People in Iceland have a special relationship with volcanoes.  It makes sense, since the whole island is made of volcanoes.  I’ve been watching a little coverage of the most recent eruption on the Reykjanes Peninsula, where the Fagradalsfjall volcano has been pouring out lava now since the beginning of March.  In most parts of the world, the whole area would be cordoned off and people would be kept at a distance.  In Iceland, it’s a school field trip—“Hey, let’s all go out and see the volcano!”  I’ve been amazed at the number of people lining the hillsides, often right up to the edge of the lava flow, enjoying the show.


There’s no denying that we have a close relationship with the material world.  We’re physical creatures who need certain material items to survive—if we didn’t have clothes or shelter or food, we’d have a hard time making it.  Ever since God created us from the dust of the ground, we’ve been part of material existence.  But it probably wasn’t long into human history that out relationship with the material stared to go a little haywire.  If we needed some things to survive, then it’s a short logical step to thinking that if some is good, more is better.  And now many of us have more than we could possibly need, and some miss out on the basic necessities.  Instead of creating the conditions that make life possible, our stuff takes from life—in both scarcity and excess.

Brian Moyer is the Director of the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.  The BEA is the governmental organization that’s in charge of putting out reports that track the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, or GDP.  Given our nation’s preoccupation with its own economic health, the GDP has become our primary metric when it comes to determining the health and vitality of our society.  That makes Brian Moyer’s job pretty important.

The Burmese Python is a large snake native to Southeast Asia.  It is usually dark colored with brown patterning, and can reach lengths of over twenty feet.  In its native range, it is considered a threatened species due to the meat and leather trade as well as habitat loss.  But, in the wetlands of Florida, the Burmese Python is doing great.  Along with escaped and released personal pets, in 1992, a snake breeding facility was damaged in Hurricane Andrew, and a batch of pythons ended up in the swamps of the Sunshine State.  Since they have no natural predators, they are flourishing—they eat a little of everything, deer and alligators along with other more sensitive and endangered species, and there’s plenty of habitat for them to hide out in.  They are thriving so well, the state has instituted the “Python Challenge” to encourage people to capture and eliminate the snakes.


On the occasional morning when we have a little extra time before school, my son often recommends that we stop for a donut.  Today was one of those mornings, and so we rummaged around in the console of the car and found the donut gift card that had a few remaining dollars on it.  The donut shop is on the same street that I need to turn on of to get to the school, and as we came to the road I would normally take, I put on my blinker and started to make that right-hand turn.  “What are you doing?” Cyrus said.  “Aren’t we getting a donut?”