Thursday, February 13, 2014

Martha, Martha

     I have had issues for a long time about worry and fear. However, I found a little bit of solace through the story of Martha, her sister Mary, and Jesus. Found at the end of Luke 10, it is a story familiar to most of us on some level. Jesus comes to visit these sisters, and Martha tries to be the good host and is somewhat flustered trying to do it. Her sister Mary is sitting at the feet of Jesus, listening to him speak and teach. Martha gets annoyed with her sister, and asks Jesus to make Mary help her.
     However, this is not what Jesus does. Rather, he says,“Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42 NIV)
     So what place does my anxiety have in my life, rightfully? "Few things are needed, or indeed only one," and that One loves me far too much to want me to worry about Him. While it is not that easy to get rid of worry, I think that every bit helps.

Monday, February 10, 2014


   Long have I considered mortality a strange thing. It gives meaning to life, because we only have so much time to get everything that we want to done, so we live with it hanging over us. Most people would rather live longer if possible, and yet I, as a nerd, of course, have seen my fair share of sci-fi movies exploring immortality. Most of the writers came to the same conclusion, however. Immortality is a curse if it be layed upon any on this earth.
   Now, where did this come from? I mean, we use modern medicine to give us just a little more time, and the idea of extended life isn't exactly new to this century. Juan Ponce De Leon came to South America in search of the fountain of youth, the key to eternal young life. While alchemy is most famous for the pursuit of turning common metals of little worth into gold, many alchemists also sought out the key to living forever. Even some early doctors, astrologers, and 'magicians' sought out this. Perhaps it is pulled from our ancient heritage, with lifespans that have slowly dwindled down from the first two humans, who would have lived forever had they not sinned. 
   But how could earthly immortality ever end in good? If one person could achieve it, they would have to watch all they loved die around them, and then watch their civilization die, and if they were not yet mad and hermits, watch more civilizations rise and fall, rise and fall, until it all ended someday. Madness would be sure to strike them eventually, because how much can the human mind endure? We were made for a lifespan of roughly "threescore and ten" years (70 in layman's terms), so how many years past that could a mind survive sane? Would they survive to 200 years, or even 150? 
   Say, however, that you did not just make one person immortal, you made the whole world immortal, or something like just the rich or the smartest. Suppose that you could account for the brain, at least for a few hundred years or so, and keep it from going mad, and yet still intact. How would this be good, either? With the whole world immortal, society would fall into overpopulation, and then cruel dictatorships would arise, demanding population control, in any form it takes, with a likely output in eugenics. With just the few as immortal, the world would fall into an even crueller heirarchy. Money would dictate your life, and the few would live in luxury while the rest rotted in ignorance, depravity, and poverty. The rich would oppress the already poor to stay rich and not have to share. The brilliant would run out of ideas, eventually, and with the general population being uneducated in an effort by the rich to control them (because stupid people don't fight or think for themselves). Society would crawl to stagnation. The upper class would try to educate a chosen few, to have new ideas, but it is almost impossible to make a genius. Even if they did succeed in making geniuses, half of genius is free thinking, so this new batch of geniuses would be severely controlled and therefore unable to think truly freely, not to mention they would have so many ego problems to add to the already stinking humanity.
   And why do we delude ourselves in thinking any more time will help? In most cases, those who want more time the most are the ones who used the time given to them for the least. The ones who 'wasted' their lives, who could have done more with it, but didn't, and regret it. Either that, or they waste most of their life seeking it, only to fail in misery. Do these people deserve immortality, because what are the chances that furthering of their lives will actually get them to do anything with themselves? It is the same as leadership; those who wish to lead are often least fit to do it, and those who seek immortality are likely those who deserve it least.
    But then again, does anyone deserve immortality? Time changes people, and someone who is kind in a normal lifespan may become bitter after a few centuries. It doesn't even take that much to change someone. If man if fallible, what says he deserves to be immortally fallible? Our own sick pride? Or is it fear?
    If a fear of death can lead to one wasting their entire life in search of futile immortality, how else can fear this great affect us?