Summer is Here…

…and the living is easy.

I don’t know about your year, but my past year has been exciting.

I survived my first year of teaching, realized how much I love it, began to work more seriously as a freelance writer, and published three books.

I have one book that is almost ready to be sent to a publishing house, four more in development in my head, and am excited about the changes I’m going to make in my classroom next year.

Over the summer, I am going to blog a lot more, but for now, I am about to embark on a road trip of awesomeness.

Museums, tallships, good friends, and the ocean. I have weddings to go to and tall ship maintenance to help with.

Summer is here, and the living is… okay, it’s not easy. But it is a chance to relax, unwind, and reflect.

Math and Other Numbers

You may have noticed from reading this blog or following me on various social media platforms, but I am not a math person. At the risk of sounding like a braggart, I have degrees in history, English Literature, Education, anthropology, and a partial degree in museum studies. There is and has always been a clear method to the madness when it comes to my degrees and I have a definite plan to use each and every bit of knowledge that I have gained, but there is something that you may have noticed. These are all the social sciences, and the social sciences all have something in common.

They really don’t tend to use math that much.

That is really oversimplifying things; I use math in my role as an archaeologist and it’s something I’m glad I know how to do, but I noticed that my work tends to be more focused on the critical thinking, the basic math, and the logic puzzles than on the things I learned in geometry and pre-pre-calculus.

Full disclosure, I stopped taking math at that specific level, because I knew that it was not my strong suit and I wanted to take extra English, history, and music classes.

This topic does make me laugh, though, I can remember a friend of mine informing me when I was a lowly undergrad that, by becoming an archaeologist, I would become a “real scientist.” I laughed and said thank you, because what else do you say to that? I know that historians are not technical scientists, you chemists and biologists don’t need to rub it in!

Look Mother! I’m a real scientist!

But the main point of this post is math. I always hated it with a burning fiery passion, and now that I’m older I think I know why. I struggled with some of the more abstract concepts (to be fair, I also hate philosophy. Am I a drawing on a cave wall? Does it really change my life if I am? Nope. So I don’t care), and it was frustrating. I’ve always been fairly intelligent, and subjecting myself to something that I was horrible at was low on my list. Especially when I could be doing things that I was improving at and enjoying!

There are two major exceptions to my math saga, however. I adore logic puzzles; ranging from Sherlock Holmes to “Who Owns the Zebra.” I think this is because I am a social scientist, and we work in logic puzzles. Every other field seems to give you a set of clues, point you in the right research direction, and then you form your conclusions. While in English you can argue based on your opinion, in history and archaeology, there are actual answers. Something really happened, and other things did not. There is, in fact, a wrong answer.

I love that, when the answer falls into place, when the last piece of the puzzle fits perfectly and the truth (or as near to the truth as we can see) is revealed.

The other things in math that I love are equations. Not super complicated ones, but ones where you solve for x. For some reason, I’ve always found them relaxing. I would guess that this is because there is always a correct answer. X is something, and that is the way it is.

I wonder if this is because every day, I work with people. People aren’t always logical. There are emotions and there are messy situations that can be hard to deal with. My training has prepared me for that. It seems like that’s just what I do; no matter what my job is, I work directly with people. I love my job. I love most jobs that I have had, and I am very lucky to be able to say that.

But sometimes, when I find myself peopled out, thinking about some complex question about history, literature, anthropology or ethical museum practices, when I’m tired of wrestling with the big questions in my fields, I color.

Didn’t see that coming, did you?

You shouldn’t have, it was a weird fake-out.

But sometimes, I find some quiet math. I balance my budget and make a ten-year financial plan. I pull out some old equations or logic puzzles and solve those bad-boys, because sometimes it’s nice to be able to find the answer.

Solve the puzzle. Sometimes, this is the most frustrating part of math. There is a right answer and there is no room for negotiation. There are no additional facts to support your argument. 2 + 2 = 4, and there is no room for debate (unless you’re using fancy math).

So that, dear reader, is my personal journey with math. It’s fascinating, but I’m thankful that now I can just pick the parts I like, the parts that are fun (and the other things, like balancing checkbooks or doing taxes. Less fun, but still important).

Bring on the logic puzzles and the equations!

The math people can keep all the other stuff.

Wait, How Long is a 5K?

Recently, I was thinking to myself that I wanted to find some sort of something that I enjoy doing, something that will keep me in shape and be fun. I had a few guidelines for this, however.

First, it needed to be something that I couldn’t hurt anyone else while doing, except on special occasions. As a fan of kickboxing and Shotokan Karate, it was important to me that whatever I added be different.

Secondly, it needed to be something I felt comfortable doing. I’m a bit of a klutz and I have an interesting relationship with the concept of rhythm, but there are things that you can use for this. Sadly, there is one thing that is challenging for the rhythmically impaired-dancing.

Add to this the fact that I’m about as full of grace as a witch hunt, and there you have it. Dancing is a dangerous, dangerous activity!

My arms tend to flap about like I’m trying to take flight. But, since I can’t fly, I look like Rocko in “The Pebble and the Penguin.” For those of you who are not compulsive watchers of cartoons, he’s a penguin who wants to fly.

But moving on.

On day, pondering this question and getting tired of laughing at myself and my jazzercise (which I not so secretly still love), I saw an ad for a thing called the Muddy Muggle Fun Run. Being the Harry Potter Fan that I am, I had to investigate.

Although it has since been renamed the Muddy Mortal (there was a copyright thing), this is a Harry Potter themed obstacle-course 5K, with prizes and all of the trappings you expect from your Harry Potter-themed events.

I didn’t run, but I knew I had to be part of this.

Of course, this meant that I had to start running. Oh gosh. Happy coincidence? I know have a solid reason other than a vague “it’s good for me” to run; I’m training!

Since I hate people seeing me run, this will be challenging, but the race isn’t until June, so I’ve got some time.

Being related to a runner, I got advice on my shoes, the best local trails, and even stole the unused treadmill from my parents. I had all the pieces to begin training for my 5K.

I figured that my running form was pretty terrible, so I enlisted the help of my brother. Apparently, I’m not the worst (I’m not good, but I could be a lot worse). And, I will get a whole slew of Harry Potter-themed prizes, a fun experience, and of course, good health. I’d call that a victory.

As I started running, I realized that this was a wonderful sport. When running outside, I could listen to music, see the beauty around me, stretch, and just push myself. When I run on my treadmill, I watch Disney movies, admire the artistry, and just push myself.

I feel like there should be an animation post here, somewhere.

I discovered something strange. I like running. I like the feeling it gives me, the satisfaction of knowing what my body can do (maybe I couldn’t outrun a monster, but I could make it work for my death), and the feeling of clarity that I found I have when I run.

Running with other people is also, surprisingly, fun. But only in small groups. Let’s take this one step at a time.

On Superheroes

A few months ago, I realized that I was going through a bit of a bad place. I was unhappy at work, and with the general direction that I felt my life was going, and this made me angry. Actually, I was angry all of the time, and felt like most of my day-to-day activities were in place just to prevent that anger from spilling out and turning me into a rage monster.

If you’ve met me, you may realize that I am, generally speaking, a fairly calm person who it really takes a lot to actually anger. But I’ve been thinking about this a lot since that time in my life, and other than feeling like where I was in my life was turning me into a much more cynical, less trusting, hard-hearted person than I wanted to be, I realized that it’s the calm people who explode in a frightening way.

What does this has to do with superheroes? Well, I’m getting to that.

First, sorry comic book fans in advance.I’m the type of nerd who saw the movies/Linda Carter television show first, then thought, hmm. I’ll dig around in comic book lore. Do you have a favorite series on one of my favorites? Please share!

You see, my favorite superheroes have something in common. You have Captain America, who is an ordinary person who becomes extraordinary because of his compassion, his sense of justice, and his belief in freedom. All in all, he’s a stand-up guys and an all-around decent human being.

Then you have Wonder Woman, because, come on. She’s an immortal princess who fights for truth and justice, while protecting the environment and putting Batman and Superman into their places. Plus, she could probably do it all without her superpowers. She also works full-time. Okay, I might have made that up, but you get the drift.

Batman. Tortured, vigilante, determined to protect the people in his city from suffering what happened to him. Trying to do what’s best for Gotham, while understanding that killing is not the answer (usually).

But when I started thinking about myself, because my brain never sleeps and this is how it works, I remembered another guy. And while I can feel like I want to be like Captain America or Wonder Woman (and I am thankful to not be like Batman), I realized this guy was the one I related to most.

Bruce Banner, aka the Incredible Hulk.

Based on the Robert Louis Stevenson story, “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” Bruce Banner is a mild-mannered scientist who, when he gets angry, turns into a giant green rage monster. He smashes things, doesn’t recognize his friends at first…it’s a mess.

The Hulk movie, and Hulk’s part in the first Avengers movie, seems to focus on this incredibly smart guy, trying to avoid getting visibly angry, because it’s scary when he is. Now, I don’t turn into the Incredible Hulk, but when I get angry, I can feel it bubbling up inside of me and I imagine that it is not a pretty or comforting thing.

These days, I’m less angry. But my experience with the rage inside of me taught me something. If I’m going to act like a superhero (and not an actual person, because I am going to follow this metaphor to the bitter end), I should try to act like Captain America or Wonder Woman.

I shouldn’t be always angry, and unlike Hulk, I was able to remove myself from the situation that made me feel angry all the time.

But I also need to acknowledge that there is a little/large part of me that is Bruce Banner,  the shy, nerdy person who, like all calm people, comes complete with a boiling point that once reached unleashes a force of anger that may not frighten anyone else, but scares the heck out of us.

However, ignoring the anger only makes it worse (and gets things closer to the boiling point). Sometimes, life makes you mad, and I had to learn to recognize it.  Just like the Hulk learned to focus his anger and save his friends in the end, I learned to recognize my anger and remember that it’s okay to be angry(as long as I don’t destroy a factory or Harlem, like Hulk did).

I just need to remember to breathe, pray, and always look on the bright side of life.

And now that song is in your head. You are welcome.

 

What Does “Ladylike” Mean, Anyway?

I have a confession to make. I love hockey.

This always seems to surprise people, because apparently most people don’t love hockey AND the miniseries North and South. I can’t understand why, there’s violence and a touch of social commentary in both!

But seriously, it always makes me laugh a little bit when people find out I like hockey and are surprised. No, I don’t play hockey (mostly because I doubt my ability to stay upright on ice skates), but it is one of the funnest things to watch.

It’s also really amazing, because despite the fact that the guys are always fighting they are incredibly graceful. Skating is not easy, and they have to wear a ton of gear to prevent injur-, well, let’s say to prevent life-threatening injuries.

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The Hawaiian Chieftain Photo: Author’s Collection

 

I love romantic comedies, my favorite being The Decoy Bride, and I also love period dramas like North and South, musicals like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and White Christmas, and quietly reading. In addition to loving hockey, I also enjoy Game of Thrones, Supernatural, and the Walking Dead, Zombieland is one of my favorite movies, I’ve worked on a Tallship and I’m an archaeologist.

The former is what you would expect from a woman in her mid-to-late 20s, the later, not so much.

There is really a societal pressure, I think, on what being a lady is. There is an idea that either you like pink and chick flicks or you don’t like either. And frankly, that’s ridiculous. Why can’t I like blue and pink, Zombieland and North and South, Game of Thrones and The Mindy Project, and wearing jeans and wearing dresses (depending on the situation)?

I can. So take that, gender stereotypes! This may not be groundbreaking to other people, but I’ve been mulling over this for a while now.

So I have come to the conclusion that being ladylike is really just manners, and honestly, I like being a lady (but not while I’m watching hockey. That just doesn’t work). Being a lady shouldn’t be something that I find offensive or wince at, but something that I can smile at, because walking in heels is hard for me, and I practice it.

Though my grandmother calls me a lady, so I grew up hearing it as a compliment of the highest order.

I mean, do I know how to sit in a skirt? Yes. Can I walk in heels? Yes, if I have to. Can I sit quietly? Yes, if I have to (or it’s the right situation). If a gentlemen hold the door open for me, do I retort that I can open my own door? No, I say thank you. And I hold the door for other people too.

Being a lady doesn’t mean that I’m not a strong and independent woman. I like wearing skirts. Sometimes, I still twirl in them in my kitchen, while wearing Wonder Woman Socks that come with capes.

But that’s a whole other post.

 

 

 

 

My Life is Weird, and Other Thoughts

 

NOTE: I found half of this, unpublished, on my old blog. I thought I’d spiff it up and share it here.  I assume I started it around the time I finished grad school.

I’m going to be brutally honest here. Grad school kind of sucks. It’s hard, writing a thesis is a miserable experience and I didn’t look at a train for, well, days, after I finished school. I can’t help it; I love trains! My master’s thesis in anthropology examined the impact of the railroad on the small town of Sandpoint, Idaho between the years 1880 and 1935, looking at the archaeological records, archival material and additional sources. I am proud of my thesis; I poured two years of my life into that thing, AND I paid someone to let me write it. I got great experience in Collections Management and learned all about archaeology and the policies that govern the field.

But, while in grad school, I learned something unexpected.

I had always imagined myself as a curator of archaeological collections, also qualified to work in the field (because, let’s be honest, working in the field is exhausting, sweaty and amazingly fun). But while I was at school, I realized that I really missed the boats. And not just the freedom and amazing-ness of being part of the crew of a square-rigger, no. I really missed my job as the cat-herder and PR Ninja. In short, as the StewCo (or Education Coordinator/Steward, if you prefer).

This was a strange thing to learn, halfway through my final year at grad school for a different field.

I wanted to be an educator. I ignored the impulse for a while (I was in school still, and determined to graduate), but then I started making lesson plans in my head. I finally thought, maybe I should go back to school to get certified? And, this year, I have.

Also, in an effort to not lose all my hard work getting over heights, I tried climbing things. I quickly realized that if I didn’t have a clear purpose up there, even if I was properly and securely fastened, it was not going to happen. I would freeze up. My body literally would not move. I felt a strange sense of deja vu. I think it was because I didn’t have a job to do and I wasn’t even going to get to see a kick-ass view. Just the top of some plastic rocks and for no real reason.

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Furling Photo: Author’s Collection

So I realized that was all dumb, and I don’t climb things anymore. I assume that when I go back to the boats (someday, please, someday!), I’ll have to climb things again (but I hope that it’ll be less painful this time, because I know the benefits). I was pretty good at furling the mizzen, and I adored the headrig. It was just the yards that I hated.

That, in short, is the story of how I, Miss “I Never Want To Teach,” ended up back at school, working on getting her certification to teach middle-schoolers history and/or English.

I feel like my life is proof that God has a sense of humor. Not in a mean way, just that He chuckles at my antics quite a bit.

Narnia A-Thon!

There are a few things that I very nerdy about. King Arthur, Sherlock Holmes, history (particularly the West), trains, tall-ships, the works of Tolkien, animation, Robin Hood, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, and the works of CS Lewis.

Obviously, there are more things I nerd out about, but this is the core group. Sad, right? This post, however, is devoted to one particular facet of my nerdy core- The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis. As an aside, I’m very curious and intrigued by the reboot that will be done soon, with a lot of input from the Lewis Estate.

Fingers crossed.

I decided the other day (well, it’s been a few weeks now, these things take time), because I am a nerd like that, that I was going to watch the versions of the Narnia Chronicles that came out in the 2000’s, but also watch the older BBC versions, to see how they compare. Because I’ve read the series so often, I feel like I can compare them to the book as well.

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The Dawn Treader Photo: 20th Century Fox & Walden Media

Basically, I love to watch movies based on beloved books, and compare them to each other and to the book. It’s my idea of fun.

So, without further ado, The Narnia Chronicles!

First of all, if you’re going to base this on sheer accuracy, the BBC versions would win any contest, hands down. In many places, the dialogue is ripped right out of the book.

If you ask any bookworm, we will tell you that this is how we prefer our film adaptations.

The only way that the new Narnia movies might possibly win any contest is when you compare the Lucys and Edmunds. Don’t get me wrong, I love both characters in both adaptations, and they are my favorite characters in the series, and both for different reasons (but that’s another post). Even in the last two movies (ugh, so bad), they made it bearable.

Queen Lucy the Valiant
Georgie Henley as Lucy      Photo:Disney & Walden Media

I loved Georgie Henley’s wide-eyed innocence and the wonder she was able to convey; she just seemed like Lucy to me (also, I loved that the kids were all different ages. In the BBC one, I kept thinking Susan was the oldest and Peter and Edmund were twins).

I also really loved the way Skandar Keynes played Edmund. I can’t think of any other way to say it other than that it seemed like he stepped off of the pages of the book. His early, bratty behavior, his redeemed self, the undercurrent of snarkiness…all of these are things were present and great.

Even when things were different than the books, he was still the character. Same with Georgie Henley as Lucy. I felt like they got it, and that was neat.

