Posts Tagged ‘jurassic park’

Another of my Christmas gifts this year was a DVD copy of one of my favorite movies, Jurassic World. While unfortunately this one probably has the least influence of Jurassic Park creator, the late Michael Crichton, I really think it is the best movie of the series. One of the things that makes it so endearing to me is because it picks up on Crichton’s original theme, Just because you can do something, doesn’t necessarily mean you should. This has ramifications far beyond cloning dinosaurs, and I think that’s the point.

In this film, we see once again that human beings are slow learners when it comes to cause and effect. Three movies worth of failed attempts at harnessing dinosaurs for fun and profit should have showed us this just doesn’t work, but no. In Jurassic World, the people think they finally have it figured out. They have created a great amusement park, but the people want more. Corporate greed says give it to them, so they begin to make designer dinosaurs, because the real deal is not terrifying or dangerous enough. Of course the results are disastrous. Playing God always is and again this has ramifications far beyond cloning dinosaurs. Are you catching a theme?

Of course there are also other villains, like short sighted human beings who think that they can control “nature” and turn it into a weapon for profit. Everybody wants to rule the world, I guess and while this all may be seeming a bit far-fetched and yet what makes these movies and the books they are based on work is the fact that the reader can imagine people actually doing all of this. The ramifications are far beyond cloning dinosaurs.

So what can we learn from this? A couple things.
First off, only God is God and we forget that to our peril. There’s a reason dinosaurs and humans do not coexist (at least not since the flood for my New Earth readers) and there is a reason for everything God does. There are things that His permissive will, will allow us to do, that are not to our benefit, but rather a consequence of free will. This is summed up in the them of the book. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. We need to ask that question before making the choice to do anything. Just because God does not stop you from doing something doesn’t mean He wants you to do it.
Instead we should ask, “Does this choice, this action, line up with what I know about God as He reveals Himself in Scripture?” If not, we should not do it. Anything else is playing God and you’re not Him.

Secondly greed and pride will mess you up, every time. We’re not just talking making dinosaurs here. Our lives are supposed to be lived to the glory of God. If He can’t be glorified in our actions we should not take them. Scripture says you can’t serve two masters (God and money). Pride is the sin that made the devil fall, and if it made him fall, you can’t beat it at least not without God’s help. God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Which one are you?

The reason all of this is so important is simple. As a creative, you can do what a lot of people cannot. As a result, you will be presented with many opportunities to do a lot of things. Not all of them are good. We need to guard our hearts, seek God and make good choices, because the thing is…

Just ’cause you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you SHOULD.

I don’t usually post across platform (i.e. the same post to all my different blogs) but today I am going to make an exception. Yesterday, a friend of mine was talking me about trying to get more into reading and asked me for some recommendations. Then today as I was working my way through today’s assignment in Become An Idea Machine: Because Ideas Are The Currency Of The 21st Century I was asked to write about ten books that I love and why they impacted me. As I began to think of all these great books, it was hard to pick the top ten (I ended up with 12). but these are some of the best books I have read in the past few years and al of them would be beneficial to any creative. If you’d like to read any of these books, please click the image beside them and order them from Amazon. If you do, a very small portion of the purchase price will go to support this website.

  1. The Bible because it is the Word of God and contains so much information necessary to life on this planet and in the world to come. Nearly every time I read it, I see something new.

  2. Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park because it showed me the power of research in telling a story. The science in the book makes the premise so plausible that one begins to wonder is this being done.

  3. Andy Andrews The Traveler’s Gift. I read this book at a time when I was feeling very depressed and self-absorbed and it reminded me that there was more to life than what I was seeing and that there are principles that can help everyone all the time. This book also introduced me to Andy Andrews and secured in me the desire to become a professional speaker.

  4. Andy Andrews How Do You Kill 11,000,000 People? This small book is an exploration of the holocaust and the thinking behind it showed me that evil prospers when good people do nothing and the evil power of lies.

  5. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. I read this book because I had to for a school assignment, and several times since because I wanted to. Tolkien tells the story of a comfortable little man living a comfortable little life who discovers a big world full of problems and decides to do something about it. It’s a classic coming of age good versus evil story where good prevails. Of course one cannot speak of The Hobbit without the follow up epic, THE LORD OF THE RINGS
    . There are so many great things in these stories, but I guess the biggest thing I took away was it doesn’t necessarily take the most powerful to make a difference. Sometimes all it takes is for ordinary people to step up.

