuum, that is, good being just a little better than evil and vice versa.  After all, things must remain in balance after all.

But this is not the reality of the situation, according to The Word of God.  Preaching from the book of Jeremiah, the pastor showed us that evil must be punished, that good be taken seriously.  There is a lion, a leopard, and a wolf assigned to misbehaving Israel, to devour those who travel “outside the camp”.  There is a foreign power, one “whose language we do not know” assigned to ravage the people gone astray.

Further adding to the point that evil is far removed from good, the pastor gave an illustration from CS Lewis’ The Silver Chair.  In the story there is a green lady that controls a world underground, with just the playing of her mandolin.  The pastor noted that when we are close to doing good, i.e., kingdom work, we are only a little strumming of the green lady’s mandolin from setting down the good we were pursuing and going the opposite direction, or not doing anything at all.

Let me be clear.  I am not trying to illustrate how close good and evil are by  mentioning the subtle spell of the mandolin.  No, I am endeavoring to reveal the power of the dark side…and of the light.  For why would evil set out to derail us if the light were not powerful as well…and more powerful still?!