Caryn’s 23 things – and then some

Racing into Library 2.0 with LOL and others


People not familiar with American football may not know about the recent phenomenon of “Tebowing” – the practice of dropping to one knee after a successful play to give thanks to #God for the triumph.  More and more, recently, athletes are doing this, or, as my husband described, running down the field, pumping a fist and yelling, “Thank you, #Jesus!”  As a religious person myself, I haven’t been sure what to make of this.

On one hand, it’s certainly good when #Christians in public life make no secret of their beliefs.  This can, obviously, be a good influence on their fans, who may decide to look into it themselves.  But thanking God for a victory is problematic, to me.

If I have a difficult task, test, etc., I’ll often ask God to help me do my best on it – not blank out on a concept, forget a key word, and so on.  When I do come out of it successfully, I do thank God for the help.  But this is in my own head, not dropping down or screaming out in front of millions of people.  Jesus told us to “go into our closet” to pray, instead of doing it on the street corner (I think a football field with national TV coverage can count as that!).  Such a public display of religiosity as this may do more for the image of the person doing it than for his relationship with God, and as such may turn off as many people as it starts on the road to conversion.

Another problem with this is that non-Christians (and probably some Christians, as well) see such public prayers as an attempt to get God to grant them a victory by magic, just because they are so good.  As with armies in the past, if people on both sides are praying for the victory, does that mean that after the battle, the ones who won did so because God likes them better?  To me, that’s a ridiculous thought, and since it is also ridiculous to non-Christians, they take it as another proof that religion is for idiots.

I see it as one of my tasks in life to show other intelligent people that Christians can be intelligent, thoughtful, and logical; therefore, I, at least, think I’ll keep my thanks in the closet.

August 25, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

First entry – setting the tone

is from my journal (an older form of blog), January 15, 1992.  I
was in a “journalling” group in my church, and we took turns giving the
devotional each week:

Yesterday was the second meeting of
our journal group, and I gave the devotional.  Unfortunately, no
one was very impressed with it, but I like it, so I’ll copy it in here.

I haven’t gotten very far with
meditation, but when I have managed it, the approach that works best
for me is God’s infinite creativity.  Consider the variety of
creation on earth – amoebas to blue whales, the Grand Canyon to
glaciers to rain forests – and each and every person who exists, has
existed, or ever will exist, each with his or her unique personality,
and each of whom God infinitely loves and treasures individually. 
Then look at the innumerable planets in our galaxy, the innumerable
galaxies in the universe, and ask yourself whether God can refrain from
creativity in all of them?

Humans have imagined Vulcans and
Klingons, and thousands of other races.  But even on Earth, God’s
creativity is greater then our imagination!  Think of the infinite
infinities God can create and love!

I have three short readings.

Psalm 8:4-5: When I look up at the
night sky, and see the work of thy fingers, the moon and stars which
thou has created, What is Man, that thou art mindful of him, and the
Son of Man, that thou visitest him?

Part of Eucharistic Prayer C: At
your command all things came to be; the vast expanse of interstellar
space, galaxies, suns, the planets in their courses, and this fragile
earth, our island home.

And a poem, “Christ in the Universe” (Alice Meynell, 1913)

    With this ambiguous earth

His dealings have been told us.  These abide:

The signal to a maid, the human birth,

The lesson, and the young man crucified.

    But not a star of all

The innumerable hosts of stars has heard

How he administered this terrestrial ball.

Our race have kept their lord’s entrusted word.

    Of his Earth-visiting feet

None knows the secret, cherished, perilous,

The terrible, shame fast, frightened, whispered, sweet,

Heart-shattering secret of his way with us.

    No planet knows of this.

Our wayside planet, carrying land and wave,

Love and life multiplied, and pain and bliss,

Bears, as chief treasure, one forsaken grave.

    Nor, in our little day,

May his devices with the heavens be guessed

His pilgrimage to thread the Milky Way,

Or his bestowals there, be manifest.

    But, in the eternities,

Doubtless we shall compare together, hear

A million alien gospels, in what guise

He trod the Pleiades, the Lyre, the Bear.

    O be prepared, my soul!

To read the inconceivable, to scan

The million forms of God those stars unroll

When, in our turn, we show to them a man.

January 22, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments