Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Star Wars filibuster

In 1977 the galaxy opened up to me. Previous to the summer of '77 I had only known the town of Omaha, Nebraska. But in a darkened theater when the white dots became a blur of parallel lines, my tiny body was transported. I saw the movie three more times that summer, which was rare in those days. Normally, when you had 'seen' a movie - you had already seen it. There was no reason to go back to see the movie again. Instead, you just waited 14 years for it come out on VHS.

A good story takes us places. It is 'moving' or 'engaging' or 'takes me back.' I enjoy seeing some movies again and again. Others cannot get over fast enough and I am pleased when the credits finally roll. What is the difference between a good story and a so-so story? Why do some stories stay with us for a lifetime and others we sleep through?

I have yet to be transported back to the brand new Episode III. I am still a hold out. I have not gone to see it. Maybe this is probably because I do not want to close the chapter of these movies. When I have been reading a page turning book, I am torn. The desire to see how it ends hangs taught with the desire for it not to end. I like the in-between, but I long to know the end.

Some people say that big stories are dead. There is no overaching story that fits all people. The reasoning goes something like this: To claim one narrative is to exclude another. Therefore, no narrative has the ability to effectively include all people.

I say that big-stories still have a place. What if you could know how the story of life ends, but still get to act out the middle? Now that would really be living. You would know how your life ends so that you could enjoy the living

What if the part you played in the story really mattered to the ending of the story. That would be real meaning. If your "middle" part of the story affected the whole.

There is a powerful story. It is a grand over-arching story. I can tell it through five ancient passages (see below). But first I will tell it in only a few words. God created you. God has plans for those who seek him. Jesus saves seekers. God's Spirit stays with seekers. By the power of God, all things are brand spanking new.

The ending of this story is assured. You have an important part to play. Enjoy living the middle of the greatest story ever told.

Long Ago, In a Galaxy Near You . . .

(The Story in 5 paragraphs. These Five Passagaes can be found in any Bible. Feel free to use this summary for your own reading or as you see fit. Just let people know where you found it . . . in the Lost & Found.)

The Story Begins
1~ Genesis 1:1-4 (the first book of the Bible)
2~ Jeremiah 29:11-14 (writings of an ancient prophet)
3~ Hebrews 1:1-3 (sermon by an un-named preacher)
4~ Romans 8:10-14 (letter from the apostle Paul)
5~ Revelation 21:1-7 (a vision given to the apostle John)

Monday, May 09, 2005

What do you want?

Screaming barefoot kids sprint through a mini-town of soft buildings, ambulances and police cars. Malls now must have playlands (thank you McDonald's). So, I sat at the mall watching my son play, while the girls shop. This is what Dad's do.

There were Asians, Caucasians, Hispanics, Africans, Arabic. . . American children running like wild. I did not content myself to watch the fun without thinking. I began to wondering, "What do people want?" What do they believe they want or need? In this common place, what need or value would unite the diverse people gathered here.

I gave up thinking and began reading the New York Times on my PDA. A fellow Dad, Caucasian with Asian children, asked me if I liked my Dell Axim. We talked about his Treo, which did not work. The conversation was casual and friendly. But I could not let go of my inner question. I now wish that I had flat out asked him.

So, I am asking you "What would people claim to want?" What are our core values?
Happy Children, technology that works, careers that succeed . . . what?