Perhaps the best solution to the Fermi Paradox is to flip it around and ask: given the vast expanse of apparently lifeless universe, why does humanity exist? The answer to that is: statistically, humanity does not exist. The odds against our existence are far too great. We can safely be rounded off.

I was always pretty sure we were a hoax anyway.

So this morning I preached my first sermon. To be able to preach was a great blessing to me, and I hope my words, by God’s grace, were a blessing to others.

Texts:
Romans 16:1-16
Acts 20:36-38 and 21:1

Brothers and sisters, today, for the first time, I step into a Methodist pulpit to preach, as did my father and grandfather before me. I am the product of two generations of Methodist ministers. Which means I have seen a lot of moving.

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The way of the world is this:

Two philosophers stood ankle-deep at a beach, disputing & discerning. They were on the verge of a great synthesis when an unexpected wave knocked them over, dragging them across the bottom, filling their mouths with foam and tossing them back up on the sand.

When they were done coughing, they found they had forgotten their realization.

I want to see a Youtube video consisting of footage from A Man For All Seasons in which Sir Thomas More faces down his prosecutors, set to the tune of Harper Valley PTA.

We only get so much time in this world, and I’ve got other projects to use it on. But I would love to see it.

In the same vein, I want to see a fanvid for REM’s “Driver 8,” consisting of clip after clip of horrific rail accidents from Thomas the Tank Engine.

(Followup: Oh wow, somebody (sort of) did that one! But not with the rail accidents. I don’t know why they left that out. It’s the best part of Thomas the Tank Engine)

 

Last night we went to the museum. I got separated from my wife & kids and wandered into a room containing a massive scale-model diorama of Hong Kong and the entire Pearl River Delta. I could see tiny cars crossing the bridges, and see crowds around the bases of the skyscrapers.

A voice came over a PA. This exhibit was on the earthquake threat to the region. Sluices in the walls opened; water began to pour into the room. The diorama started to to shake.

I saw the bridges break, imagined the hundreds of cars falling into the sea. The streets began to flood, the skyscrapers to crumble. The PA explained that in the event of such an earthquake, the region would subside. I watched Hong Kong and Shenzhen, with their millions, sink beneath the rising water, until it was just me, standing waist-deep, with nothing else visible above the surface.

Drains opened. The water poured away and the diorama rose again for the next demonstration.

When I caught up with my family, my 6-yr-old asked “What did you see, Daddy?” I didn’t tell her. I didn’t want to scare her.

Then I woke up.

In my youth, I was promised a future in which Japan would take over the world.

In its stead, I received a future in which Japan is dying.

That’s OK. The Japan that would have taken over the world was not that Japan that I wished would have. It’s better this way.