Friday, March 23, 2012

Memo To Regina, Martina, and Me

(note: C.S. Lewis admits that he wrote the book "The Problem of Pain" under one condition - that people understood that he himself would most likely not embrace the truths of his own book. That didn't make them any less true, it just made him a failure. I write the following employing C.S. Lewis' hypocrite clause)

Some of the stories we hear are stories we keep hearing. They're stories that have been told and told and told through generations and cultures in some form or another for hundreds of thousands of years. So there must be something true about them, something that gnaws at us, sounds familiar, like a song we heard once but can't place.

For some, it's proof that the Bible is filled with myths. For these critics, the idea that there are other myths just like the stories in the Bible means that all of it is false. C.S. Lewis argues differently. In his book "The Abolition of Man," he argues that the fact that everyone keeps telling the stories means that the story happened. Now we must determine which was the true telling.

Some examples: the Flood - so many cultures from diverse places tell and retell the story of a great flood that destroyed everything on the Earth. Here's another: the hero separated from his parents - orphaned or otherwise - with special powers.

But here's another, and it's the reason I started writing this...the surrounded hero.

The situation is terrible.

There's way more bad guys and they have lots of guns. They have helmets and the night vision goggles, they've got the walkie talkie things on their ear and code names for each other, so they talk in bursts with lots of information about formations and their target.

Cooler still, they have the hand gestures. Silently they hold up their hand and gesture about further formations and strategic placements of their massive army, because their target is surrounded and they are going down.

The hero has no way out. But, he's not the least bit concerned. Instead, he's got some swagger and a smirk and he grimly loads his weapons or gets his mighty fists ready and then, at some time chosen by the hero, the battle begins.

And it turns out that despite the super awesome technology and superior numbers and the night vision things, the missiles, despite their ability to communicate with cool hand gestures, the hero just blows them all away, with this Zen-like stillness and confidence.

We could think of 100 movies that have a scene like this. We could think of 100 books that have a scene like this. I believe the reason this story is told and retold is not just that it's entertaining - it's true. We all want to be like that hero, we all want his super cool calm awesomeness. And, I think we all realize that if we had that ability, those gifts to kind of slow everything down, to make assessments at a heightened level, to know the fist/bullet/missile was coming and just when to duck, we could win the fight.

Here's what's crazy - we have faced similar situations, and won. We have faced odds and evil and terrible situations so far beyond our ability, so dastardly and villainous, and they have the law and they have the money, and they have the will of the people behind them, they have a medical test that will change everything, they have your insurance policies and they have everything they need to crush us - but just like the super Zen hero, we have been delivered.

We were delivered because even while we were blubbering on the floor like infants, the battle was fought and won by our Savior. And afterwards, we danced around, posted on Facebook how awesome God is, what a mighty deliverer He is.

So here's my appeal to Martina and Regina and me - next time - be the cool Zen guy. Stop acting like you don't have the mightiest of Gods standing right there. Stop focusing on their awesome nightvision goggles and their cool hand gestures and focus on the fact that God will deliver you. Trust in Him and let it shine from you. I think it might be time to have a little swagger. The battle is yours.

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