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The Disney & Walden Media Pevensies Photo: Disney & Walden Media

In the BBC versions, the actors were great too, but they didn’t quite match up with what was in my head, and I do like the actors in the new version as well. In the BBC version, Peter and Susan more on point, but the Lucy and Edmund fell a little flat for me.

The first movie, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, looks pretty good on both sides. I mean, the story feels better adapted in places in the BBC one, but the new one isn’t bad, and it gets points because of the new Lucy and Edmund, as well as the special effects.

Prince Caspian and Dawn Treader, however, are a different story. The new ones, I watch and find myself annoyed. There are parts I like, of course. I was disappointed to not have the “Sorcery and Sudden Vengeance” chapter in there, but I liked what they did with it, particularly in relation to the character of Edmund. He has the best lines.

king edmund the just king of sass
Skandar Keynes as Edmund Photo: Disney & Walden Media

My problems with the new ones were as follows: I wish that Caspian had been younger, I hated the love story (the Star’s Daughter! Plus, book Caspian would have fallen for Lucy. Nothing against Susan, that’s just what I think), and that stupid fight in the castle was out of place. Susan fighting didn’t bother me too much (any irritation was due to the fact that in the books, it was Lucy who would fight with the archers, not Susan, but I’ll give them that one).

However, Peter Dinklage is wonderful as Trumpkin, and the BBC Trumpkin is also wonderful. Basically, that’s another character that I love equally in both films. Both men are able to convey the correct level of skepticism that makes Trumpkin such a wonderful character.

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Peter Dinklage as Trumpkin Photo: Disney & Walden Media

When it comes to Prince Caspian, for a blockbuster action movie, the new one is good. For a Narnia movie, it feels s a little out of place. The BBC version, however, old-school effects aside, is fantastic and follows the book wonderfully.

For the BBC productions, I appreciate  how Caspian and Dawn Treader were on the same disc. Since Caspian  is, I would argue, no one’s favorite book in the series, pairing it with Dawn Treader, my personal favorite, was a stroke of genius. I also like how in the beginning of Caspian, they are headed to their respective adventures in Treader. It’s a nice cohesive move. Well done, BBC, well done.

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The BBC Pevensies, Mr. Beaver and a Faun Photo: BBC

Overall, I love the BBC Prince Caspian. Caspian is a better age in this version, and they do a better job, I think, of setting up the story of Caspian. Not to say Ben Barnes didn’t do a good job, but this kid had, I think, a better script (at least when you compare it to the books. Which I do). Plus, Sorcery and Sudden Vengeance!

When it comes to Dawn Treader, the BBC film is long enough to put all the wonderful things that got cut out of the new movie (rant points pending below). The only thing is, I really don’t like the BBC Caspian in Dawn Treader. His acting is good, but he never looks like how I pictured Caspian to me.

Two of my favorite parts in the book are the Deathwater Island scene and the Dragon’s Island scenes, and although I thought both the new and the BBC versions of them got the spirit of both scenes, I wasn’t thrilled with either.

In the BBC Deathwater scene, Lucy got involved in the fight and it actually becomes a fight. I did like the Deathwater scene in the new one, because even though there were differences from the book, I thought it was acted in a way that conveyed the spirit of the scene. However, it also turned into a fight.

The scene also continued in the trend of the new films to make conflict between Peter and Caspian (Prince Caspian), and Edmund and Caspian (Voyage of the Dawn Treader), over leadership roles. Another thing added with the stupid subplot of trying to find the missing swords to save the people from the green mist, but that’s another story.

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Lucy Stops the Fight at Deathwater Photo: 20th Century Fox & Walden Media

However, while the dragon scene was good enough in both, the BBC one had a better representation of the transformation, but the new one had a better dragon. Despite that, I missed the interaction between Edmund and Eustace, and had looked forward to seeing the transformation of Eustace from dragon and back to boy. On the other hand, at least the BBC Dawn Treader had things in order. The new one just moved things around and changed things. I was equally disappointed in both versions.

Also, the new Dawn Treader had that stupid thing with the green mist and the swords, and, honestly, I stopped paying attention after a while because there was so much new stuff. I got annoyed, I just wanted to see stuff from the book that I loved, so I decided to read the book instead.

This is how you tick off fans and lose the rights to your story.

I get that they were trying to make the story flow together in a more cohesive way, but the book was tied together in a cohesive way; the search for the seven lords and the adventures that they had while searching. There was no need for an added conflict; Lewis wrote conflict enough in the book already. Combined with the adventure, it remains a wonderful book.

Having never seen The Silver Chair before, I was really excited and, like all the BBC Narnia movies, the only way it disappointed was in the outdated special effects and Caspian’s hair. I’m just impressed that they got to make The Silver Chair, less people probably call it their favorite than Prince Caspian.

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Puddleglum the Marshwiggle Photo: BBC

Overall, both series have their good points (one is better at story and one is better at special effects). While I realize that the BBC version was groundbreaking in it’s day when it came to special effects, the new movies just look so good! Except for Dawn Treader. No amount of special effects can make me like that movie.

I want to take the script from the BBC version (or something similar to it) and have it made today, with the same special effects budget that the new versions had. This is what I’m hoping we get in new films.

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Reepicheep Photo: 20th Century Fox & Walden Media

Fingers crossed.

Christ is King Sunday

So, I know Advent  has already started, but I wanted to take some time to backtrack to one of my favorite Sundays other than Easter, Christ is King Sunday.

If you aren’t familiar with Advent, it’s basically the month of December and the time that the Church recognizes and begins to look forward to Christ’s coming at Christmas, and also looks toward His second coming.

I heard a great Christ is King sermon on the 27th of November, and I want to share my musings with all of you. I will be honest, some of this is from the sermon, and some of it is my own ramblings. A lot of things were ideas that the pastor touched on and my brain just took off running, down several rabbit trails. Seriously, my brain sometimes looks like an ant farm.

The pastor read out of Revelation 22, and I have to tell you, the first five verses make me wish I could paint. I can just see it in my head, and I wish I could transfer it to paper. Just read this, and see what comes into your head.

“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And the night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.” Revelation 22:1-5.

Beautiful, right?

Just like Revelation is a strange book, Christ is King Sunday is strange day. To me, it’s always felt kind of sandwiched in there, like someone thought, “We need to do SOMETHING with that Sunday before Advent starts. Do we have a Christ is King Sunday already? Let’s go with that.” Thank you, Church founders.

I heard a great sermon recently that used the verses in Revelation to remind us that this world here is not the end. Christ is coming back, and when He does, it’s going to be amazing and beautiful and we will praise Him all day. Amen.

Revelation also has verse 22:13, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Alpha and omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, but something that struck me during this sermon is that God isn’t just the beginning and the ending, He’s every letter in between.

He’s the A and the Z, but He’s also the G and the W. Everything that exists is made by and loved by God, and while that can be hard to see in our broken world, I believe that everything that is happening breaks God’s heart much more than it could ever break mine.

There’s a song that I heard recently where someone was yelling at God to do something and God replies, “I did do something, I gave you a heart for your world and sent you to do my work.”

This really struck a cord in me, because it’s easy to say, “Hey God, our world’s a mess. Make it better, okay?” and much harder to say, “So, God, when I said, ‘Here I am, Lord, send me,’ I did mean it. What can I do to help heal my broken world?” Christ is King, but He gives us a choice in how we respond to Him.

I always think of God’s will and plan for my life as a GPS system, God knows where I started and where I’m going, and He knows the best route to get there. But sometimes, I miss the exit, or I don’t want to take the scenic route, or I have to take an earlier exit for some reason or my car explodes. God works with me and just reroutes the trip. I have a choice whether or not to follow the directions, but I’ve discovered it’s easier to do it God’s way and not my way.

Lots of verses in Scripture say that Christ is King, but that seems like a weird concept to me sometimes. A King is someone who, in some ways, has complete control over what his subjects do and say. And, let us all be honest. We like the freedom of choice. I like making decisions.

But, if I am saying that I am a Christian, I am saying that I am not in control of my life anymore, God is. I have given up the drivers seat, I am trusting my GPS unit, or whatever weird analogy works for you.

It boils down to this, God is not my advisor, He plans the trip and directs me where to go. Or, better yet:

God’s kingdom is not a democracy.

Not when He comes again, and not now.

God’s kingdom is not a democracy. And really, even if it was, would my vote REALLY be worth as much as His? That’s just illogical.