  6. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. It almost seems wrong to mention Tolkien without Lewis. These two contemporaries and friends wrote some amazing stories. In the Chronicles of Narnia, Lewis gives one of the truly great examples of allegorical story telling. From this book, I learned that you can tell a great story that makes a fantastic point without beating people over the head.

  7. Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. This book was one of the quickest books I have ever read which is strange for a memoir. I didn’t agree with everything in this book, but it really challenged me to look at how I communicate and live out my faith. The other reason I loved this book is because it got me to read…

  8. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller. So here’s what happened. Miller writes Blue Like Jazz and it sells like a zillion copies so of course some film makers decided to make a movie out of it. In their meetings with Miller, he discovers they are taking a lot of liberties with the story. What Miller discovers is a great book does not always translate to a great movie. The problem though is BLJ is in many ways Miller’s life story. He begins to question how you live a better story and sets out to live one. This book made me check the story I am living and set out to live a better one too.

  9. Tribes by Seth Godin. This short little book has a basic premise. There are all kinds of people out there with all kinds of interests, and what they need is for someone to bring them together into community and lead them. This book was a huge influence on what I do. I started blogging immediately after reading this book and helped to bring so much of what I was trying to do in this world into focus.

  10. Linchpin by Seth Godin. This book talks about living artistically whether one is an artist or not. Living a remarkable life and being remarkable, living one’s life as a gift to the world and becoming indispensable. This book also made me look seriously at my life and the way I am investing my talents, abilities and pretty much my life in general.

  11. Re-Work by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson This is a business book, with a lot of really great ideas for creative folks. In addition to all the great content, I loved the way this book was formatted. It inspired the way I designed my own creative ministry book Running A.M.O.K.: Random Musings for the Creative Hands of the Body of Christ

  12. The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield. This book was a huge influence on me. I got it after reading about it in Linchpin. This book deals with the resistance that keeps people from creating and how to overcome it. This book is a must read for every creative. It will help you smash through creative block and also to fight the resistance.

If any of these books looks appealing to you, click the image to order them from Amazon

Roar!I’m re-reading a book I haven’t read in over 20 years—a book that pretty much changed my reading habits from “read as little as you can and only when you have to” to “voracious reader.” It’s Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park. It’s a page turner from start to finish, and while it can be brutally violent (cloned dinosaurs running free on an island/amusement park, what could go wrong?) it is one of my all-time favorite books, a really smart thriller.

A strange thing is happening to me though, and it happens quite often these days. When I first read this book, I was in a much different place spiritually. I was fairly new to the faith and now I’ve gone quite a bit deeper and as a result my thought process is different. This brings forth some questions and I think some of these may be helpful to all of us as creatives. I spend lot of time on this blog talking about the arts, but to be clear, if creativity is problem solving, then scientists are some of the greatest creatives on earth. In reading Jurassic Park, there is little doubt in my mind that someone has already tried to bring back the dinosaurs and part of me wonders if anyone has succeeded. After alL, if Crichton was smart enough to write all this down, surely there has to have been someone over the last 20 some years who said “hmmm where can I get some amber?” (Insider book reference: They got the dinosaur DNA by extracting blood cells from the bodies of prehistoric biting insects preserved in amber.)

Regardless there are a few things we can learn from the pages of Jurassic Park.

Some things are better left to God
There may have been a reason there wasn’t a pair of T-rex’s on the ark. Maybe they went extinct because they were supposed to.

Greed is a great and terrible motivator
Even when it was clear that an amusement park full of dinosaurs was probably going to be a horrible idea, the amount of money invested (billions) and the amount of money that stood to be made (tens of billions) blinded people to the dangers. How many times have you kept yourself from pulling the plug on a bad idea simply because you had too much invested?

There is a time to walk away from a dream/vision
Usually it’s before you have to wonder “Did the T-rex eat my grandchildren?” (another insider reference). Dreams and visions are great things, especially when you’re sure they come from God. There are times however, when that line gets blurry. I remember a certain young artist who almost lost everything because he was sure art was his God-given talent. That artist was me. I was partly right, but the call was for what I am doing now, not sacrificing my family on the altar of being a rich and famous artist. I had to walk away from that dream to live in God’s vision for my life, creative arts ministry. Dreams and visions have to be handled carefully

And finally…
Just ’cause you can, doesn’t always mean you should!