Tag Archives: Indiana Jones

Inspiration from the Movies

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

I love movies, although I no longer have the time to devote to watching as many of them as I’d like. In a few years, when I retire, I hope to correct that problem.

Movies aim to elicit feelings, not thoughts, but sometimes feelings actually lead to critical thoughts. Take, for example, the Indiana Jones movies; while “The Search for the Lost Ark” was wonderful, the “Last Crusade” was important. It touched on some lessons that we don’t teach in schools, but are critical nevertheless.

Indian Jones, a fictional archeologist from the time when archaeologists were more “pot hunters” than scientists, seeks the Holy Grail—the cup Jesus drank from at His last meal. To reach the grail, he must pass three challenges:

  • The Breath of God – “Only the penitent man will pass.”
  • The Word of God – “Only in the footsteps of God will he proceed.”
  • The Path of God – “Only in the leap from the lion’s head will he prove his worth.”


What can we learn?

“Only the penitent man will pass.”—None of us are perfect, and we must be sorry for how we’ve hurt one another.

“Only in the footsteps of God will he proceed.”—God has given us direction through so many means, all of which come down to, “Love God above all things, and love your neighbor as yourself.”

“Only in the leap from the lion’s head will he prove his worth.”—It takes faith to live, grow, and do good in this world. Logic alone is not enough; logic applies only to this world, while faith touches the next.

God, in his infinite wisdom, touches us through scripture, religious communities, and even the movies. But then, since He is God, why wouldn’t He?

Family Traditions


Not all traditions look like a Norman Rockwell painting. Even more importantly, you never know what events are going to become traditions. Maybe you grew up with the entire family driving to Grandma’s for a particular holiday meal, but after you became an adult, that changed. Maybe Grandma went to Florida each winter, or maybe the family scattered well beyond driving distance.

Today, my older son and his wife invited us over for a marathon viewing of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy (extended version.) I’ve read the books perhaps 10 or 12 times since I first was introduced to Tolkien about 1966, so I’m the Tolkien fan. My older son and I used to spend weekend evenings watching movies at home. Videos fit our budget, and were time flexible. If laundry or cooking took longer than expected, no problem. So it seemed appropriate to do some holiday movie watching together.

Of course, we didn’t just sit there staring at the TV screen. There were sandwiches, gyros and pizza for lunch, cheese fondue and cookies for a snack, as well as a spaghetti dinner. We all peeked at tablets and smartphones as necessary; those who aren’t diehard Tolkien fans did so for diversion, those who are checked various websites for clarification. Why wasn’t Galadriel’s ring corrupted the way the Ring Wraiths were? Did Peter Jackson, the director, show up in a bit part?

Cole was in charge of noting all the “Wilhelm” screams; these are screams originally recorded for an old movie in which a soldier gets bitten by an alligator; later it was used when a character named Wilhelm was shot with an arrow (hence the name). Since then it has appeared in over 200 films. Each of the Ring trilogy films use it at least once.  Cole dispatched his duties not only impeccably but with both style and grace.

We played “pass the baby” so that whenever Lily needed attention, burping, changing, rocking, or whatevering, the pleasure was shared among all participants. However, I have to mention that among all participants, I was the only one whose shirt was color coordinated with her outfit. (just saying.)

Film festivals could become a family tradition. “Lord of the Rings” is probably the l-o-n-g-e-s-t movie series to watch. There’s also “Back to the Future” and “Indiana Jones” for future years, both of which are of more reasonable durations. “Star Wars” IV – VI is a totally different movie than I – III so there’s no need to watch all six in a single sitting.

Family traditions rise and fall. The key is coming up with a great excuse for family to get together and enjoy each other’s company, food, laughter and just being family.

Anne & Paul – great start!

Harrison Ford


Through his career, Harrison Ford has played a number of interesting roles including Han Solo, Indiana Jones, and Bladerunner Rick Deckard. Which one is the coolest?

Bladerunner is set in an earth that everyone who can has already left. Neither we, nor Deckerd is sure whether he’s human or a replicant (android). Bet that makes it difficult to complete the census paperwork.

Han Solo at first seems totally cool. And for the record – he did shoot Gredo first. He’s got his own ship. Hangs with Chewbacca (the ultimate wingman), is a gambler and a smuggler – not to mention a self proclaimed scoundrel. Women fall for him – it’s the scoundrel thing. However, other than flying fast and fighting, he really has no other skills. No interests. Not even a hobby – other than his blaster. Okay, he’s cool but pretty one dimensional.

That leaves Indiana Jones. Henry Jones, Jr. PhD. An educated man who steals his nickname from the family dog. You have to be fairly self-confident to do that. Has, a fling with the daughter of his archeological mentor – but she’s hot, so let’s just say he has a touch of scoundrel, but just a touch. He’s a tenured professor who prefers field work to classroom studies. At least one of his female students is smitten with him, but the guys like him too, as one of them slips him an apple. Carries a revolver rather than the ubiquitous .45 Colt automatic, but can do amazing things with a bullwhip. However, for all his strengths, he’s still afraid of snakes. His friends, like Sallah and Dr. Marcus Brody are intriguing. His professional competitors, like Belloq are equally intriguing. Add the fedora and the theme music…

Okay, you’re going to say he had me at “fedora.”

Oh, and on the infinitesimally small chance that Mr. Ford would read this – Harry, as one pilot to another, thanks for entertaining us. I look forward to seeing Ender’s Game, Paranoia, Star Wars VII and Indiana Jones 5.


I often “write in my head,” developing an idea so that when I sit down at the keyboard I at least have a conceptual idea as to what I’m going to write. This is one of those blogs. Unfortunately, I may have done such a thorough job of thinking it through that I actually believed I did write it. I looked through the recent archives and didn’t see it.

So, if this is, in fact a repeat, I apologize.


In the first “Indiana Jones” movie, Indy advised his archeology students that they will be seeking fact. If they wish to seek truth, they should be in a philosophy class.

I often accept the two terms as similar, if not identical, but I’d like to propose that they are quite different in several aspects. Initially I looked at truth as being subjective; like beauty it is in the eye of the beholder. On the other hand, I accepted fact as an objective, provable, absolute datum that actually exists.

But then I got thinking. Facts are objective, but being objective only means that there is a finite measurement. Such measurements may be precise without being accurate. Saying someone is six foot tall really means that they are somewhere near that height. The measurement of their height is dependent upon the accuracy of the measurement and of the measuring device. To further complicate things, height can vary slightly throughout the day – did you ever have to adjust your rearview mirrors on the drive home after a particularly challenging day at work?

Our most precise measuring tools are not necessarily accurate. The meter (the metric measurement, not some type of gauge) was initially thought to be one ten millionth the distance from the equator to the North Pole, but it has been redefined several times. Currently it is defined as “the length of the path travelled by light in vacuum during a time interval of 1/299,792,458 of a second.” I don’t know about you, but I have trouble picturing that.

We’ve been measuring time in hours and minutes for centuries. However, we’ve had to adjust the calendar by weeks, and of course with leap years. Even so, as our measurements become more precise, we have to add leap seconds every few years.

So facts aren’t what they are cracked up to be.

On the other hand, truth is something we know to be true without the ability to prove it. We know it’s true that there is a God. We can’t prove it as a fact, but we accept it as the truth.

It’s probably why Jesus called himself “the Way, the Truth and the Light.”