Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things."

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Also, we went to see Master and Commander last night. Very good flick. French sailors are blasted with cannons, shot with muskets, and skewered with cutlasses. Is this not a great premise for a movie? Highly recommended; go and enjoy.
My family and I are making plans to hike portions of the Colorado Trail next summer. We would like to do several Sunday afternoon-Monday hikes, with perhaps a couple spilling over into Tuesday. Just in the Genesis stage right now.
"Come back Shane." So ends the movie, which I am now motivated to watch, having read the book twice in the past few months, once for myself, and once for my family. Shane is a boy's book, whose central theme is ethics, and whose purpose is for boys to "grow up straight on the inside." I can tell you that it was motivating for my own son, and truly it was motivating for my whole family. Jack Shaefer's masterpiece on a gunfighter's struggle to go cold turkey in the face of evil and necessity is a fine treatise on the right to self-defense, and the need for good citizens to act as a deterrant to forceful lawlessness. It is more than that because of its brutal honesty concerning the sacrificial nature of such service. Schaefer notes clearly that citizens who carry guns for the sake of good make sacrifices too: perhaps of body, and certainly of soul.
Think about this scenario: there are two handguns in a room full of people - one in the hand of an evil man, and one in the hand of a good man... where are they pointed? Isn't it true that they are pointed at one another, and not at the s who are also present? That illustrates the physical danger of the one who carries a gun. Almost inevitably he will be a target. The psychological impact of Shane's intervention in that small Wyoming community is profound. I don't mean the impact on the community, but on Shane. He bears the scars of previous engagements, and does not want to wield his weapon again. He sees his reputation as destructive and is glad to be among those who do not know him. He can be a relaxed version of himself then, and take joy in life, and he does. But when he does act for good, he must leave, for he knows that the community will suffer because of his presence. He chooses to defend them, he loves them, and then he must leave the people he loves, lest every gunfighter in creation seek to challenge him there. There are other complicated reasons for Shane's departure, all of which have to do with integrity.
Shane's exodus from the valley is not necessary too often in the modern landscape, but it does illustrate the sacrifice of a good citizen. Is Shane a Christ figure? Certainly not intentionally, but I believe there is analogy there. Christ leaves so that He can do the very best for the disciples and the early church. Not because He would be a target, but simply because His work in heaven was going to be so much more valuable than anything left to do on earth (and His was on earth was truly finished according to all necessity). Christ, like Shane, left because it was for the best for those left behind.