Monday, January 30, 2006


Hi all,
Sorry for not posting much over the last while - I've been busy.
Anyways, this is an addition to the last post - on Courage.
This weekend was Youth Encounter at Prov. Most of you know what YE is - a giant retreat for youth, kinda like Youth Quake. Most students at Prov get involved in some way or another, and this year, I was helping out with Security. Every year, Prov gets some great bands for YE, and this year was no different - we had Kutless and The Reception. They had a huge concert Saturday night, with approximately 1200 people packed into the Prov gym. My role during this was front-stage security. This meant that I had to stand between the front stage and the crowd, preventing them from getting to the stage, but most importantly, keeping anyone from getting hurt.
The entire concert was exhausting. Myself and probably 20 other guys were working stage-front, and the crowd was really intense at times. The pressure was constant, and I had to work extremely hard to ensure that people weren't getting onstage. This was fairly difficult - having four or five people on top of you at all times, as well as the crowds behind them surging forward at unpredictable times. But the evening ended, and all of us had done our job. And I felt great.
Here's why I felt great - I was fighting my battle that I described in my last post. I was working as part of a team to keep people safe - people that I probably hadn't met or will never see again. But I was working - actually physically pushing and working against the forces that, uncontrolled, could wreak havoc and hurt people badly. But we didn't let them overcome us. We stood strong, and were not overcome.
After the concert, a friend told me how a girl who was in her dorm was talking about me after the concert. She said that I really helped, because when she was about to fall down, she grabbed onto me and I helped her stay up. That made me feel really good. Other stories from the night were also told about the other guys who were doing security. We have overcome, we have fought our battle, and have been found worthy.

Thursday, January 05, 2006


I watched The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe last night. Wow. While watching the movie, something struck home inside me near the end of the movie. I'm going to assume that everyone reading this has either seen the movie or read the book, if you haven't, then you might not want to continue reading.
Anyways, the part that I'm thinking about is when Aslan is telling Peter that he must lead the army of good creatures into battle. Peter isn't too enthused about this; he tells Aslan that he doesn't know how, that he's scared to do it.
Fast forward to the battle scene. The two armies are facing each other on the field. The Witch sends her armies to attack Peter's army. Peter hesitates for a second, then swallows his fear and leads the charge into the enemy. He fights courageously, and his forces win the battle (with the help of Aslan and his cavalry, of course!).
So here's what ran through my mind when I was watching this: Why can't that be me there?
Before I go any deeper, I have to say this: I was not trying to say "Why can't I be saving Narnia from the White Witch?" I was thinking "Why don't I have any place to demonstrate/find/learn courage?"
The concept of real courage and sacrifice are somewhat foreign to our culture. We sit in our safe houses in North America, watching war movies and eating popcorn. There's not much that can test our mettle in a real way.
I'm not sure exactly what I want - but I think that many men share this dream of mine. I want to be in a situation where something more than my pride or my money is at stake. Maybe even something more than my life. And I want to fight for it, and overcome evil. However, the only situation I can think of that would accurately satisfy this dream is a battle. Something where I am actually wielding a sword or other weapon, and it is me versus my enemy. A battle of wits and skill. In any situation where one's life is on the line, everything truly unimportant is stripped away, and you are left with a man's character.
John Eldredge talks about this in his book Wild at Heart. Eldredge mentions the movie Braveheart, where William Wallace is courageous, strong, and fights for what he believes in, no matter what. He says that men want to be like that, and not like Robert the Bruce, who betrays Wallace.
So, I have this desire in me to prove myself. The only problem is this: how do I do it? I feel that joining the army would not accomplish any of this, because there is no imperative "evil" that needs to be defeated. So what do I do? How do I prove myself? How can I find out if I am truly like Peter, who swallows his fear and overcomes, or if I am like Robert the Bruce, who turns his friend in for money and power?
At this time, I have no answer.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Something from Lewis

Here's something I came across from Mere Christianity:
Men ought to be unselfish, ought to be fair. Not that men are unselfish, not that they like being unselfish, but that they ought to be. The Moral Law, or Law of Human Nature, is not simply a fact about human behaviour in the same way as the Law of Gravitation is, or may be, simply a fact about how heavy objects behave. On the other hand, it is not a mere fancy, for we cannot get rid of the idea, and most of the things we say and think about men would be reduced to nonsense if we did. And it is not simply a statement about how we should like men to behave for our own convenience; for the behaviour we call bad or unfair is not exactly the same as the behaviour we find inconvenient, and may even be the opposite. Consequently, this Rule of Right and Wrong, or Law of Human Nature, or whatever you call it, must somehow or other be a real thing - a thing that is really there, not made up by ourselves. And yet it is not a fact in the ordinary sense, in the same way as our actual behaviour is a fact. It begins to look as if we shall have to admit that there is more than one kind of reality; that, in this particular case, there is something above and beyond the ordinary facts of men's behaviour, and yet quite definitely real - a real law, which none of us made, but which we find pressing on us.