Thursday, February 19, 2009

Very Cool

My friend Josh Agerton loves these little Vespa scooters. I don't think he was looking at this kind, but I think he was looking at buying a regular scooter pretty seriously last year. I loved this when I saw it on my friend Steve Beard's site called Thunderstruck.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

No Man is an Island

Over the last few weeks, my wife and I have been watching lots of movies that we have missed since our daughter was born nearly two years ago. We have free HBO for a couple of months and have all but neglected our Netflix account. If it weren’t for these sources, we would not see movies. My friend JD says that when you have kids, you go from the theater to Netflix. Out of all these movies we have watched, there have been two movies that have really remained with me over the last few weeks. Does that ever happen to you? Do you ever watch a movie that stays with you? It’s either the story, or a compelling character, or perhaps even something that shakes you to the core.

For me, it has been The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and There Will Be Blood. These are two of the most incredible movies I have seen in a very long time, and there is a vein of sadness that runs through both of these films. The main characters in both films are completely and utterly alone. They have family and friends, yes, but they do not really let these people in. After a time of this self inflicted isolation, these men begin lose trust in people. They develop a sense of paranoia and assume that all are out to get them. They push away those closest to them away, causing conflict that isn’t necessary. These were men with wealth, respect, and power. Other men wanted to be them, and in the end, they are alone. They have no one.

I think of how easy it is to fall into these kinds of patterns. We can easily become isolated individuals if we aren’t careful. We learn to work alone because we often don’t trust others to do what needs to be done. We don’t let people in because we don’t want to be found out. I think also, that we are afraid of being hurt, but in the process of protecting ourselves, we end up doing just that. I have learned that to embrace love is to embrace suffering. God takes risks by loving us. He lets us in even though we have a history of leaving. But to embrace love is to also embrace what makes life worth living. To be alone is to be in Hell, apart from all things that are beautiful. I’ll leave you with a quote that says this better than I can.

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it up carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket - safe, dark, motionless, airless - it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable... The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers of love, is hell."
- CS Lewis, The Four Loves