Roller Skating

I just remembered once when I was on roller skates and it had been a few years since I’d skated. Getting going is one thing and going where one wants to go is quite another. So is stopping. I was coming up behind a small child and I was going faster than he was and I couldn’t do a thing about it except catch him under his arms and take him with me, all while telling him, “It’s OK, Honey. I can’t stop.” I took him to the rail. We stopped. He was OK. I was embarrassed.

Another time when I was in the 9th grade, the school had a skating night for us. They had one night reserved for each of the four high school grades. My parents took me and, boy, was it crowded. They were sitting on the bench by the wall watching everyone when they decided they wanted to tell me something. Of course, that meant they had to get my attention and the worst thing that could happen is that they would get the attention of the entire 9th grade while fussing at me for not getting there fast enough. I didn’t have to worry about that. I took care of it myself when I tripped about 1/4 of the kids who were there, by cutting across the crowd. Yep. I did that. Biggest people pile up ever. And I was at the bottom of the pile, which was also the front of it. It went on quite a distance.

Then there was a certain song they always played at the skating rink, and I fell every time they played it. It became my goal to stay standing without grabbing the rail while “Rub it In” played. It’s an old song about someone putting sunscreen on someone else. It’s a long 2 1/2 minutes when you’re trying to stay vertical and not land suddenly on your own sacroiliac. And the beat is hard to skate to. Excuses. I know.

With absolute amazement, I watched those folks who could dance around the rink on their skates. I was doing good to cross my right foot over my left to make a turn. And not knock anyone else down while doing it.

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One Christian’s Thoughts on Revolution in the Middle East

So the whole Middle East seems to be in an uproar. Starting in Tunisia and spreading to Egypt, and with rumblings in Algeria, Morocco, Yemen, and who knows where else? I have a friend in Iraq (who is working on bringing our soldiers home) who says everyone is in the streets demonstrating for electricity and clean water. Even in Iraq? They have a democracy, but it’s corrupt, and that’s why they don’t have decent utility service. I think that makes a good case for privately owned utilities, but that’s a different subject.

Everybody seems to think they know who started the uprising, and who is in control, and who will be running things once it’s all settled. As far as who started all this, I’ve heard everything from an executive at Google named Wael Ghonim, to George Soros, to the Muslim Brotherhood, to everyday people who are fed up with low wages, food shortages, and police and government brutality. I’ve even seen that supporters of George Bush give him credit for his “Freedom Agenda” causing all this. Boy, that’s a stretch.

So, here’s what I think: Revolution is very risky business. Any time a revolution starts it will either be instigated by people with a noble purpose, or people with an evil purpose. As things progress both groups will be involved. How it turns out may be nothing like the ones who started it had hoped for. Instigators, noble or otherwise, can lose control. I am praying for God to use this for His glory and the increase of His Kingdom. And for His Church world-wide to be able to say “It is well with my soul” and to remember that joy is our strength.

 

Pleasantville

I know this movie was made in the ’90s and I’m just now getting around to watching it. If it hadn’t been for an article in Reason magazine, (January 2010, just now getting around to reading it!) I wouldn’t have even thought of watching the movie. The article was about all the social upheaval in society that we experienced in the 1960s. The beginning of the article talked about this movie and how the critics all missed the point of it. They all thought it was about how the people in the 1950s were living life unaware of all the things we knew about and experienced in the 1990s. As a result they lived such boring lives, everything was in black and white. The writer of the article, Jesse Walker, thought the movie “contrasts the faux ’50s of our TV-fueled nostalgia with the social ferment that was actually taking place while those sanitized shows first aired.” I saw the movie differently.

This movie is about two teenagers from the 1990s who get stuck in a TV show that is set in the 1950s. The people in the town that the show is named for, Pleasantville, are following a script. They don’t seem to have any thoughts or feelings of their own. They could be talking cardboard, it is so unreal. Everything is scripted to be perfect – great bowling scores, the high school basketball team never misses a shot, it never rains, there are no injuries, no houses catch fire. It’s pleasant, but is it perfect? Everything and everyone, including the two new arrivals, is in black and white. It’s only when feelings are acknowledged that they experience colors. Objects and even people change from black and white to color. Some people who don’t want change try to shut down the others. Even change is a new experience and they are fighting it without acknowledging their feelings at first.

Don’t you think this is how life is? If we live by the script – what we think others expect – if we are not honest with ourselves about our wants and our emotions, aren’t we living a shadow life? Don’t all our feelings and thoughts and desires, whether they are right or wrong, need to be acknowledged by us? Not broadcast to the world, but not stuffed down inside of us either. I think some folks call it being authentic. I think it’s the basis for an honestly lived life.