Thursday, October 25, 2007

God: Master or Magician?

Tom Dienhart of The Sporting News Friday night's tussle in Bulldog Stadium between Fresno State and Boise State as the best non-BCS matchup in the nation this week.

Since joining the WAC, Boise State is 48-3. That's 48 wins against only 3 losses. That's really, really good but the game Friday night (ESPN, 6:00 pm PST) is not being played based on historical factors. It's two teams vying for first place in the wild, wild Western Athletic Conference.

With Clifton Smith, Lonyae Miller, and most especially super-freshman, Ryan Matthews carrying the load in the 'Dog run game coupled with Boise's most recent inability to stuff the run, I really like the Bulldogs chances. The old adage is "the team that runs the ball and the team that stops the run wins." Fresno's going to run the ball and a Boise team minus Ian Johnson faces an uphill climb.

Fresno State -- 34
Boise State -- 24
Go Dogs Go! Fight Dogs Fight! Goooooo Dogs!
On my personal journey to joy, I enjoyed re-reading famed author C.S. Lewis's autobiographical conversion story entitled Surprised by Joy. In typical Lewis fashion, he writes with unique precision and skill in recapping his journey toward belief in God, chronicling the major movements and events in his life that resulted in faith.
In one particular portion of the book, Lewis reflects upon his mother's death and its impact on his life and infantile belief. Lewis was but ten-years-old when his mother died and captures that episode in his life this way:
"My mother's death was the occasion of what some (but not I) might regard as my first religious experience. When her case was pronounced hopeless I remembered what I had been taught; that prayers offered in faith would be granted. I accordingly set myself to produce by will power a firm belief that my prayers for her recovery would be successful; and as I thought, I achieved it. When nevertheless she died I shifted my ground and worked myself into a belief that there was to be a miracle. The interesting thing is that my disappointment produced no results beyond itself. The thing hadn't worked, but I was used to things not working, and I thought no more about it. I think the truth is that the belief into which I had hypnotized myself was itself too irreligious for its failure to cause any religious revolution. I had approached God, or my idea of God, without love, without awe, even without fear. He was, in my mental picture of this miracle, to appear neither as Savior nor as Judge, but merely as a magician; and when he had done what was required of him I supposed he would simply -- well, go away. It never crossed my mind that the tremendous contact which I solicited should have any consequences beyond restoring the status quo" (13).