Seems like every movie out now has a 3D version. We joke about what 4D would look like when smell would be included. It would even make sports movies like Hoosiersa different experience. So THAT’s what locker rooms smelled like back then.
True confession time: I can’t “see” 3D that well. Neither can one of my kids. A quick Google search will reveal that it’s actually quite common. My eyes work independently of each other, so my brain has a difficult time bringing the images together in a virtual picture. So whenever I go to see a new movie and I pick the regular version, every time, the ticket person will say, “Uh, you know that’s not the 3D version.”
A few weeks ago, my family and I were wrapping up a wonderful vacation on the shore of Lake Michigan when a unique series of storms came across the lake, hitting a 20-mile wide section of the shoreline. Where we were staying. The TV reports waterspouts were coming across the lake, though we didn’t see any. We did witness one of the most impressive lightning displays I’ve ever seen. Bolts zinged, snapped, and flashed with almost no interruption. After making the lake roared for 90 minutes before it arrived, the storm now pounded the house with rain, thunder, and wind. It was breathtaking.
Of course it took away the power to the house and we spent the last 24 hours there in the silence. And sweat (it was hot). We cleaned up the home and came home. To another storm. And no power. And more sweaty sleep (it was humid).
Where did you go this summer on vacation? What were the crowds like there? If you could, please share a bit because I’ve had three different experiences this summer where the tourists were clearly somewhere else. Others have noticed the same at Niagara Falls, the Caribbean Islands (a steep decline!), Alaska, and the Western US. In fact, world travel as a whole is in decline, though there is hope that it could grow in the future. But, many of us have had our salaries frozen or cut and our expense accounts trimmed while cost-of-living continues to rise.
I’ve done some research and discovered that tourism is down in general. And I’m not sure you can blame the economy in every case. I think we’re in the midst of a shift between generations and the future of tourism will go to those who can recognize it. I studied tourism research in my doctoral program at Purdue. Because short-term missions practices parallel tourist practices, the literature helped develop my background knowledge.
This week I’ve been reflecting on grace a bit and how little of it there is between people, even in Christian circles where grace is an overarching theological theme. Yesterday I tried to be graceful to a semi-truck driver as he made the turn onto a bridge and couldn’t quite swing it. Since I once drove truck for a summer, I could instantly relate and I didn’t advance in my left turn lane (coming toward him) as the light turned red. He could then make the swing-out and not block 3 lanes of traffic indefinitely. He appreciated it. Lovely.
Except the guy behind me thought differently. As soon as I did this, he started yelling out his window. The whole delay cost him about 7 seconds, but as he drove past me (and we still made the light), he proceeded to say some ugly ugly things to me. For being graceful.
This week we’ve been thinking about grace, a word that is used a lot in Christian circles, but seems more difficult to put into practice with others. Yesterday we used U2′s fantastic song “Grace” as our starting point. One of the lines in the piece states “Grace finds beauty in everything.”
This is best illustrated when a child’s art project suddenly collapses or breaks and a parent steps in to help show what beauty remains. The child is in tears and fears that nothing good can come while the parent lovingly moves in and begins to help reassemble, rearrange, and repair. In a few minutes, the child begins to see that all is not lost and he/she regains hope for making something beautiful again. As the child moves back to creating, the parent begins to step aside and watch the child work happily.
Hey! It’s a Friday and that means I usually go WAY off topic to something connect to family, sports, travel, or whatever. Tomorrow night is one of the most fun-to-watch NASCAR events, the Irwin Tools 500 at Bristol (TN) Speedway. For those who may not know. NASCAR is an acronym for North American Stock Car Auto Racing, a circuit of races that run from February to November and take place most often on oval tracks – all in the US.
The season is long and only die-hard fans follow it for its entirety. Most fans make sure to watch the more exciting races (e.g. Daytona, Talladega, Bristol, Richmond, Charlotte) and then just check in on many of the others. This season, the speedways have had more empty seats than in recent memory, a problem related to the economy, lack of fan interest, high ticket prices, and poor promotion by some local tracks. The biggest problem with NASCAR’s desire to have a wide fan base is that we’re three weeks from the start of the NFL season, THE juggernaut of sports fanaticism and marketing that will overshadow what little drama emerges from “the Chase” (the final playoff system NASCAR has created where only the top 12 drivers are eligible to win the season championship) and any particular track on a Sunday afternoon. And baseball’s World Series will take the rest of it. August is NASCAR’s prime time – no NFL, baseball is in its “dog days,” and some its best racetracks are on the schedule.