Friday, April 23, 2010

Here's to the Future!

by Jen AlLee

There's been a long trend in Hollywood to look at the future through a bleakly-colored lense. Despite advances in technology, or perhaps because of them, movie makers see misery and destruction ahead. Of course, this messed up future allows for lots of conflict followed by - of course - conflict resolution. In short, it's the stuff creative dreams are made of. Who could ever forget these screen gems...
  • Logan's Run - It's 2274 and life inside the big bubble looks like paradise, but when Logan finds out that the "renewal" ceremony for newly turned 30-year-olds is actually an execution, he becomes a runner. Naturally, a beautiful woman runs with him, and they discover a new life outside the dome.
  • Blade Runner - In 2019, Los Angeles is even grittier and dirtier than it is now. Rick Deckard is part of the LAPD Blade Runner squad. His job is to identify replicants, artificially created humanoids. The problem is telling them from the real humans...
  • The Book of Eli - Denzel Washington is Eli, one of the few humans to survive a catastrophic event. The word he lives in is about as dystopian as it gets, but he has a mission. And it involves a book. (Since this is a relatively new movie, I don't want to give away the ending.)
Obviously, I'm a fan of science fiction. I especially enjoy movies and books set in the future where they find artifacts of the world we live in right now. However, my own personal view of the future isn't nearly so bleak. In fact, it's downright rosy.

Baring some cataclysmic event (like volcanoes that spew so much ash they make air travel impossible) I think things will keep getting better. Yes, right now, things might seem a little bleak. The economy is anemic. The job situation for many is stressful, to say the least. Democrats, Republicans, Tea Party people, Independents, and whoever else wants to throw their hat in the political ring are at each other's throats. It would be easy to look at all that and think we're on the fast track to dystopia. But rather than look at what's wrong, how about we look at what's right?

First and foremost, we've got John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. That right there takes care of the biggest need any of us will ever have. No matter what, no one can ever take your faith from you. There may not officially be prayer in public schools, but no one can stop kids, teachers and parents from praying. Praise God!

We still have each other. Look at your family. Your friends. These are the people who've got your back, and you have theirs. Technological advances like cell phones, email, Facebook and Twitter have made it easier than ever to stay connected, no matter how far apart we are. Another blessing!

But what about money? Jobs? A place to live? Higher education? What about all the stuff that we need? I know... I worry about all that, too. Right now, my family is trying to buy a house. Due to circumstances that have nothing to do with us, we've been in this process for close to a year now. Somedays, I'm so worn out from the waiting, I want to kick something. But I always have to come back to this:

Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
Matthew 6:27-30

I for one look forward to seeing what the future holds. Bring it on!

What do you think?
Here are three of my favorite futuristic inventions that I'd love to see come to pass: the transporter, the replicator, and the car that folds up into a briefcase (from The Jetsons). What far out technology would you like to see become a reality?

Image Credits:
The Book of Eli - Alcon Entertainment
The Jetsons - Hanna-Barbera


  1. Jen, I like sci-fi and I just recently discovered a great Christian science fiction author. Kathy Tyers. She has a trilogy called Firebird, which is set in a fictional futuristic sci-fi world, more like Star Wars, and a stand alone book, Shivering World, which is about the future of earthlings as they look for new worlds to inhabit because the earth is dying. I love her strong female protagonists.

    My only issue is that I think she set Shivering World far too soon. My daughter said, "Just imagine it's farther in the future and enjoy it." That actually worked. It was a great story.

    I want one of those cool machines that you just say what you want to eat or drink and it magically appears.

  2. I used to worry about the traffic if we all had personal car-pod space ships (Jetsons) of our own. I mean, where's the driving lane? And, all that polyester? yuck.

    I'm not too worried about the future, either. My Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills and I haven't entirely given up red meat.

  3. Good Morning Jen and Inkyville!
    Oh Jen,
    I have to admit I immeidiately thought of Soylent Green. Any of you old enough to remember that?

    Released: 1973 (My senior year of high school.)

    In the year 2022, overpopulation is out of control and there is not enough food to feed everyone. The goverment provides a special food called Soylent Green, which has a secret ingrediant.
    Anyone remember the secret ingredient?

    Chuck Connors also appears in the film as a manservant.

    This was Mr.Edward G.Robinson's last movie.

    I think the future is looking pretty good because when I start to worry about all the things I worry about I cling to John 3:16 and Jeremiah 29:11. Of course it's not always easy, in fact it's rarely easy but it does help to look at the glass half full rather than half empty. Maybe we should just forget the half glass and concentrate on my cup runneth over.

    I don't know if you all saw this before but if you write you've got to listen to this and read it. It was posted on ACFW yesterday. It will bless your socks off.

    Technology, hmm. I've always wanted my own flying carpet and a secretary. And I guess my first priority would be a transporter, you know, like "Beam me up, Scotty."

