Friday, January 18, 2008

Heading Home

Business Trip - Boston

At left, above the "Big Dig".

I feel like a man from the land of plastic architecture. Disneyland. Suburban Instant Utopia - just add water.

Lets admit it, people from the West Coast are hopelessly disconnected from American History.

To prove it to yourself, just visit Boston.

My meetings were done today at 3 PM, and I took myself on a long self-guided tour of downtown Boston, ending at Boston Commons and
Park Street Church (looks very cool). Right behind Park Street church is Granary Burial Ground.

I was reading the Park Service information signs, learning of the remarkable people from American history who are buried there. I finished reading, turned around and was facing the grave of Paul Revere!

This town is amazing. And so is our nation. To whom much has been given.....

Business Trip - Washington DC

What a fascinating place to live. The entire culture in Washington DC is so strongly oriented to revolve around the political, military, diplomatic, and career government sectors, that this town is very much in a world of its own.

Infrastructure. Its another thing I thought about today, whilst riding the Metro to several meetings. Being from LA, serious transit systems (we have wimpy and very limited transit - we prefer massive carbon footprints amid the privacy of our own autos) amaze me. Rather than being a part of ordinary life, underground transit seems to me to be like something out of a fantastic future. People, hundreds and thousands of them, in steel tubes on rails, running underground. Water delivered clean to every home. Sewage systems, to remove the unsightly parts of our lives. Telephones, internet, electricity, satellite and cable TV. We take for granted, this amazing infrastructure of everyday life - and perhaps more selfishly, we do not think of the blessed nature of our advanced Western culture.

As I sat warm and content on the Metro (with a snow storm blowing above ground), whizzing underground from one point in the capital to another, I thought again about the people around me. If you look at the
stats, over 700,000 rides a day now. All those lives, young and old, rich and poor, single and married, contentedly happy and desperately depressed, joyous and tragically sad. They are sitting next to me, around me. I am one of them, trying to find my way, figuring life out. In need of purpose.

We Christian folk like to think we have it all figured out. But the older I get I find a dichotomy occurring in my life. I am, at once more certain of some things, and yet wondering of the mystery, disorder, and confusion of so many other parts of life. I am ok with the cognitive dissonance. I wonder, do I lead a life that is elevated, aloof, and disconnected with people who are not of faith. Have I cubby-holed my life into an isolated Christian subculture?

Faith can be found in the midst of wondering. Can my life be connected in meanful ways to others, so that I can relate to the bigger questions of life, of meaning, and of purpose?

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