Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What To Live For

'"So can I, maybe, have a set of wings?"  Larry asked.  "I've always wanted wings since I was a little kid."

"I know I know,"  Rick said.  "I want to be really, really fit and strong so I can run marathons."

Omega laughed a little bit.  "I don't think evolution works that way.  And God rarely gives us things that we can do for ourselves.  Rick,  if you want to be fit enough to run marathons, you can do that yourself.  It takes eight or ten or maybe 20 generations to begin to grow a tail or some itty bitty wings.  Maybe more, Larry.  The thing that is clear to me is that God is still at work, helping plants and animals adapt to their environments, and God is still at work with humans."

The gang was sitting on the edge of a lake, looking at the night stars, waiting for the next thing to happen.  It was late at night, and getting later.

"I think God is more interested in getting us to be better humans,"  Tim said.  "Maybe we love more or we take care of more people."

"So, the history is this,  and Marcus, lots of this hasn't happened for you just yet."  John-John starts to teach.   "The early Greeks figured out democracy, but they only figured it out for some people.  The Jews were the people who taught everybody about one God,  but it was a God who could blast whole populations of people who lived and worshiped different gods or more than one.  So, there was some room improvement there."

"When Jesus came along, he focused on God's love for everybody, a new idea, and that started lots of churches, and out of those churches came schools and hospitals and the hospitality of the monks and the nuns,"

"Omega," Larry asked.  "Did you know Jesus?"

"Yep,"  Omega said.

"Then the Magna Carta was signed in 1215 A.D.  which required that a nation, England,  follow the rule of law rather than the whim of a king.  It was the foundation for the laws of lots of European nations.  Now, people can't imagine living a life without law and order,"  John-John explained.

"It was the basic for our own government and the Constitution,"   Rick took it a step further.  "That was an immense step in human rights and dignity for all.  It was based on Democracy, but it took it a lot further than the Greeks.  It was Democracy for everybody.  Although we did have that slavery thing going.  That blew up with the civil war and slavery was banned forever within our borders.  More human rights and equality came to fruition in the 1950s with a grand focus on Civil Rights."

"So you've been improving, growing in law and human dignity for a long time,"  Omega said.  "It's a hard, hard fight to make things right,  but somebody righteous said this,  'The arc of history bends toward justice.'  It's not only beautiful, it's right.  Humans have gotten better, stronger, smarter, more law abiding, more generous, more worthy.  You kids have a lot to live for."

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Ribbit in Time

"So," Larry said.  "How do you believe in evolution, when nobody has actually seen an animal 'evolving'?"

"We've seen the outcomes of animals evolving,"  Julie said.  "Little bird that have fat beaks and can't get into little cracks in the wood to get the bug they want for lunch.  Couple of generations late, maybe ten or twelve, the beaks get skinnier and sharper.  That's sorta of how it works."

"But," Marcus said.  "We didn't have a theory of evolution in Rome.  But we figured out that you had to grow and change, or else you died.  Or your species did.  That much was pretty clear."

"Who says,"  Larry continued.  "That we're as evolved as people are gonna get.  That's we're the best we can be.   Or ever will be."

"Then we're in big trouble," Cheryl said,  grinning a little bit.

"I think my Dad," Omega said.  "loves you however you come, fat beak and all."

Everybody was on an island in a little river, more of a creek.  They'd been able to wade, and they made a camp fire and were toasting marshmallows.  Now they were sitting around the fire as the day dimmed into dusk.  Larry looked at the sand beside him.  He'd sensed movement and as he looked to see what it was, he heard a little croak.  A little frog was crouched in the sand beside him, looking at Larry with big eyes and a wild tongue that shot out a grabbed flies.

"So, you needed a long tongue, more than you needed wings or an adult tail?"  Larry asked.

"Ribbit,"  the little frog said.

"I remember a song from church camp when I was a little kid,"  Cheryl said.

"What that?"  Larry asked.

"My froggie he am a queer bird.  He ain't got not tail almost hardly.  He run and he yump and he land on his sit, where he ain't got no tail almost hardly," Cheryl warbled.

"Ribbit.  Ribbit."

And the little frog jumped into the darkening shadows along the bay, leaving little ripples where he had been..

"I wonder what he might  need next?"  Larry asked.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

What Happened, and When Did It Happen? Story 4

"Some parts of this life are one big puzzle,"  Rick said.

"Whaddiya mean?"  Omega said.

"Well, you've got great Christians who don't believe in evolution, and you've got other great Christians who think evolution is a very important clue in how things occur out in the wild." Suze said.  "I'm sorta confused by that too."

"Yeah," Larry said.  "It's like Alpha did everything in seven days, in one big whump,  and then he didn't do anything else.  There's been a change or two in the mean time.  Was he happy with that?  Did he have any part of that?"

Marcus said,  "In my Africa, there are millions of animals.  Million and kazillions of 'em.  Did Alpha design each one of them?  Give them different lives and different things to eat?  Like you either get snakes for lunch or maybe coconuts.  I mean, who knows?

The kids were setting in the backyard of the old, abandoned church.  It had somehow got put back together,  like a dream.  They were sitting around a fire pit, eating hot dogs, and drinking rootsy pops.  It was the time of night when the big questions came out.  Ones that kids like to think about.

"Well, I don't have any trouble with little birds who have a beak  that is the wrong size and the wrong shape to get at it's favorite worm, and in time, the beak begins to get longer and leaner, until, one day, it fits exactly in the worm hole,"  Tim said.  "To me, that's a God thing.  Using  the available biology to get where you need to go."

"Yeah, I think so too."  Julie said.

"It's like you've been doing something wrong for your whole life, and then one day, you understand where you went wrong, and how to fix it,"  Cheryl said.  "So you do.  It's like God finally give you the tools to fix it."

"So, Omega.  Is your Dad still at work on us?"  Larry asked.  "That seems to me to be the big question,"