Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Short Takes

(7/10/09) Reading The Sheriff of Ramadi by Dick Couch, which is alternately interesting and dry, sorta like combat in the desert, I guess.

(8/30/09) Right now, I'm in the fourth book of the Prydain series, Taran Wanderer, by Lloyd Alexander. It's written for young adults, and is filled with all sorts of little life lessons, which are not all that inappropriate for adults, either.

One of my favorite bits in the storyline has always been the interlude with Llonio, son of Llonwen. I just started reading that section last night around bedtime, and was struck by a passage that rings a familiar chord. The main protagonist of the tale, Taran, has inherited a flock of sheep from a man he stayed with for a while who claimed to be his father, but who was later proven to be lying about that, and who passed away in an unfortunate climbing accident. Taran shows up with the sheep at the holding of Llonio, and, seeing an empty sheep pen, offers Llonio the sheep, saying something on the order of, "I hope there's room for these sheep and your own flock in the pen."

Llonio replies that he has no flock. Taran wonders why, then, he built a sheep pen. Llonio says that he knew that eventually, a flock would happen by, and that he wanted to be prepared. Llonio is a character in the series who always seems to have the blessing of "good luck." This little portion of the tale relates the fact that fortune favors those who have prepared for it. In the real world, it's often difficult for people to take advantage of "good luck" or God's blessings when they're unprepared. Get those sheep pens built, folks!

"Life's a forge!" cried the smith, as Taran, his brow streaming, beat at the strip of metal. "Yes, and hammer and anvil, too.! You'll be roasted, smelted, and pounded, and you'll scarce know what's happening to you. But stand boldly to it! Metal's worthless till it's shaped and tempered."

Great stuff.

(9/1/09) Reading The Lost History of Christianity, by Philip Jenkins, which is about the churches that were established throughout Asia in the dim mists of time. Quite interesting stuff, but a little dry. Early christian missionaries actually went all the way through India, Mongolia and China, and there were thriving christian communities that we westerners never really got to hear about.

No comments: