A friend invited me to go with him to see one of the Hobbit films. Lots of us men love myths, legends, and stories of adventure. Especially epic stories of adventure, where there’s a struggle going on between good and evil, darkness and light. They hold a strange fascination for many of us.
We duly met at the cinema only to find that the schedule had been changed and it was not on that afternoon. It wasn’t on anywhere else that afternoon. His ‘Plan B’ suggestion was to go ten-pin bowling. Now I’ve only played occasionally since school days and probably the last time I went was ten years previously. So I was a little rusty to say the least. However, amongst the many rounds where I didn’t get a strike at all, I had one when I got four strikes in a row! I knew three in a row and you were a ‘turkey’, but never before had I heard of anyone getting four. I’d never even had three! So I was unprepared for the declaration that came up on the screen that I was a ‘four-bagger’. To me at least it was a story of epic proportions, albeit a short one. Me – a four-bagger!
All of this made me think about whether there is some sort of epic struggle going on in our lives and whether we have a battle on our hands against an unseen enemy who was determined to sideline us and cause us to lose heart. Is the story of our individual lives set within a much bigger epic story, which is still unfolding? Most of us have some consciousness of good and evil. We’re well aware of the many cruel things that happen to innocent people, and of the need for justice and truth. Most of us can see that some things seem more associated with darkness than light. Yet we all have a strange fascination with the darkness, and can easily get drawn into it if we are not careful. Hidden dangers lurk there. We go through a door out of curiosity and before you know it the door slams behind us and there’s no handle on the inside. We have no alternative but to go further and risk getting totally lost in unfamiliar surroundings. We may never find our way back.
For the Christian believer, the good news is that we don’t have to go it alone. We can draw on God’s help when the darkness seems more attractive than the light; when hiding in a dark cave seems better than facing the light of reality; when dwelling on our failures seems easier than getting up again and moving forward. We can draw on the courage and strength he provides to reduce the frequency with which we lose heart and feel like giving up. We can listen to his affirmation and encouragement, and replace our lethargy and isolation with a greater desire to be part of an epic story where good triumphs over evil, where love wins in the end.
Taken from the Book ‘Beyond the Banter’ by Bob Fraser