Greetings from San Antonio!
A few list updates:
1. I am in Texas … in case the title didn’t give it away (I mean there is a Paris, TN … so I suppose that it might be reasonable for there to be a San Antonio, TN). I am here for work, giving a presentation to important people about the work that I and my colleagues are doing with military children and families You might think that this would be a check next to #12, but it’s not. I’ve been to Texas before .. twice, actually, both times to Dallas/Fort Worth.
2. Tonight I ate at an authentic (if that really means anything anymore) Texas Steakhouse. I had my cut of choice, the Ribeye, and tried a Merlot with it, to continue to work on #9. It was a “Red Diamond”, but I am still educating myself a bit on this, as I am trying to figure out what differences exist within the “sub-families” (as I am ignorant of another qualifier) of wines. In other words, what is the difference in a Red Diamond, Blackstone, Fruity Explosion (ok, I made that up) Merlots, other than minor flavorings, and other “hints” in wine?
3. You might notice (all you regular fans out there) that I have made updates to the site. I have fiddled with some themes, and think that I have settled on one. I am not going to make promises that it won’t change, but I am committed to this one at least enough to actually do some work on the sidebar. Working on #26 and #27 (at least in my learning about blog management and networking in this new era of mass digital communication) has included attempting to do some homework on how I want to display information, mediums to do it (READ: use of twitter and linking facebook and twitter), and overall, how this site will lead me into how I will eventually develop the professional entity blog to come (hopefully) by July, 2011.
4. I have finished Love Wins (Rob Bell) and Radical (David Platt), and have moved on to my next book (recommended next by my wife) In Defense of Food: an Eater’s Manifesto (Michael Pollan). I promise that reviews are coming. The time that these are taking has been more than anticipated … I think mainly because of the amount of press that Love Wins has been getting. It seems that every time that the post is ready, I find another snippet or comment that I want to include. For pete’s sake, its already having to be broken into two parts, and working on a 3rd. I have found I’m just going to have to call it a day on that one, and get them posted. Expect them within the week. As far as my most recent read: Just remember, you’re probably not eating food …. more like nutrient-rich food stuffs … and that they might just in fact be killing us. Exciting, I know.
Remember the Alamo!
I got to tour the Alamo today. Y’know, I am a little embarrassed to say, but I almost didn’t visit the place … I really didn’t’ think much of it. I am embarrassed, because I was able to get a thorough education on my visit today. An education not so much on the facts, but more on the valor and dedication to 200 men staring down 2500, having no hope for success, who fought to the last man for a singular idea, the freedom of the people of Texas from the newly formed Mexican nation.
This made me think about two things.
First, are there causes that I would be willing to fight for even knowing that the fight is a “lost cause”? In other words, are there causes that I would fight for, knowing full well that I would perish in the process? I would like to think so. My kids, my wife, I would like to think my faith (but have I ever been in a situation from the view of my suburban, middle-class home, that even called into question my faith?). Those are some examples of causes that I would fight to my last breath about. Which brings me to the second thing ….
Second, death isn’t the end of things. I seem to remember someone once saying that “to die is gain”. I think that we lost sight of this idea and what it really means. For us … for humans …. our framework for interpreting our existence hinges on a beginning (our birth) and an end (our death). The reality is, however, is that that isn’t how this earth, or eternity, works. We have purposes that are working before we take our first breath (the family that alters their life in anticipation of a new baby), and after we take our last (with legacies that we leave).
Back to my example of the men of the Alamo. Their deaths were not in vain. The impact of the battle of the Alamo bled into surrounding areas. So much so, that the rallying cry “Remember the Alamo!” (or remember the slaughter committed by Santa Anna) became common in subsequent battles … For example, one such battle, mere weeks later, where in 18 minutes, General Sam Houston routed the Mexican Army, and captured Santa Anna, guaranteeing Texan independence from Mexico.
Funerals are sad occurrences. Even for the most devout, they are often a struggle to endure. I have been around long enough to lose a grandmother, 2 grandfathers, friends from high school, several close friends to cancer, among others. But I propose that the sadness that we experience is not only that we will miss the connections (in whatever context the relationship existed) that we had with the people, but it is also rooted in how we as individuals and as a culture view death.
Death is a page in a book, not the back cover.
Hard language, I know. But I also know what legacies have been left to me each time someone I loved and was important to me left this existence to go to the next. I also know that the impact of my existence will continue after I am gone from this earth, and it is my job to make the most of it while I am here.
(This post was long …. hopefully not too long)