“For 20 points. 1,000–1,200 words. Choose two pictures. One should illustrate the history of Texans relating to their land. The other should look to the future to address challenges facing the state and its land. Explain where the pictures came from and why you think they are good illustrations of the past and future of our relation to the land. Due Saturday, May 13, at 7 p.m.”
Ding-dong. It’s the doorbell. You emerge from your home and find an unexpected gift waiting for you on your front porch. The gift is completely unexpected. You open it and find something enormously valuable inside.
To describe me as a “bookworm” would be a laughable understatement.
Growing up, I read as if there were no tomorrow. Redwall, Sherlock Holmes, The Hardy Boys—all these and more I devoured with great gusto. I read enthusiastically. Unashamedly. My thirst for books seemed unquenchable.
Earlier this month, a friend introduced to me a genre of writing called “six word stories.” Popularized by literary legend Ernest Hemingway, this unusual genre challenges writers to create and cleverly convey as much of a plot as possible in just half a dozen words. An example:
For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.
In 1958, renowned religious expert Huston Smith published a groundbreaking book titled The World’s Religions. 57 years and two million copies later, the book remains an authoritative summary of the world’s major faiths.
This month, for the first time, I read Smith’s book. (Actually, I had to read it for an honors class I’m taking this semester.)
Perusing this particular publication has proven to be profoundly provocative. Allow me to briefly summarize my most memorable musings.
Rather than focusing on one particular religion in the book, I have been thinking about all faiths corporately. More specifically, I’ve grappled with the question, Is there something all these religions—despite their undeniable diversity—have in common?
We took some friends to Prairie Dog Town a couple weeks ago.
Prairie Dog Town is one of Lubbock’s premiere tourist destinations—a quintessential small town attraction. (Which is funny, because Lubbock is not exactly a small town; the metro area population is now greater than 300,000. But I digress.)