Nope. I don’t get to say, “Maybe we could try it this way, God, and see what happens,” and He says, “Oh, you outvoted me!” No, when God says “Jump,” I need to be willing to say, “Okay God, if You say so,” and jump.

I mean, I talk back to God all the time, but for me, it’s more of an obnoxious two-year old asking “Why?” all the time, just wanting to know and not trying to be rude; and I think that God knows that and chuckles a bit.

When God gives me commandments, whether in Scripture or my day-to-day life, I don’t get to pick and choose which I follow. They are not guidelines, they’re actual rules.

amazon pirate book
We are not pirates. Photo: Amazon

This is scary. It’s scary to say “Okay, where You lead, I will follow,” and then doing it. But it doesn’t say anywhere in the Bible that God won’t lead us into dangerous places. I have a pastor who said, “If it does, someone find me that verse, because I want to put it on my fridge.”

No, what God promises us is that He will never leave us or forsake us. When Moses tries to talk God out of sending him to Pharaoh, God tells him, “Go. I will be with you and teach you what to say” (Ex 4:12).

Sometimes, God calls us to do things that are dangerous and scary, and He promises to go with us. Following God and obeying Him can be dangerous, but it’s always worth it.

It reminds me of the beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring, (yeah, I’m a huge Tolkien nerd. Sorry not sorry) where Bilbo points out that it’s dangerous going out of your door, because if you don’t watch your feet, you don’t know where they’ll take you. I think God calls us to let Him be our feet, letting Him take us where He leading us.

In the end, it’s always worth it, because God’s plan is so much better than mine could ever be.

The idea that Christ is in charge and is coming back also reminds me of when I was a kid and my parents would go into town, leaving a list of chores that they wanted done, or at least started and well underway, by the time they got back.

When I was older and cell phones were a thing, they would call before they left the store and tell us that they were 20 minutes away. When I was a bit younger, you just had to estimate that you had about 40 minutes to get things done, but it could be shorter and it could be longer.

Either way, my siblings and I knew Mom and Dad were coming back. They were probably bringing doughnuts, and it was exciting, not just because of the doughnuts but because we love our parents and couldn’t wait to see them again (even though it had only been 40 minutes).

However, we knew that we had better be doing what we were supposed to be doing when they got home. That list of chores wasn’t a suggestion. For me, it added a level of terrifying to the excitement; what if I wasn’t doing things correctly? Why did I read for 15 minutes instead of just jumping into my chores? And the list goes on.

I think that’s how it is when God says He’s coming back, only we don’t have a real minute-by-minute estimate and He’s not calling on His cell phone when he’s 20 minutes out.

My last thoughts on Christ is King comes from an interview I overheard (in my defense, they were being really loud). Someone claimed that every time a Christian talks to a non-believer, if the non-believer doesn’t leave the conversation saved, that’s a failure on the part of that Christian.

That’s just not based in Scripture at all. Paul mentions at least once that we don’t know where other people are in their walk, that’s between them and God. Some of us plant the seed, some water, some nurture, sometimes we do a bit of all three, but when the plant blooms isn’t always something we need to know.

And, frankly, if we do what God tells us to do and share His love with the world, it’s none of our business. Again, it’s between the person and God and not for me to crow over or add to my Bible that I saved so and so. I didn’t do anything. God did.

The instance I’m thinking of is in 1 Corinthians 3:5-14. Paul goes a bit further, adding a metaphor about building, but it’s a same basic thing.

The last thing that I overheard that I want to address was an example of God being on trial when non-believers ask questions about Him and Him being in the criminal’s seat while we are His lawyers.

Apparently, when God is on trial, we can say, “Don’t worry God, I got this.” This made me uncomfortable for one major reason.

My God doesn’t need me to defend Him. He is the Lord of all creation, the A and the Z and all the letters in-between, and He’s got this.

He is the Judge and the Jury and the Executioner, but He is also our Lawyer. We are in the criminal box, and the only person who can pass a sentence is also the person who died for our sins and therefore won’t, Jesus Christ.

To me, Christ is King Sunday is a reminder that my God is just and He is my King. He gave me rules and guides me, and I should probably do what He says. But if I mess up, like I do, He offers me grace and mercy that I don’t deserve. And that’s pretty awesome.

I hope you enjoyed my musings. If you want to think on this and comment, feel free to, but if you don’t, it’s no skin off my nose 🙂 It’s really between you and God anyway.

Have a wonderful day!