  4. Oh I forgot to finish my thought with the secretary. My secretary is a duplicate of Hugh Jackman but changes to Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and then to Ioan Gruffudd as the week progresses. Ahh, it's nice to dream about the future. But I'm not in any rush. Let's enjoy today.
    Have a great weekend!

  5. Jill, I remember the secret ingredient. Yikes!

  6. Dina,
    What do you think they put in the food for writer's at Blueridge? I feel a speculative fiction novel coming on! :)

  7. I don't know, Jill. I have a bad habit of taking lots of food there, assuming only half will be edible. Could be.

  8. In future I fully expect a transporter. Just think how much it would cut down on traffic! Other than that I'd love to do some time travel. Anyone up for a vacation?

  9. Fun post, Jen.

    Deb, I am so glad to know I'm not alone in wondering about the air traffic control in the Jetsons. This really bugs me when I watch Star Wars, too -- those scenes on the "city planet" of Coruscant(episodes 1-3) and the Clone Wars (the cartoons, which my kids love). How is it that they don't fly into each other? Sigh.

    Personally, I'll be happy with a high-speed railroad. Not a far off dream, except when you factor the money in! As for too-cool to be true, I'd love the replicator from Star Trek. Just tell it you want a full course meal from your favorite restaurant and poof! There it is.

  10. Great post on the future. So many write scare stories about the future. I like feeling the hope. Okay, the Jetsons. When I first saw Skype in action, I said, "Holy smokes, we're like the Jetsons!" I remember wondering while I was a kid watching them, will I see that type of communication in my lifetime? Yes. Wow!

  11. Hey Ladies! So much fun reading your futuristic thoughts!

    Jill, I absolutely remember Soylent Green! My favorite moment is Charleton Heston screaming out "Soylent Green is made of people!" Sometimes, my son and I will yell that out when we're faced with some mysterious and questionable food product.

    Mary, I'm with you on Skype. Such an amazing thing to be able to video chat with friends anywhere in the world! I really need to learn how to use that.

    So far, it seems the replicator and the transporter are the most popular future tech items. I know everytime I have to drive to SoCal I'm wishing for a transporter! Or a Stargate. That would work quite well, too :+}

  12. I can do sci-fi in a completely different world. Sometimes. But not a futuristic version of life on Earth.

    I'll admit I'm a girl who loves the past more than the future. I think it was those late 70s/early 80s movies about the rapture and end times that I saw in my youth group that freaked me out a bit. So I live in historicals But I'm so glad others dream for the future! Without y'all, we wouldn't have all the cool gadgets and gizmos that make life a little easier (in theory, at least) and keep us connected.

  13. D'Ann, I'm so with you on those end-time movies! Not only where they badly acted, they were all about evangelism through fear. "Accept Jesus or have your head cut off!" Those movies left me with a bad taste for end-times fiction. I confess, I haven't read any of the Left Behind books or seen the movies. But I'm sure they're better than that other stuff!

  14. Those of you who like time-travel, be sure to come back tomorrow. We'll be taking a trip.

  15. Hey Jen! I loved this post. And you quoted one of my favorite scriptures, too. I have always had a deep love for Star Trek. So much so, that my son is named Kirk. Good thing for him that he was born before The Next Generation came out, because my favorite character from that show is Worf. ;-) I also love Quantum Leap, which is one of my all-time favorite shows. The cool thing they had in that one was Sam's friend who was in another time dimension, appearing to him in the form of a hologram. I think we should all have a hologram person to talk to that no one but us can see or hear. Fun stuff, Jen. Thanks!

  16. Suzie, Quantum Leap was awesome! I was so sad that Star Trek: Enterprise didn't last because I love Scott Bakula. Of course, the original Trek is a classic, but of all the subsequent Trek series, I think my favorite is Voyager. There were so many interesting characters in that one, like Captain Janeway, the doctor and Seven of Nine.

  17. What fun I missed last night by sitting in front of the boob tube for a change. (watched that ancestry show for the first time, pretty interesting!)

    First - Jilly - I read that post by Max Lucado and cried. how beautiful!
    And by the way, can you send your secretary over?

    There were multiple Soylent Green movies, weren't there?
    Yes, Jen, Star Trek spinoffs have had the most amazing characters. We thought they'd never be able to replace Kirk and Spock but there has been some unforgettable characters - what where their names again? ha ha.

    My fave thing is the room where you go in and it duplicates any setting, so you can pretend you are in another time and place. I'm afraid if I had a food replicator, I'd be packing an extra 60lbs.

    "New York Cheesecake please" ZAP there it is...

    This was a lot of fun. I would so love to get going with Skype. I want to see my grandkids this way. But of course, my granddaughter would be saying bye bye, so I'd get my face out of the way of her favorite Sesame street video or ABC games. They get keyboard savvy very early...


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