August 1998-July 2011
We sold Pepe on Sunday. He died in February of this year, but we had him in our driveway till yesterday afternoon. I’m sad. I’m really sad. And a little confused. It seems over-reactionary or shallow to have such deep attachment to a car. But he was my friend.
He was my first car—a beautiful, black 1995 Toyota 4Runner with tan leather interior and a sunroof. I remember driving to the dealer’s with my dad in 1998 to test drive him. It was just a month before I started my senior year of high school, and I had all the money to buy my dream car. It was some of the first official paperwork I ever signed, and I still have every page.
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I’m currently listening to a This American Life episode about harvesting natural gas as an alternative energy source. According to some scientists, it’s not as “clean” as natural gas proponents would have us believe. But for a small town in Pennsylvania that is learning to live alongside this new industry, natural gas means prosperity not just for moguls, but for them, the little guys.
It reminds me of a scene in Sabrina, the 1954 movie with Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, & William Holden. Linus Larrabee (Humphrey Bogart) is explaining to his brother David (William Holden) the virtue of moving their plastics industry into the Caribbean: “So a new industry goes up in an underdeveloped area and once barefooted kids have shoes, washed faces, and their teeth fixed.”
I would certainly consider myself an idealist. It doesn’t matter how much something costs in the moment if long term the benefit outweighs momentary outlay. I say let’s invest in research for the best green energy possible (solar, wind) rather than settle for another fossil fuel source that will carry us for the next 20-50 years. Cradle to Cradle innovation is far and away better for everyone and everything than recycling plastic, for example, and merely postponing its eventual death in a landfill.
But there are those times when a 90% or even 70% solution is the best right now. Compromise is better than stagnation. How do you decide if idealism or compromise is the win?
Other religions explain how we can work to find God, but Christianity is the only faith that tells of God’s desire to find us, to reveal Himself to us. God wants to have relationship with humans because He made us. But because of sin—our inability to be perfect as God is perfect—God can have nothing to do with us. For “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” (1 John 1:5-6). We are completely unable to do what it takes to have unhindered relationship with the perfect, holy God of the universe. So He, in his incredible grace and love toward us, made a solution.
God’s Son, Jesus Christ, came to earth and lived among us, died to pay the penalty for our sin, and rose from death. The Bible says that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Death is the penalty for all human sin. In our sin nature, we are under the wrath of God and will spend eternity apart from Him in Hell. But through belief in Jesus Christ—believing that He is the Son of God and paid for our sins, for my sin, and rose to conquer death—I am no longer under God’s wrath but under His grace. I can have direct relationship with God through Jesus Christ. God is so kind, and so wonderful, that He met the requirement for His holy law when I couldn’t. He paid the debt that I owe and could never pay back. This is the ultimate gift. And I want it with my whole heart.
Religions all over the world seek to explain who or what God is and why we exist. But many say conflicting things about God. One religion says that God is holy; another says he is good and evil. But really, He can’t be both. So which is right? One religion says there is one God; another says there are many gods. But which belief is true? All things can’t be true at the same time (however adamant post-modernism may be that they are). Truth is true. Lies are false. And we have to choose what to believe.
I’m a Christian, and so I believe that all people are inherently sinful. Sin is the idea that everything a person does is essentially lacking. I can never achieve perfection alone. Without supernatural help from the one, true God, the only good Being in all the universe, even my best efforts are impotent. Why? Because I am human. According to this system of thought, people are incapable of removing all abuses in language or malicious words. We would never even agree on which words those are. People are at root rebellious and cruel. We need something outside of ourselves to save us from ourselves.