Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Random thoughts

I’ve been cooking and food prepping up a storm getting meals together for David and Scott and their epic JMT trek coming up in a week or so. David and Scott were friends in high school and beyond; Scott was valedictorian and David salutatorian at their academically rigorous school in Dallas. It was their Colorado trek a few years ago that sparked me to return to backpacking. Now they’re both at Berkeley; David in law and Scott in one of the sciences. Photo: David at Love Field. You could say he's "saddled up."

Basically I’m preparing/dehydrating food for 2 people for 3 weeks in the wilderness. Pretty amazing thing to pull all this together (it’s 120 meals), and made more interesting by one of them being a vegetarian. The menu includes spaghetti, chili with beans, mashed potatoes with rosemary and cheese, corn chowder with black beans, alfredo pasta, choices of hamburger gravel, chicken, ham, tofu, TVP, etc. – oatmeal for breakfast – all freezer bag cooking for the hikers. I’ve made brilliant energy bars, some with pecans, raisins, and chocolate chips and some with walnuts, apples and chocolate chips.

It’s a lot of work and even more fun.

Great father’s day and DK birthday – he was born on father’s day. One of the things David wrote to me was, “In the past year, I’ve really enjoyed camping with you, as well as watching you camp and helping each other get better at it. For some, it might be a chance to recapture lost time between a father and a son, but I feel we have lost no time. Every moment of my life, I have known that you were there for me no matter what, and I am so proud to call you, ‘Dad.’”
***
This from someone backstage at a Grateful Dead concert, “I nod and Jerry smiles. He’s playing (Morning Dew) with his back to the audience, tears streaming down his face, the music playing the band, and the music recording itself. Ecstasy on every level.”
***
There was a discussion today about why we (people) suffer and there were reasons given – making mistakes, discipline from God, opportunity to learn, and so on – everything but randomness. I understand that people have a desire for understanding and meaning, but I don’t buy it. Random stuff happens and if God is really in control, well, we have a big problem, manifested by Hitler, Ted Bundy, Pol Pot, random rapists, evil-doers and child abusers, etc. ad (gag) infinitum – not to mention cancer, depression, starvation – I could go on but I won’t. I know, people come up with explanations for all the evil and suffering and the ideas that God is in charge and there's some kind of reason and lesson to be learned. The explanations all have one common characteristic – convoluted thinking to support the ideas. As far as I can see there's no hand on the tiller and it seems to be random, governed by karma and (here’s the miracle) subject to grace and redemption.
***
Bryce talked today about backpacking with his two sons in the Great Smokey Mountains for 4 or 5 days this father’s day. Much of the time they were in the trees, but finally broke out and could see the mountains rippling out in the distance blue and grey and all and wreathed with smoke … a beautiful vision (the trip and what they saw with their eyes).
***
Revelation 20:12-13. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. That seems to me to say works are of some importance to those who are concerned about judgment. I mean, fine, if you want to bet your life on faith, fine, no problemo. But please, no self-satisfied little smiles at the futility of works.

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