Monday, July 23, 2007
Which do you think best serves the curious mind, a telescope or a microscope?
I will let it sit a couple of days to see what response I get, then I will share my thoughts. Obviously, there is no right or wrong answer. I would just like to read some different perspectives.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
The first example is a tragic local story of an estranged husband shooting to death his 3 young children, driving to his mother-in-law's house where his wife was staying, going into the house and shooting himself to death. Much has been said and written locally about this terrible event. I want to focus on one statement made by Brenda Robinson, the surviving wife and mother. Among many other things, she said of her deceased husband "He was actually a pretty good man." Well, I beg to differ. I could debate for hours why this is not true, but my point here is that this lady, God bless her in her grief, chose to overlook some serious defects in her husbands character. I could speculate why and probably come close, but let's just leave it at this fact. He showed signs of serious abuse. He came from a background of abuse. He needed help. If he refused help, she needed protection. If she refused protection, the children needed protection.
The second example from the same paper is much less tragic, and seems on the surface very funny. The headline read "Five Hundred Pound Man Rescued from River". Apparently, this 500 pound man was floating down a shallow river on an inner tube which hit a rock, not surprisingly, and burst, not surprisingly. I will skip the details about the hours and dollars spent to rescue this man and the obvious questions about why he could not just walk out of the river. For the purpose of this post, consider the comment made by his mother; "He is really in pretty good shape." What? How can that be? Folks, we need to face the brutal facts. And we need to tell each other the truth.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Here is how it works;
At the bottom of the post is the word "Comments". Click on that. A page will pop up. If you do not have a blog, just comment as "anonymous", but you need to leave your name in the section with your comment. That is it. Don't send money. You do not have to agree nor patronize. Just let me know you were here. It really means a lot. Thanks. Do not let the terrorists win!
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
The more complex answer involves the interpersonal skills and struggles required to plan, organize, and implement such a hike. The communication required demands absolute honesty with yourself and the others in the party about physical condition, equipment, goals, desires, and flexibility (of attitude). In our case, we had a plan that could work but would be very, very challenging. What most people do not understand is that the process is not over for us. We will rehash and analyze the hike for some time. And future hikes will depend to some extent on how honest and direct we are with each other during this process. As I have been thinking about our hike, the following quote by Theodore Roosevelt came to mind. I think it applies well to our effort. Can you see applications in your life?
"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is not effort without error and shortcoming; who does actually try to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.
Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Please remember these are taken with a disposable camera. I decided not to carry my 35 mm this time because it is bulky and the hike is hard on the camera.
People always say "the picture doesn't do it justice". That is certainly true of these landscape pics. Here you get some sense of the mountains rolling into the distance to what seems like infinity. It really gives a person a sense of the enormity of the universe. I saw a group of men drive up to the Walasi outfitter store, walk over to the scenic view and one said to the group "Did you know such a view existed an hour and a half from home?" Then they climbed into their VERY racy sports cars and roared off. That is not the same as hiking up a 6000 foot mountain, finding a rocky outcropping, and stopping to enjoy the breeze rising from the valley while you try to take in the view.
Although we hiked later in the summer than usual and Georgia has had drought conditions much like Alabama, there were many flowers and various colors of Rhododendron in bloom.
Often I take many pictures and rarely am I in any of them. Here are a couple of pics to prove I was there!
Here is my good friend Joel, taking care of some business via cell phone even in this remote wilderness. Joel is a hard-working man and a great asset to his company and his family.
Here is Joel with his brother Jeff. What a duo!
If a photo can capture the difference in personality of two brothers, this may be it;
Yes, one is standing perfectly still and straight like you are SUPPOSED to even though he cares nothing for pictures and doesn't want a lot of attention. The other is monkeying around, pretending to throw a knife at his brother's back like you are NOT SUPPOSED to, because he loves attention and can't get enough. Below, is Jeff eating raw bear meat off his pocket knife.
We hiked a long way!
It is not a top-quality photo of the men nor of the mountains. But it is a photo of a top-quality friendship. Over time Joel has become a true friend. His brother, Jeff, asked me on the hike how Joel and I became friends--what we had in common to begin with. My answer was that Joel had not only a willingness, but an eagerness to discuss spiritual matters at a deep philosophical level and at a very personal level. Joel has a directness that puts some people off and intimidates some. But that quality makes him a valuable accountability partner. And he allows me to be very direct and personal with him as well. What I share in confidence, I know stays with him. He can count on the same from me. He invites me to step on his toes much more than he steps on mine. And he tolerated my pace on this hike although he worked very hard to be in shape and was able to sustain a faster pace. Largely because of his leadership we held devotionals each day of the hike and were able to show the love of God to a few other folks even in these remote areas. That is the kind of friend I need. Thanks, Joel. I will hike with you anytime.
Well, I only had a disposable camera so here is more proof;
As it turns out, neither Woody nor Charlie are as mean and tough as they look in these photos.