Monday, March 31, 2014

i n N O A H v a t i o n

For the first third of my life, whenever I'd flop in life - like spill a beverage or drop something breakable - I would explain to my parents in defense, "I did it on accident."  And my Dad would laugh and laugh, and then insist, "No, you didn't do it on accident."  And I would argue back, already upset by the mishap, "Yes, I did. Yes, I did.  I did it on accident."  This would throw my Dad into an uproar.  Laughing even harder - near tears - he'd ask, "Now how could possibly do such a thing on accident?"

I didn't understand why my dad would laugh at my misfortune.  But since he was laughing, I knew he wasn't upset by whatever it was I did on accident.  I knew I wasn't in trouble, and that's what was important.  It wasn't until I was in my teens that I understood why such a claim would be so funny.  But to be perfectly honest, I'm still not sure why such a phrase couldn't be used in such a circumstance.  Yet I understand my Dad's point too - that when something is an accident there is no game plan or blueprint for carrying out the action.  People don't pursue or create accidents; accidents just happen.

I mention this because last week I substitute taught for six graders, and during the science portion of the day, we watched a video with Bill Nye the Science Guy on the topic of innovation.  Bill explained that part of the innovation process often involves trying and failing several times before we come up with the thing we are hoping for.  However, Bill also explained, that it's not unheard of to find something else unexpected - and really great - along the way.  He called this innovation by accident, which, of course, made me think of my "I did it on accident" days.

After the video we discussed the significance of innovation (and I added in a mini business lesson on the importance of disruptive innovation within companies, using the evolution of gaming systems as my example, and pointing out that Ataris are no longer profitable.)  As part of the discussion, I asked the students to think of an innovation they appreciate, and then called on students to share their answers.  After a half dozen or so responses, one boy energetically exclaimed, "Me!"  The boy laughed, and so did a few others.

 "Well, I don't think you would fall in the category of innovation." I stated.  "But... " I hesitated, knowing if I was going to say what I wanted to say next, I needed to make sure I kept my statement PC enough for a public school.  "Depending on your religious background, I suppose you could say you're God's innovation." 

I later second guessed what I had told the students.  I knew we were God's creation, but could Adam in the Garden of Eden really be considered an innovation?  I needed to look up the definition. 


: a new idea, device, or method
: the act or process of introducing new ideas, devices, or methods

In that case, I suppose God did innovate human beings - and when He did, the Scriptures say he designed us in his image.  One of the most obvious differences between animals and humans, is that animals aren't known for their creativity.  Yet, God instilled in humanity the ability to dream and to think up new ideas and create new things.  God thought us up, and entrusted us to keep on thinking and tinkering to add to beauty to this world.

This past Saturday my friend Amy and I went for Mexican and a movie.  We decided to see Noah to see for ourselves what all the controversy around the film was about.  In viewing the movie, we learned that the writers of the screen play had gotten rather innovative in taking the story of Noah found in the Bible, and turning into something completely different. 

My Review of the Movie Noah

1)      Actor Emma Watson’s eyebrows are amazing.  Can someone please help me get mine to look that way?

2)      If you’re hoping the movie Noah will help you understand the story of Noah found in Scripture, it won’t.  It will only confuse you, and make you less likely to think well of the God that I know.   

3)      If you’re a person of faith you might be frustrated by the depiction of the story, or the lack of hope offered.  Keep in mind an atheist produced it.  The intent is to entertain and make money – not to share a message of redemption. 

4)      If you’re looking for a redemption story reflective of the Christian faith – pick up and watch the zombie movie titled Warm Bodies instead, rather than watch this movie.

5)      If you can separate out your faith upbringing to view this movie, then yes, I can recommend it for the Big Screen.  If not (which I wasn’t able), this film might be better saved for Red Box viewing. 

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