Month: October 2012

Altitude

I knocked a couple of items off the official bucket list on Thursday.

Last Thursday, a best friend (Rissa, over at A Drop in the Bucket) and I visited Ocean Watersports in Myrtle Beach, SC and lived it up on the waves.

“This must be what it feels like to be a kite,” Rissa said as we lifted off the back of the boat. It seemed like something unreal.

I like being up high. I’ve liked it since I was five years old and faceplanted a sidewalk because I wanted to know what the ground looked like coming toward me from the top of the monkey bars. You’d think I would have learned my lesson then, but–no. I got my first spanking after exploring the roof of our two-story house a few weeks later.

When I was in Europe, my friends and I tried to get to the highest point everywhere. The cupola of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The cathedral in Milan. The London Eye. The top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Later, it was Mount Rainier in Washington state. An open airplane door at 1,400 feet above Atlanta.

Seven days ago, Felix Baumgardner stepped out of a capsule hanging from a weather balloon at 128,000 feet. He broke the sound barrier with his body. A couple hundred years ago, experts said that the human body couldn’t withstand the 30+ mph speeds that the steam engine would take it. The human system, they thought, would die  from shock at such high speeds.

Our predecessors were as wrong about speed as their ancestors had been about the efficacy of blood-letting as a medical procedure.

I wonder what our generation is wrong about? I don’t care enough to try to guess. But… I wouldn’t mind being the second person in history to jump from 23 miles above the surface of the earth. Who wants to go with me?

Backroads

Confession: I travel with a rubber ducky. It is fearless. It goes with me everywhere. I got it from Zurich, Switzerland. Its name is Gritzie.

Even when I’m travelling alone, I travel with Gritzie. Gritzie has seen a lot of back roads (and interstate highways, and airports) in the last few years. The duck is an essential part of any trip. The duck is fearless.

Today Gritzie got to see the Atlantic Ocean. Rode a trolley around historic Charleston, SC for a few hours. Cruised along the intracoastal waterway from Charleston to Myrtle Beach on a crazy, last-minute, middle-of-midterms-week road trip.

I came close to losing Gritzie off the pier in Charleston Harbor this afternoon. I was trying to get a shot of the duck with the docked Carnival cruise whip and Fort Sumter in the background. I accidentally punched Gritzie in the nose. Just caught her before she took a dive into the water, about a 10-foot drop.

As I watched the swirling water below, I concluded that if Gritzie went overboard, I’d have to go in after her. And that that could result in some interesting explanations.

Do they make lifejackets for rubber ducks?

Do they make lifejackets for human travelers who decide to cannonball into an ocean and start swimming?

Wonder Why

Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.

1 Peter 3:15, KJV

Last Friday, Ken Ham, the founder of Answers in Genesis, was on campus to speak. According to the professor of my Apologetics & Worldview class, his name is one of those names I should automatically recognize, because apparently he’s a real mover and shaker in creation science today. Touché.

After listening to Ken Ham speak and doing a little research to learn more about Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum in Cincinnati, I got a niggling sort of feeling that I’ve been slacking.

I was convicted about this a couple of years ago. The need for me to know why I believe what I believe became especially clear when, a couple of years ago, a group of solid Christian friends and I had an interesting conversation with a drunk evolutionist in downtown Greenville (the Hasarah desert is in Egypt? Really?).

“Be prepared to tell people why you have this hope.” Anyone who wants to have an effective ministry, according the Bible, should be prepared to tell people why. What reasons do I have to believe that what I believe is real?

If evolution (or Islam, or Mormonism, or whatever) is the main philosophy that opposes Christianity today, then why don’t more Christians figure out how to talk to these people?

If our mission on earth is to tell the world about Jesus, then what excuse do we have to continue failing as apologists, as people who know that we have real foundations on which to stake our faith?

If we’re to tell the world about Jesus, then why, in Sunday School and VBS and Wednesday night meetings, do we teach the same Bible stories over and over again–and not the defense of the faith? Why don’t we dig into the opposition’s arguments and find out for what reasons we have to believe what we believe?

Are we so afraid that our faith isn’t really defend-able?