Friday, April 6, 2012

Story of Life

Everyone wants to be part of a story.  At least, that is what I have concluded.  This thought came about on my way to work this past Tuesday as I let my mind wander (as I tend to do on my way to and from work).  In all honesty, I don't know many people who would say they would rather live a boring uneventful life.  How many of you men pretended to be the hero when you were younger?  How many of you women played house or some other form thereof? How often did you rope your boy friends into playing it with you? 

I think the reason for this is because we want to be a part of the story.  There is something exciting about facing adversity (such as an imaginary dragon) and overcoming it (especially if it involves some makeshift weapon). There is something enticing about adventure. There is also something incredibly significant about feeling important and cherished.  This, I believe, is true for all people and not just men or women.  The fact of the matter is that sometimes, ultimately, we want to be the rescuer, and sometimes we want to be the rescued.  After all, it makes for some of the best stories right?  People do not always have to be physically rescued either, sometimes the emotional rescue is just as satisfying (I site the standard 'chick-flick' in this case; the woman is rescued from her terrible circumstances [usually] by some buff and incredibly romantic dude that [sometimes literally] sweeps the woman off her feet).  While I like a good mushy movie from time to time, I have to admit that oftentimes that genre can cause a perverse desire for the impossible.  Let's face it ladies, there is no way you will ever find that perfect guy.  He doesn't exist.  Those movies pervert the excitement of story that we want to be a part of.  Action films are no different, so we are not exempt from the desire of the impossible either.  I think this might be why I, and many people I know, love the movies that hit close to home and feel "real"; or are blatantly different (such as fantasy or animated) because we know it could never really be, so it is just a "nice story".

The thing about story though, is it is full of conflict.  How many people would read a book if all the character did was the same thing he did every day?  No adventure, no excitement, just routine. How boring would that be?  You see my point.  Story has to have a conflict, or the character never grows, and if the character doesn't grow what is the point?  Are we really all that different?  Who does not want to improve an aspect about themselves?  Who does not want to be a part of something that is life and maybe world changing? I know I do, I could give a list of the aspects I would like to improve in myself, and of course I want to constantly be a part of something that is bigger than me.  I want to be a Hero! But, to be a hero, I also need to be rescued.  Rescued from what though? 

Now we are getting to the heart of it.

Every Protagonist has a starting point to their story.  It is an understood concept that the main character(s) of any story had a "life" before the story and will have continued "life" after the story ends.  After all, life is a series of stories skillfully woven together.  Well, the starting point for so many involves a rescue of some sort.  Sometimes it is a literal rescue from a prison, sometimes it is a rescue from mundane, sometimes it is a rescue from themselves, and the list goes on.  How often is the protagonist (and us too really) rescued from something so that they might "live to fight another day"?  That day of course arrives only after time spent in conflict and growth.  After all, you can't overcome any problem if you don't grow, and you can't grow without the experience of the adversity that you are trying to overcome.  This is why, as much as I dislike hard times, I have at least some appreciation for them.  The truth is that the things that tend to cause the most pain in my life are the very things that spur me to become a better man, husband, brother, son, and friend.

Every conflict is a battle, every resolution a victory or defeat, every victory or defeat is a learning experience, and every experience acts as a catalyst to the next cycle of growth. 

Naturally, I wonder how the the concept of story that I love so much, applies to my life.  As I look I can see different conflicts that have brought out a warrior in me in just the past year alone, so then I wondered where did the rescue come from, and I realized that, it came from a sacrifice that happened a couple thousand years ago.

I have made no efforts to hide that I call myself a Christian, and have out-rightly claimed it often, so it should come as no surprise that I would find my rescue in the sacrifice and resurrection of Christ.  But it is true, since Christ captured and romanced my heart I have found a purpose to fight, a reason and cause worth dying for.  I hope it is plain to see that I am not happy with the way many people who claim to be Christian have treated others, but I also cannot deny the changes that have happened in my life due to the freedom from salvation, from being rescued from my sins, my worries, and even my anger (to name a few).  It is also Christ who has mentored me into the man I need to be, that I want to be, because it is who I am.  He is making me a Hero.

Today is Good Friday.  Despite calling it that, it is one of the saddest days in history when you think about what is celebrated in the Christian circles: The Crucifixion of Christ.  The reason it is a good Friday then, is because not only was the crucifixion necessary for salvation from sins, but also promises the resurrection which is celebrated on Easter Sunday.  The resurrection completes the story.  It is reason I can claim freedom.  If Christ did not rise from the grave, then freedom is non existent.  That's a strong claim though, so let me clarify by saying that I can only go off resurrection as I understand it now.  Who knows what revelations will be made in the future?

I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

Grace and Peace.

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