Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Captain's Blog, Stardate 2009.2.11



Happy Katie Day!!!

Drifted off to sleep last night (on the couch again) chewing slowly on what I read in Isaiah 66 just before turning off the light. After mulling that, but before I fully faded, an odd thought struck me, which woke me up again...

I talked yesterday about the "Fantasy Epic" pattern, which went something like this: "Whole worlds, histories, lands, peoples, languages & religions set forth, some nameless, unstoppable evil threatens to destroy it all, one or more warriors is swept up on an impossible quest to defeat the unstoppable evil. War lays waste, people are killed, cities are ruined, the brink of destruction is flirted with, and the heroes carry the day (usually with some loss)."

There's usually more to it than that, but that's a good basic structure. Anyway, it hit me last night that that structure didn't start with Tolkien and Lord of the Rings... it's actually a fairly accurate outline for the Bible.

I'm certainly not saying the Bible is merely a Fantasy Fiction epic in disguise (though I'm sure many an "intellectual" would claim just that). I'm saying it's likely the original, and perhaps the reason why so many people are drawn to Fantasy epics, as a genre. Although really, that basic "underdog layman hero against unstoppable evil" type structure is not limited to Fantasy. Political thrillers, sci-fi, detective stories, ghost stories... they all follow that pattern, more or less.

But back to the Bible. Perhaps that is part of the appeal of the Bible. Ancient, colossal forces of good and evil clashing, occasionally walking among us, long history shrouded in myth, ancient civilizations, various religions, heroes of legend long-dead and honored, a chance (however remote) to play a small part in the outcome of the Big Picture, a foretelling of the "end of the world" with utter destruction flirted with, as good and evil finally face off, things reaching unprecedented darkness, all hope seems lost, and good prevails, a time of peace and rebuilding and renewal... earth starts off great, plummets into doom, and is brought to life again, better than before...

There's even "wizardry" in a sense, if you can look at "miracles" and "acts of magic" as closely related without being offended by it... or even a "dragons/dinosaurs" connection, if you really stretch it...

The first/best epic Fantasy story.

I had another thought last night, somewhat related. What happens (in "real life") when the Villain is finally vanquished? I mean, if the struggles we face build character, and help build the relationship we have with God (by driving us to prayer when things are hard), what will happen when that pressure is lifted? On a micro as well as a macro scale, from the little irritations that pester us individually each day all the way to the things that go on around the very throne, on levels that we can't understand (imagine the politics and court intrigue that happen "up there"? Man, boggles the mind).

No more death, or pain, or tears. Satan, the False Prophet, the Beast, all the underlings & demons, all evil people and influences, cast into the eternal rubbish bin... will we really be able to operate and flourish eternally in a place without that type of resistance to struggle against? What type of challenges will there be so we can all continue to learn and grow and mature? I mean, book knowledge is one thing, but real long-lasting knowledge comes only from experience, doesn't it? What will happen when the Big Villain, nay all forms of villainy, are removed?

The analogy I always bring to mind are trees growing in a greenhouse versus those growing outdoors. The ones in the greenhouse may look nice, but you can practically push them right over, they have little or no strength. It's the wind, rain, heat, and other elements that help a tree to grow strong, not just the sunlight and drip irrigation. Where will the challenges come from, once the source of the evil (for lack of a better word) is removed?

Anyway, such were my thoughts as I stared at the (livingroom) ceiling last night. Fantasy stories are appealing because we get to tag along at a safe distance and watch as people "just like us" struggle and suffer and prevail against all odds. The cool thing about the Biblical Fantasy Epic is that we not only have the option to watch, but to actually participate. That's not as safe, obviously - the risks are as real as the rewards - which is why I assume most people prefer to simply watch from a safe distance, and not grab onto what God offers in the Book with both hands.

Ah, well...

Went into the rug shop today, got some stuff done. Tax time is drawing near. I have an appointment with my tax guy on the 18th of Feb. He gave me a packet to fill out and drop off to him before hand. I'm gonna try and run it down to him tomorrow. I'm kind of nervous about how much in tax I'll have to pay in April. I have exactly nothing in savings right now - but I have been making quarterly estimate payments. We'll see...

Gonna have a date night Friday night! Woohoo! Yup, it's that time of year again.

No comment...

Here's another video clip from my "cool clips archive". Joe Eigo is insane...



EDIT: Some people were reporting problems getting that video clip to play. It works for me, but just in case, here's the same clip on YouTube...



Well, there's not much left to add. Until tomorrow, watch me now, hey, work, work...

2 comments:

Vye said...

When you were describing the Bible as an epic, I couldn't help thinking about Paradise Lost by John Milton. Have you ever read that poem? That's by far one of my favorite pieces of literature to read. Symphony X made an album based on it by the same name. Depending on the genre of music you prefer, you may be interested in them. ttyl Dave

havah said...

Great comments on the Bible as epic. And isn't it interesting how each "story" in the Bible is an epic in itself? So the Bible is sort of an Epic of epics. Rather cool really.

As for struggles making us grow...I don't think the absence of them will stop us from growing and maturing. I have known several strong Christians who have not gone through great difficulties and yet are stronger Christians than those who have. Also, there are a great many people out there who do not grow in any way no matter how much comes against them. I think it is simply that this is the only dynamic we know...but that does not make it the only dynamic.

Now tell me...how do you find these clips?! Awesome gymnastics.