We watched Eight Below last night. Amendment: my mom and sister watched Eight Below - I ended up running out of the room screaming! Here's a brief synopsis of the movie, in case you've never heard of it: Jerry is a guide in Antarctica, and provides transportation for scientists with the aid of his beloved dogsled team. On one journey, the scientist he is assisting breaks his leg, Jerry gets frostbitten fingers, and after getting back to the station in the nick of time before a huge storm hits, they have to be airlifted to the hospital. And sadly, there is no room on the plane for the dogs. After plans to return immediately to get them fall through due to the awful weather, Jerry is forced to return to the U.S, tortured by the thought that he left his dogs to die. It turns out fairly well, with Jerry being reunited with 6 of his dogs months later.
However, in one part one of the dogs is eating an orca carcass (naaasty looking), when suddenly a huge, hideous, nightmarish-looking leopard seal comes bursting out of it! I screamed bloody murder! Thinking about it still gives me the creeps, in fact. :P I stuck around, slightly petrified by the seal (if you don't know what they look like, here is a picture. *shudders* And they're huge), until the seal, which had vanished back under the ice, suddenly popped out of a hole and grabbed one of the dogs by the leg! That was when I leapt off the couch, bolted upstairs, and started reading C.S Lewis. :P Good comfort for a troubled mind.
But before I tell you how, thanks to Mere Christianity, a question that had been troubling me has been answered, I'll remark that I really dislike movies like Eight Below and March of the Penguins. It's not that I find that morally problematic...I just find them terribly depressing. I guess it's because it just seems so hopeless, since even when things are at their worst for humans, they still have reason and can at least try to find a way out. And even if they do die in the end, if they were a good person you know they're going to a better place, but when animals die, that's that. They're guided entirely by instinct, they don't understand what's happening to them, and all in all it makes for a depressing experience.
Anyways...on to brighter topics!
For months, I've been struggling with the question of why God gave us free will. The answer I was always given was, "Because we cannot love without being free, and He wanted us to be able to love Him." To me this always just seemed terribly selfish, so I figured I must be missing something. I was, and it was all made clear in Chapter Three of Book Two of Mere Christianity.
"Some people think they can imagine a creature which was free but had no possibility of going wrong; I cannot imagine such a thing. If a thing is free to be good it is also free to be bad. And free will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. A world of automata - of creatures that worked like machines - would hardly be worth creating. The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water. And for that they must be free.
"Of course God knew what would happen if they used their freedom the wrong way: apparently He thought it worth the risk. Perhaps we feel inclined to disagree with Him. But there is a difficulty about disagreeing with God. He is the source from which all your reasoning power comes: you could not be right and He wrong any more than a stream can rise higher than its own source. When you are arguing against Him you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all: it is like cutting off the branch you are sitting on. If God thinks this state of war in the universe a price worth paying for free will - that is, for making a live world in which creatures can do real good or harm and something of real importance can happen, instead of a toy world which only moves when He pulls the strings - then we may take it it is worth paying." C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
You would not believe how grateful I was when I read that. For months, I'd been tortured with doubts about free will. It seemed selfish and unnecessarily cruel of God to give us our free wills simply that we may love Him when it was so terribly easy for us to go astray. But after reading that, I realized, among other things, that God does not need us. He doesn't need our love, so why would He create a bunch of automatons simply to love Him? It would be absurd. But He loves us, and He loves us so intensely that He wants us to share in His love. And as C.S. Lewis pointed out, He knew there would be great risks in giving us free will, and He knew it was worth the risk.
With that thought in mind, isn't it awe-inspiring to imagine what the Beatific Vision must be?
Well, back to more earthly topics. I have joined that venerable company of people who have...found their first gray hair! :^O Except in my case, it skipped gray and went directly to white. :P My mom and I were taking a walk and as I ran my fingers through my hair, I glanced down and noticed one of the strands looked very pale.
"It must just be blonde," I thought, since I have a few hairs that are very light blonde amidst the majority of brown. But it looked awfully pale...I looked closer...
"Mum," I said, "I just found a white hair!"
She looked at it and confirmed that yes, indeed, I have a white hair! It's sooo weird... I hope it stops right there for...um...at least 20 more years?
So here it is, folks - my 100th post! I can't believe I've actually written that much on here. I've officially been on Blogger since February 2009, but I didn't actively start blogging until June of last year...just a little over a year ago. I'd wanted a blog for months, but I just couldn't think of anything to write about. Suddenly, however, I started thinking of things, and I haven't stopped since!
And I am so, so, SO thrilled to have 43 followers! It is so wonderful and encouraging to know that there are people out there who enjoy my writing. Thank you SO much! You're all so very much appreciated, and I keep you in my prayers. Every time I get a new follower, I shriek happily, "Yay! I have another follower!"
So, since it seems like people often have some sort of celebratory thing when they reach a significant number of posts or followers or years on Blogger, I thought I'd borrow Melody's idea. You can ask me any question you'd like (within reason, naturally. heehee), and I will answer them all in a post next Saturday! Yay...you get to know more about me...exciting. Sarcasm there. ;) But I really enjoyed reading Melody's post, and I figure, we all like learning more about our friends, be it IRL or in the blogosphere. So...ask away, me hearties! Yo ho!