Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Borg will assimilate!!!

I love the Tour de France! If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time you’ll know that. I’ve often blogged about the amazing, sedulous drive of the participants at what is arguably the most grueling sporting event in the world. This year’s tour has been different though. You see, four years ago Lance Armstrong retired at the pinnacle of his career after winning his seventh (yes seventh) Tour de France. This year he decided to return to the world stage of cycling for admirable reasons: He’s promoting his Livestrong foundation which has done immensely well in helping create an awareness of the ravages of cancer as well as provide an avenue for research funding.

Lance’s return has not been without its fair share of controversy and intrigue. Why? Because there’s a new Lance Armstrong on the block. His name just happens to be Alberto Contador (Lances team mate), and he is exactly what Lance was at the peak of his career. But Lance has really wrestled with acquiescing to the fact that he’s not quite the man he used to be. I imagine it must be hard to be Lance. To have controlled the Tour de France the last seven times you rode in it, only to be relegated to obscurity by your own team mate who is now everything you used to be, must present its own unique challenges. But Lance is 38 years old in September while Contador is just 26. So, as much as I admire Lance it’s only fair to say that Contador is the better rider, the new Lance. Contador is currently the race leader and sits more than five minutes ahead of his brave but beleaguered team mate.

Word on the street is that Lance and Contador simply cannot get along and so Lance and Johan Bruyneel (their team manager) will be branching off to form their own cycling team for 2010 which will not include Contador. If Lance wins the Tour next year, he will forever be recorded in the annals of cycling history as the greatest “comeback kid” ever. I mean, the guy will be a couple of months shy of his thirty ninth birthday for crying out loud! But reality suggests that he won’t be wearing the yellow jersey (leader's jersey) next year either, and in my opinion that’s perfectly alright. He had a good run but it’s time to honestly accept the inevitable. The Borg will assimilate! (Just thought I’d throw that in for all you trekkies) A good friend of mine, blogging about the current health care crisis in the USA had this to say:

Change will come, it is inevitable, and whether we like it or not we will sooner or later have to embrace it in order to move on. Embracing it does not mean that we like it; it just means that it is reality.

So the real question is: what change do you need to embrace? What is it that you’ve had a great run at in your life over the past few years but evidence points to the fact that you might need to accept that change is on the way?

Friday, July 17, 2009

I'm really simple-minded!

Yesterday I was watching Nat Geo - one of my favorite channels - and was enthralled by a program that featured scientists making a case for life on other planets. If you’ve paid any attention at all to the constant battle of evolutionary science against creation you’ll know that it’s become the leitmotif of science to deride and minimize the value of the creation story. Their fervid vituperations generally seek to suggest that those of us who believe that the earth was created in a literal or figurative seven days, are simply too simple. So to further illustrate their point, they headed for one of the most inhospitable places on earth, California’s Death Valley, where they were convinced that because of how it allegedly closely simulates Mars (at least from the photos they’ve seen), if they were able to discover life in Death Valley it would lend to the veracity of their claim of life on Mars.

As they examined the subsoil they concluded that microbial and fossil evidence would seem to indicate that life on earth is about four billion years old. Don’t ask me how they came to this conclusion, I only report the news! They went on to make this bold and confident statement: “Unfortunately we don’t know how life began.” They followed this insightful assertion with the statement: Whatever it was that accounts for the beginning of life “This was no Garden of Eden.” These are smart, brilliant, and accomplished scientists! These are men and women that our culture reveres for their amazing insight into the human past and consequently the human future. If you don’t believe me you should watch some of the shows that Nat Geo and Discovery Channel put out about what our future world will look like and what our past world was when dinosaurs had men for lunch.

I for one am grateful to be ‘simple.’ I like the simplicity of not being as smart as these scientists so that I avoid the vagaries of trying to wrap my mind around a truth that is so much larger than me. I like the simplicity of not feeling like I’m obligated to come up with an explanation for why fossils are dated from the rocks in which they’re found while the rocks are themselves dated from the fossils found in them. I like the simplicity of simply accepting God at His word… “In the beginning God created…” You see, in this equation, while the scientists ponder the origins of life, I can simply refer to the words of the One who made life, and settle the issue once and for all. The impudence and arrogance of men in their supposed wisdom was already reckoned by God long before men found themselves in the throes of scientific discovery. Here’s what He had to say about it: “They knew God, but they did not give glory to God or thank him. Their thinking became useless. Their foolish minds were filled with darkness. They said they were wise, but they became fools.” – Romans 1: 21-22. I for one like being simple-minded!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

I was just thinking...

This is certainly not a rush to judgment, nor is it meant to be an attempt to vilify anyone especially since I don’t have all the facts. But since I can’t be silent, I’ll simply stick to discussing what we all already know because it’s been reported in the press. Steve McNair, former NFL MVP and quarterback of the Tennessee Titans, is dead! He was found on the sofa in the living room of a condo he co-rents with a friend. He had multiple gunshot wounds including a fatal shot to the head. On the floor, not far from Steve’s body, was the body of 20-year-old Sahel Kazemi, a “friend” of McNair’s, dead from a single gunshot wound to the head.

Recently I blogged on leaving a legacy as I reflected on the deaths of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett, and on how it’s so much easier to be remembered more for the negative things that stand out in most people’s minds, regardless of whatever else it is you may have done well. Quoting McNair’s ‘condo-mate’ (who reportedly discovered the dead bodies), an NBC Sports report stated “Aaron said McNair’s wife, Mechelle, is “very distraught.”” Wow, thanks Aaron for stating the patently obvious! Sadly, what we really do need to know, we don’t know. We don’t know the who, the why, the when and so many other details of this dark tale. So the “million dollar” question is: what do we know?

We know that Steve McNair, 36, was married with children

We know that Steve McNair, 36, was found dead alongside a 20-year-old girl (Kazemi) purported to be his girlfriend.

We know that “Two days ago, Nashville police arrested Kazemi on a DUI charge while driving a 2007 Escalade registered to her and McNair.”

We know that the arrest affidavit said “Kazemi had bloodshot eyes and the smell of alcohol on her breath, but refused a breathalyzer test, saying “she was not drunk, she was high.””

We know that “McNair and his family frequented the restaurant where Kazemi was a waitress” and that “McNair and Kazemi met at the restaurant.”

We know that Steve McNair has left a widow and four sons asking questions that may never be answered.

So my question is: Was it worth it? Is this the legacy that Steve envisioned leaving for his sons as he raised them into young men? Having examined all that we do know, I’m still left with more questions than answers, and I’m saddened that all too often our lives are so self-serving and self-absorbed to the detriment of those that mean the most to us. Are Steve’s sons supposed to remember their dad as the man who loved and protected their family, or as the adulterous husband found shot to death alongside a lover almost half his age?