Saturday, April 28, 2012


Years ago I read a short story by Orson Scott Card called "Mortal Gods" and the premise of it has never quite left my mind. 
In this short story, aliens peacefully arrive on Earth looking for the one thing they can never have: death. Because the aliens reproduce via mitosis each contains the memories of their predecessors. To them, human death is a miracle. One human, the elderly Mr. Crane, tries to convince the aliens that death is ugly and not worth fetishizing ("I'm about to die, and there's nothing great about it") but no matter what he says, they persist in seeing death as beautiful. The aliens insist that humans' "lives are built around death, glorifying it. Postponing it as long as possible, to be sure. But glorifying it. In the earliest literature, the death of the hero is the moment of greatest climax." Finally, Crane visits the aliens right as he's about to die, to show them how ugly death is — but they find it more beautiful than ever (source).
So when I happened to read this quote from the Japanse novel Kafka on the Shore the other day, I thought of this short story again
“Every one of us is losing something precious to us. Lost opportunities, lost possibilities, feelings we can never get back again. That’s part of what it means to be alive” (source). 
So much of our ability to REALLY LIVE stems from the fact that we die, that we lose, and that we must to learn to appreciate all that we will inevitably be incapable of keeping. The prospect of loss does not detract from our experience of life and love but instead serves to intensify it. 

How many times have I had "that moment" -- of knowing this cannot last and wanting to fiercely hold on while I can, trying to consciously to savor it as much as possible...

And it all got me thinking about what Lehi taught about the purpose of life:
And to bring about his eternal purposes in the end of man, after he had created our first parents, and the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and in fine, all things which are created, it must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter (2 Ne. 2:15).
Opposition is at the heart of how God intends for us to experience life and to learn. Loss is at the center of what it means to really possess -- and death is what defines life. We truly "taste the bitter that [we] may know to prize the good" (Moses 6:55).

As my life continues forward I have become more and more aware of what I am losing -- which carries with it a sadness... but that awareness of loss also seems to enable me to more fully love and live, another form of grace.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

DOUBT (quote)

"...the Christian does not live by simply depending upon feelings. While feelings are important, they do not tell us what is real. They supplement the other facets of how God has made us as humans. The Christian worldview is a joining of heart, soul, mind, and strength to Father, Son, and Spirit. God is loved not just with emotions, but also with all bodily faculties, the will, and the mind."

"...while we are often hard on Thomas in our memory of him as the doubter, he is to be commended because he doubted so that he could believe. It was not a doubt that was destructive, but a doubt that led to a faith that would not fail him. A blind faith would not satisfy him; Thomas wanted to truly believe. Far from a troubling and shameful secret, doubt can be a gift. Where doubt leads us to investigate, God may well be leading, the Spirit enabling us to respond like Thomas to the evidence provided by the risen Jesus—with surrender: My Lord and my God."

-Cyril Georgeson