Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Behind Every Good Astronaut - a wee story part 1

It was our first dinner together in three years. Aidan’s eyes flicked across me and back to his plate.
“Jesus died just to point out we shouldn’t let being scared of dying stop us from doing things. All that theology about it being for us, shows we can’t handle our own insignificance in this universe.” He sucked in mouthful of spaghetti noisily.
I kept twirling the spaghetti around my fork. It had only been a year since Mum died. She would be shocked at his flippancy. She had taken Aidan to Sunday school every week until he was twelve. I had treasured those Sunday mornings by myself. I missed her so much. Aidan missed her funeral; he was already busy with training.
Aidan was only home for a week. We were going to fly back together to the United States and I would watch him take off. This was it. My boy might never return.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Nappies & Christianity

The other day had an interesting wee ponder on the parallels of movements. (Not the bowel kind.)
I joined the modern cloth nappy movement not at beginning but in the early days. The equivalent in the Christian movement of just before the big growth phase in Acts thing. It is interesting five years on as the modern cloth nappy idea has grown and what has changed.
Five years ago when I mentioned we were going to use cloth nappies I got a lot of rude comments and put downs and "you'll never do it" comments. Now they are even in supermarkets. Here is the interesting thing to become mainstream they have to take on some of the mainstream characteristics. To meet price requirements of chain shops or supermarkets, modern cloth nappies have to be made in China. At the beginning they were not Made in China. Now we see divergences in the nappy businesses some refuse to go for cheap labour and maintain manufacture in a country, such as NZ because it something they feel is important. It was at the start. The people who first started using modern cloth nappies were those not afraid to be different, not afraid to be ridiculed by friends. There was a very strong environmental bent that usually meant those who used modern cloth nappies also did other environment conscious things and didn't usually choose the mainstream way of doing things. They mostly usually went unnoticed by the main stream crowd and media.
I look at Christianity, which is a much much older movement and I see the same things. Starting with a small, unremarkable group who found someone and something. When they started off, they all held similar beliefs and the most important thing was just sharing the word - what they had found out. It was the same with the modern cloth nappies. People used to say I converted someone today and everyone would get excited. Just like those early chapters in Acts with comments of how many were being added to their number. Then as it grew and grew other things came in, people have their bias and tangents happen. All still for the cause but in different ways.
Some say the worst thing to happen to Christianity was when the emperor became a Christian and declared it the religion of the Roman empire because suddenly it was no longer in the background - it had become mainstream and to be acceptable to mainstream things were subtly altered and added to.
You wonder what the early founders would think today of the Christian movement. Some would probably be pleased with how big it has grown and others would probably be disappointed with how things have changed. "It's not like it was in the old days." "Do you remember...?" So it is with modern cloth nappies - interesting.

5 Favourite Sights Seen

  • 1996 Watching tropical lightning turn night to day, outside a little wooden church in a small village in Sabah.
  • 2004 Flying down the Rainbow Valley at 8000ft in a cessna on a clear blue day.
  • 2003 Seeing and hearing Michael Schmacher rolling out of the pit garage in his Ferrari in Hungary.
  • 2009 Chancing upon 100 or more dolphins just off the Kaikoura Coast swimming around, jumping out of the water, doing somersaults and generally having fun.
  • 2006 Finding a pool at the bottom of a waterfall in the bush at Kaikoura that was full of playing baby seals.