Write me a letter

Before I graduated, I spent some time deciding what to do with my considerable post-college free time. I was going to have about ten extra hours a week, not to mention the lack of stress and worry about homework, assigned reading, and papers that had hung continually over my head and put a pall on all non-work activities. I would be free to do whatever I wanted, and while reading a biography about Theodore Roosevelt, I realized that I wanted to build relationships with people.

Specifically, I wanted to write letters. There are a few friends who write me regularly but to whom I always fail to reply, and I want to fix that. I also want to write to strangers and start having pen pals, and I thought it would be swell to write to people out in the world about important things. If I have an author I like, or whose ideas I find intriguing, or for whom I have questions, I’m going to write them a letter. If there is something going on in the world, I might write churches or leaders in the area to encourage them. All the things that are becoming commonplace through email and Facebook, but which don’t seem to happen in any real depth (at least for me), I want to do with paper and ink.

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If God knew humanity would rebel and sin, why did he create them?

You’ve probably considered this question before, and there are a lot of responses. There’s currently a discussion on Reddit about it, and I just had a new thought on the subject I wanted to share:

The point is often raised, “If God is omniscient, he knew from the beginning that we would fail, sin, and have to go to hell. So why did he create us? Why bother with all this, if God already knew we were screwed?

Why create us to be imperfect and capable of sin? Why not just make us good? Why did God set us up for failure?”

Common replies bring up free will, potential for redemption, Calvanism vs. Armenianism, etc. etc.

Today I had a new thought:

The question ignores an important point, namely that we haven’t all failed. It’s usually asked in a tone of, “Why did God create us just to destroy us?” but the truth is that God isn’t destroying all of us. He sacrificed his son so we would all have a shot at redemption, and some of us have taken that. There are millions of people who follow God, have repented of their sin, and entered into a fellowship with him. It isn’t all failure and doom and gloom, and it has never been all failure and doom and gloom. Even when Elijah thought he was the only one left who was loyal to God, there were still seven thousand people that Elijah didn’t know about.

It sometimes seems as if God has set us up for failure, but that’s just not the case. He gave us the opportunity to win, to succeed despite the machinations of Satan, and a lot of people do. God gave us a way to have free will and live in harmony with him.

I just found that to be cool when it hit me. What do you think of the original question? Do you have other responses you’ve heard or thought of?

Inspiring Quotes from Reddit

Reading through a thread on Reddit about inspiring quotes, I wanted to record a few for my own inspiration.

The infinite possibilities that each day holds should stagger the mind. The sheer number of experiences I could have is uncountable, breathtaking, and I’m sitting here refreshing my inbox. We live trapped in loops, reliving a few days over and over, and we envision only a few paths laid out ahead of us. We see the same things each day, respond the same way, we think the same thoughts, every day a slight variation on the last, every moment smoothly following the gentle curves of societal norms. We act like if we just get through today, tomorrow our dreams will come back to us.

And no, I don’t have all the answers. I don’t know how to jolt myself into seeing what each moment could become. But I do know one thing: The solution doesn’t involve watering down my every little idea and creative impulse for the sake of someday easing my fit into a mold. It doesn’t involve tempering my life to better fit someone’s expectations. It doesn’t involve constantly holding back for fear of shaking things up.

This is very important, so I want to say it as clearly as I can: FUCK. THAT. SHIT.

–xkcd

Human beings do not live forever, Reuven. We live less than the time it takes to blink an eye, if we measure our lives against eternity. So it may be asked what value is there to a human life. There is so much pain in the world. What does it mean to have to suffer so much if our lives are nothing more than the blink of an eye?

I learned a long time ago, Reuven, that a blink of an eye in itself is nothing. But the eye that blinks, that is something. A span of life is nothing. But the man who lives that span, he is something. He can fill that tiny span with meaning, so its quality is immeasurable though its quantity may be insignificant. Do you understand what I am saying? A man must fill his life with meaning, meaning is not automatically given to life.

It is hard work to fill one’s life with meaning. That I do not think you understand yet. A life filled with meaning is worthy of rest. I want to be worthy of rest when I am no longer here.

–Chaim Potok

Once the game is over, the King and the Pawn go back in the same box.

–Italian Proverb

A ship in port is safe…but that is not what ships are made for.

–Grace Murray Hopper

Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.

–Oscar Wilde

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

–Marianne Williamson, and not Nelson Mandela

Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves back up again.

–Alfred in Batman Begins

@ShitMyDadSays Section (NSFW alert?)

Because there are so many it really needs its own section.

Sometimes life leaves a hundred dollar bill on your dresser, and you don’t realize until later that it’s because it fucked you.

That woman was sexy…Out of your league? Son. Let women figure out why they won’t screw you, don’t do it for them.

Don’t ever say stuff just because you think you should. That’s the definition of an asshole.

You sure do like to tailgate people… Right, because it’s real important you show up to the nothing you have to do on time.

You’re being fucking dramatic. You own a TV and an air mattress. That’s not exactly what I’d call “a lot to lose.

The worst thing you can be is a liar….Okay fine, yes, the worst thing you can be is a Nazi, but THEN, number two is liar. Nazi 1, Liar 2