Friday, May 20, 2011

Lindsay Hill, Why?

I repost this blog in response to the pain felt by so many at the passing of Lindsay Hill. I have not edited it to fit her specific situation because that might imply I knew her far better than I did. I have no knowledge of Lindsay's religious beliefs or persuasion. I offer this blog as "food for thought" to the many who may be asking, "Why?".

Note to the reader: These comments are posted as I reflect on the tragic lose of a distant cousin in a traffic accident.

I am not young anymore, but I am not old either. I guess I am in "mid-life" by default. I have seen enough of life to know that terrible things happen without warning and that much of life "doesn't make sense". I suppose it is this lose of idealism, knowing that it may not "all work out" that causes men of my station in life to enjoy going home at night to the wife and kids. Being safe and secure out wieghs the thrill of many adventures that could be had.

Age has not dulled the inevitable question of, "Why?"

I have turned that question over countless times for this and other accidents and have come up with two answers. The long answer is, "Only God knows, and He is not telling." The short answer is, "Well, heck." Both are equally comforting and useless.

Today, I looked at the "why?" question from around the corner, so to speak. If I can't find an answer, what does it say about me that I still ask the question? That turn of thought, I believe, sheds some new light on the situation and brings forth some comfort. Let me explain.

I ask "why?" because I want life to have meaning, order, and purpose. Think of the young child who asks the same question to the point of distraction. The child is trying to find the organization, purpose, and meaning in the world he/she is getting to know. We as adults do our best to answer based on our knowledge and understanding.

The point here is that I asked, "Why?" as opposed to shrugging my shoulder or even not caring.

By asking, "Why?" I am saying, "Life should have meaning." By this simple reflex question I am rejecting the idea of a world that is created by random chance. (see my blog on creation/evolution) If we are here as the result of random chance imposed on enormous lengths of time, spread across incredible amounts of events, then what meaning could there be to life?

When I ask "Why?" I am declaring from my inmost being that life has meaning, therefore it was created with a purpose. If it was created with a purpose there must be a creator. If there is a creator, He surely has left a trail of signs in His creation that describe him. For example: A piece of pottery tells us something of the potter. Was he skilled? Did he understand form and function? Did he invest in beauty though it added nothing to function? Did He sign his name to show his pride? Theologians would yammer for hours about this under the title, "General Revelation" as opposed to "Specific Revelation" if you are interested.

Do you start to see what I saw as I "looked around the corner" at this question, "Why?"

My distant cousin's life and death had meaning because it drew me closer to the Creator (God). What greater use is there for a life than to draw yourself and others closer to God? It is the reason I write this blog. I want to help others move toward God. If I can do that, the life that has past will have meaning and many others will too. And so a tragic accident starts a ripple in the sea of humanity that will reach out to many more for years to come.

Do I know where these ripples will go? No. Do I have any control of these ripples? No. Will the ripples affect positive things in the world? Yes!

What is the purpose of man? To love, honor, and glorify God, his creator.

May you have found some encouragement in these words.

Thank you for thinking.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My old Animal Science Book

For whatever reason, I picked up an old friend from my college days. That old friend's name? "The science of Animals That Serve Mankind" by Campbell and Lasley. Yes, folks, I voluntarily started rereading my animal science book from college! I started, as is my adult custom, in the middle. Page 352 to be exact. Here is what I read,

"So basically influenced are we by the matter of food and drink that revolutions, peace, war, patriotism, international understanding, our daily life and the whole fabric of human social life are profoundly influenced by it - and what is the use of saying "peace, peace" when there is no peace below the diaphragm. This applies to nations as well as individuals - men refuse to work, soldiers refuse to fight, prima donnas refuse to sing, senators refuse to debate, and even presidents refuse to rule the country when they are hungry." Lin Yutang (1895 - ...)

As I age and watch world events the truth of these words speak more clearly to me each day. Farming is a fundemental good. I am proud to be a part of this noble profession. Because I, and my fellow farmers, do our jobs well, society has the first building block of peace and prosperity.

On the next page, page 353, I found this interesting statement,

"The modern era of the science of nutrition was pioneered by the French chemist A. L. Lavosier, in the 1770's. Lavoisier was the first to recognize that animal heat was derived from the oxidation of body substance. He compared animal heat with that produced by a candle. The general form of the apparatus Lavoisier used in his experiments was illustrated in two drawings made by Madame Lavoisier. The methods of study he used, however, are unknown, because Lavoisier was executed on May 8, 1794, at the age of 51, by the Paris Commune. He was found guilty of allowing the collection of taxes on water contained in tobacco."

I am guessing that he found himself on the wrong side of the French revolution. It reminds me of the endless need to "backup your work" and, more importantly, be mindful of the wrath of the people when they get tired of paying taxes.

And finally, on the same page, "All flesh is grass." --Isaiah 40:6

Which turns out to be a sawed off quote. Here is the larger version.

"A voice says, "Cry out," and I said,  "What shall I cry?" "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are grass." Isaiah 40:6-7

The chapter in my text book proceeds to explain how plants and animals are made of the same compounds (stuff) just in different proportions and combinations. I suppose one could then suggest that we are what we eat. I of course would hold that men are much more than the some of the "stuff" that makes us. We have a spirit and reflect the qualities of the One that made us but that would be leaving the department of Animal Science. With that in mind I read on about various wonders of Hydrogen, Carbon, and Oxygen and how they interact. We are fearfully and wonderfully made!

That reminded me of why this was the last animal science book I read at college. May God bless those that can comprehend large quantities of this knowledge and make good use of it. Farming is a noble profession the the peace of the world rests on the skill of those involved in it.

Just some thoughts to consider:

Thanks for thinking with me.