Andy Gray - On The Way header image 1

This blog has moved to Photosensibility.com

June 28th, 2008 by Andy · No Comments

I’ve moved this blog (and all my blogging) to:

www.photosensibility.com

I’ll be posting photos, video, and writings all in one place.

Please come and join the fun!

→ CommentTags: my own journey

Don’t Show Him the Money

May 13th, 2008 by Andy · No Comments

I love this developing story: Craigslist versus EBay. It seems that the unbreakable rule of business is to say, “We’re earning enough money and don’t need more.”

I’m bummed that I can’t find the quote I read yesterday on this. To paraphrase, Craig Newmark said he knows the guys at Ebay and Google, and having more money doesn’t make them happier. Eventually having so much money becomes a burden.

Of course, Newmark has earned millions and millions of dollars. But he seems intent on putting it to good use — that is, spending it on causes other than himself.

→ CommentTags: news and culture

Starbucks, Metaphors, Music, and a Movie

May 10th, 2008 by Andy · No Comments

I’ve been reading The Gospel According to Starbucks, by Leonard Sweet. (It was a gift.) I was reluctant to open it for a long time, because I quit the last Leonard Sweet book I started halfway through. But I’m enjoying this one so far. Today this hit me, “Metaphor is not simply an adornment to critical insight, but a method of perception in itself. Metaphors are not life’s seasoning; they’re the very meat of life.”

The point is that metaphors — images that communicate — are more powerful than words. We live by metaphors. Perhaps the most powerful metaphor I know is that Jesus is the Word of God (the communication of God embodied). The Word of God being Jesus is much more powerful than the word of God being a book (I read this in that book).

Recently, I picked up a metaphor in Jim Palmer’s book, Wide Open Spaces. He suggests that God — who is Love (according to John in that same book) — could be like quarks (the smallest, fundamental particles that pervade and constitute everything). Now the nature of God is a mystery beyond my imagination, and I don’t think physicists will figure God out. And God is personal; Love is personal. Having said that, the idea that God, who is of Love, inhabits the energy that constitutes and shapes life generates sparks.

Speaking of sparks, I want to wrap this up by offering a recommendation for August Rush, the movie I just finished watching. You’ve probably already seen it. Yeah, it’s contrived. It’s one of those movies where forces intervene and steer the characters along toward a destiny, and you somehow know they’ll get there. I don’t want to give anything away, but you know what I mean. The wonderful thing about the movie is that it’s not just fate; it’s music that pulls the characters along. Amazing music. And the more the music plays, the more I sense that music is a metaphor for something huge and consuming — like Love, or God (who is Love).

I think it was Sweet, in the book I mentioned above, who said that people aren’t interested in talking about truth or morality, but they’ll talk engagingly about beauty. Beauty is still an open pathway to faith. One of the reviewers on Amazon had some critical things to say about the plot of the movie, but he or she said the music deserved 6 stars out of 5. I’ll watch this movie again and again because of the beauty of the music and how it blends into the story.

Finally, from The Gospel According to Starbucks:

The spiritual life has earthly dimension–it is life you can taste, and smell, and touch, and see, and hear. It is reality.

If faith is indeed a life (which it is)…then faith is nothing less than the consuming experience of God. It is not a set of beliefs or even a lifestyle, but breath and pulse and life itself.

It’s like music that fills life and spills out in sheer pleasure of being. Dive in and discover it. Don’t settle for less than the reality of what it is.

And in case you’re interested…

→ CommentTags: books and movies · reflections

Some things cost more than you realize

May 10th, 2008 by Andy · No Comments

<a href="http://youtube.com/watch?v=cdrCalO5BDs">http://youtube.com/watch?v=cdrCalO5BDs</a>

It’s a little slow, but watch until the end. You’ll realize you do have time.

→ CommentTags: compassion and justice

Doing Things the Hard Way

May 3rd, 2008 by Andy · No Comments

I was just watching this movie, Gone Baby Gone. In it a guy does everything almost right. He tries. But the world is messed up, so the result is a mess. All his best efforts pay off in pain. There is no easy way to fix it; mend the tragedy; or change the broken lives. In the end, he pays with his life but not in a glorious moment. He’ll continue trying to do the right thing even as the the world around him seems intent on going to hell. He’ll live with the consequences of his “right” choices and the pain they cause, and if all goes well he’ll win in small ways. Maybe there’ll be redemption, but if so it’s coming the slow hard way.

Often in the movies good intentions suddenly pay off in big ways. Instant redemption. Suddenly it seems so easy like it was meant that way. There are wonderful moments in life, victories pulled out of defeat, and people who surprise you in good ways. It happens all the time. But this movie reminded me that there are broken people and things in this world that change very little over time. Sometimes the hero is the one who doesn’t choose the easy win but endures for the long haul, embracing the pain not with the strength of a Hollywood savior but in surrender.

→ CommentTags: books and movies