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‪reck·less /rekləs/ adj. without thinking about the consequences. rash, heedless, impetuous, impulsive, daredevil, audacious, madcap‬

Category: World Religions

The Love of a Savior

Photo credit unknown.

Photo credit unknown.

One of the tenets of Christianity setting apart from other world religions, is the love of a savior. Christianity alone has at its center a God who loves his creation enough to call them children and to die in their place in order to satisfy his wrath upon sin.

Jesus himself draws the stark contrast of this revolutionary approach to life when he comments that few people would die for a good man. What isnt said there, but what is certainly hinted at is that we are not good men. We are sinners. We live in a fallen world and we are bent towards sin. Knowing this, and loving us anyway, our God sacrifices himself to pay the penalty for our sins.

This act is so revolutionary, so extraordinary, so out of the box we as a humanity can scarcely grasp the full weight of what he did or why he did it. Paul writes in Romans, that Christ died for us while we were still sinners. While we were still in opposition to him. He loved us enough to move towards us. To take the first step to have a relationship with us. Which is a second tenet separating Christianity from other world religions, God desires to know us personally. He doesn’t sit on a throne far above in the heavens looking down at us, waiting for us to screw up so he can capriciously punish us. Rather, he engages in our lives with us, walking alongside us each day. In fact, his desire is to dwell within us. To live in and through us. Paul also write in one of his letters to the church at Corinth, that as Christ followers we are temples to the Holy Spirit (God’s spirit he sent to dwell within us). In this particular passage, Paul was correcting the Corinthians on their sexual immorality, however the idea that our bodies are temples of the spirit of the almighty God should have broad applications in our lives. Our lives should be lived in such a way that God is glorified by our actions.

As we prepare for today and this weekend, ask ourselves this question: Is God glorified in the way I am living, in my habits and daily routine, in my work, in my attitude and in the way I treat others? If not, now seems like the right time to reorganize our priorities.

Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Zen is a specific sect of Buddhism. And the pursuit of Buddhism is enlightenment. There was your very brief lesson in Buddhism.

If you have ever looked for a book on either Buddhism or motorcycle maintenance, you have no doubt come a across a book with the same name as this post. I haven’t quite figured out how they are related… but let me attempt to draw a connection:

Enlightenment is the pursuit of a state that is marked by the absence of desire and suffering. Sounds good. Working on my motorcycle sometimes brings me a sense that I need not desire anything more in life and a sensation of not suffering, but being totally blissed.

Sometimes.

More often, it is a struggle of constant frustration/suffering and intense desire for the stupid thing to be fixed.

So where is the enlightenment? I must be doing it wrong.

I had an experience like this last Thursday. I spent hours on tuning my carbs (I have four of them on the cursed bike I ride!), trying to adjust the idle. I was reseting the air/fuel mixture and adjusting the idle set screw. It took some time, but I was able to get it set to something that was reasonably close to what should be normal idle for the bike.

So I did what any normal person does at this point… I rode the bike. The stupid thing reset its idle to run high again. I don’t understand it. I just ride it. I would rather ride the bike at a high idle than not at all. I rest satisfied that regardless of what is causing the issues with the idle, I have done all I can to remedy it. It may be time to take it to a friend who certainly knows better.

I went out yesterday to ride the bike for a lunch appointment only to find the battery is dead. There could be any number of reasons for this. Even giving myself the credit I deserve, there’s a high degree of possibility it is a result of my shoddy wiring. I’ll jump it today and we will go from there. Who knows, could be a simpler explanation. Or at least a simple one that easy to find and fix.

I thought long and hard several years ago about going to Motorcycle Mechanics Institute. That would have altered the course of my life in a bigger way than any other choice I have ever made. Not saying I regret it. But, sometimes I think life would have be simpler if I had done that. Had I not been 1/3 of the way through a MA in Counseling I would have. You know what they say about hindsight thought. Still, tinkering and hacking on my bikes is fun to me. The exhaust is imminently getting hacked up. Now that I am supremely sure it won’t damage the motor.

I like working on vehicles. It’s almost an obsession. When I was younger with less financial responsibilities it was destructive. I had this old Scrambler that I was always working on. I kept thinking, ‘just one more thing and then it will be perfect.’ It never became perfect. So I sold it. I will find photos of it in the attic and post them in a subsequent post to connect the dots for those wondering why I enjoy the suffering that comes from working on vehicles I rely on to get me places I need to be. I am a glutton for punishment. What else can I say?

I hope when you work on you hobby, whatever it may be, that it brings you a zen-like experience of enlightenment, absent of desire and suffering.

Or at least, I hope you don’t cuss like a sailor in front of your kids cuz the stupid thing is broke… again.

Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Zen is a specific sect of Buddhism. And the pursuit of Buddhism is enlightenment. There was your very brief lesson in Buddhism.

If you have ever looked for a book on either Buddhism or motorcycle maintenance, you have no doubt come a across a book with the same name as this post. I haven’t quite figured out how they are related… but let me attempt to draw a connection:

Enlightenment is the pursuit of a state that is marked by the absence of desire and suffering. Sounds good. Working on my motorcycle sometimes brings me a sense that I need not desire anything more in life and a sensation of not suffering, but being totally blissed.

Sometimes.

More often, it is a struggle of constant frustration/suffering and intense desire for the stupid thing to be fixed.

So where is the enlightenment? I must be doing it wrong.

I had an experience like this last Thursday. I spent hours on tuning my carbs (I have four of them on the cursed bike I ride!), trying to adjust the idle. I was reseting the air/fuel mixture and adjusting the idle set screw. It took some time, but I was able to get it set to something that was reasonably close to what should be normal idle for the bike.

So I did what any normal person does at this point… I rode the bike. The stupid thing reset its idle to run high again. I don’t understand it. I just ride it. I would rather ride the bike at a high idle than not at all. I rest satisfied that regardless of what is causing the issues with the idle, I have done all I can to remedy it. It may be time to take it to a friend who certainly knows better.

I went out yesterday to ride the bike for a lunch appointment only to find the battery is dead. There could be any number of reasons for this. Even giving myself the credit I deserve, there’s a high degree of possibility it is a result of my shoddy wiring. I’ll jump it today and we will go from there. Who knows, could be a simpler explanation. Or at least a simple one that easy to find and fix.

I thought long and hard several years ago about going to Motorcycle Mechanics Institute. That would have altered the course of my life in a bigger way than any other choice I have ever made. Not saying I regret it. But, sometimes I think life would have be simpler if I had done that. Had I not been 1/3 of the way through a MA in Counseling I would have. You know what they say about hindsight thought. Still, tinkering and hacking on my bikes is fun to me. The exhaust is imminently getting hacked up. Now that I am supremely sure it won’t damage the motor.

I like working on vehicles. It’s almost an obsession. When I was younger with less financial responsibilities it was destructive. I had this old Scrambler that I was always working on. I kept thinking, ‘just one more thing and then it will be perfect.’ It never became perfect. So I sold it. I will find photos of it in the attic and post them in a subsequent post to connect the dots for those wondering why I enjoy the suffering that comes from working on vehicles I rely on to get me places I need to be. I am a glutton for punishment. What else can I say?

I hope when you work on you hobby, whatever it may be, that it brings you a zen-like experience of enlightenment, absent of desire and suffering.

Or at least, I hope you don’t cuss like a sailor in front of your kids cuz the stupid thing is broke… again.

Theology of Bigfoot

While all roads lead to Rome (or at least at one time they did) and all Bigfoot searches (and names) lead you to the same unidentifiable and undiscovered creature, the same can’t be said of God.

Think of the many names for Bigfoot: Bigfoot, Skunk Ape (my personal fav), Yeti (a very close second), Sasquatch, Orang Pendek, Swamp Ape, Yowie, Yeren… just to name a few. Check out this website (http://squatchdetective.com/worldnames.htm) for a more exhaustive list of Bigfoot names.

What you find with the various names for Bigfoot is essentially the same creature. A 7-9 foot tall primate-like creature with either brown or reddish brown hair that looks kinda like a man with a 24 inch foot. I certainly don;t deny the presence of such an animal as there are still many uncharted parts to the world and I suppose such an animal could exist in the wild. However, so expedition has ever turned up and conclusive evidence for such a creature.

But that’s not really the point is it?

It would seem that the world culture’s presentation of God is somewhat like Bigfoot. There are many names for what people refer to as God. You have God, Yahweh, Allah, Buddha, Krishna, the Great Spirit, Mother Nature, etc. What also seems to be similar is the idea that if you search for God on any of these paths then you are on the right path… or at least the right path for you. However, when you break it down this can not be true. Unlike the Bigfoot, the gods of the world are very different from each other and an honest look at their character would show us they are mutually exclusive. Meaning, the Christian God and Krishna or Buddha are not synonymous because they have very divergent teachings. Not only is the end result different from each other, but the path to get to the end result is different.

I’m going to say it: not all roads lead to Heaven. All roads don’t even point us generally in the same direction. Jesus is very clear in John 14:6 when he says he is “the way, the truth and the life.” And “no one comes to the father except through me.” There is not much room for interpretation here. Jesus is asserting who he is as God is very different from every other god in the world. He is the way, the one so to speak.

I love the story of Elijah in 1 Kings 18. He has a show down on Mt. Carmel with 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah (whom Baal was known to have ‘known’ in the biblical sense). The showdown is a test to see whose God is real. The Israelites had the same problem we have today – they liked to let idols take the place of worship of God. So, there’s this showdown where each team builds an altar and calls to heaven for their god to light it on fire.

After hours and hours, Baal has failed to light the altar. At one point Elijah suggest the prophets need to yell louder because Baal might be taking a dump. Classic. Finally, he has had enough so Elijah takes his turn. Before he prays, he completely drowns his altar in water. He prays a simple prayer and a huge pillar of fire comes from heaven and utterly engulfs the altar, the rocks, the dirt, the calf, the water, the everything and burns it entirely. End of discussion.

My suspicion is, if you had a similar showdown with the other gods of the world the end result would be the same.

As unfortunate as it may be, I think there may be one Bigfoot with various names across the world. It is not the same with God. There is one true God with many false gods who are posers.

 

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