“A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”
“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”
– C.S. Lewis
My family and I went to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens last night and can I just say…It Was Amazing!! Without giving you any details about the movie, I will say that J.J. Abrams is a mind-blowing storyteller. All the feelings I had watching the old series as a kid came back to me last night. It was an emotional movie for both me and my wife.
From the opening scene of the movie all the way to the end, I was a wreck. Wave after wave of emotions came back as I saw characters from my boyhood re-emerge in the story with new plots and new directions, twists, and storylines. I felt like a kid again.
And now, with my own children, I was able to leave the movie theater sharing with them a new experience from an old story. Now they know what it’s like to leave a movie with a whole new plot twist and a thousand questions about our favorite movie characters Han, Leia, and Luke Skywalker.
For now, I’ll just tell you.. you need to go see the movie. Even if you aren’t a fan of the series, you need to be introduced to the story. Trust me. It’s a great one.
As we were driving home last night, I told my wife that I was amazed at how deep this story has set on my soul all these years. With every new sighting of my favorite characters in the movie, not having seen them on the big screen for thirty years, I found my heart stirred deep within me. This was a spiritual experience to say the least.
And so I had to write today about the power of a great story. Story shapes all of our lives. It influences so much of how we interact with the world. Have you ever noticed how we cannot talk to our neighbors or families or friends without telling stories? Just a simple explanation of what we did at the grocery store or at the mall, or when we went camping last weekend or buying our Christmas tree… all of it is bound up in story.
There is no getting away from it, story shapes our life. And when a great story comes along, such as Star Wars, it reminds us that somewhere deep inside our hearts, there is a longing for the story to be true. We want to live adventure, to battle for beauty, to rescue the lost, and to be the hero. When an injustice is done, we long to see justice come and righteousness prevail. It is written on the heart of every human that we want to see the light win and darkness lose.
In our own lives, we think that the mundane is all we have to look forward to. We go to the movies to watch others live an adventure, but it is much safer for us to sit in the seats of a movie theater and spectate on others activities. We know that Star Wars is not real, but that doesn’t keep us from believing something deep within our hearts that tells us that there are elements of this story that are true.
The elements of a great story are a leading hero, a brooding villain, a charming and tough beauty, a valiant battle, something worth fighting for, and often a great sacrifice made for the sake of others. All of these elements ring true in our hearts because deep inside we believe there is a hero, there is a villain, there is a beauty, there is a battle, there is something worth fighting for, and there has been a sacrifice made for the sake of us.
If you look closely enough, and I don’t think many people have… but if you truly look close.. you will find that all of these elements exist in the Greatest Story Ever Told… the story of Christmas, the story of Easter, the story of Scripture, and human history itself.
The Story of God…The Story of Us
God the leading hero battles against a brooding villain, Lucifer, one of his archangels. Being defeated and cast from heaven to earth Lucifer, the great dragon, feasts on humanity’s frail and broken spirit. Knowing he is defeated he convinces man to rebel against his Creator and drags many lost souls with him to death and destruction. God, knowing that love cannot be forced or controlled, gives man a choice, risking that man might make the choice to reject Him. Even more compelling though is that in spite of man’s rejection of him, He mounts a rescue mission anyway. He calls a people to himself (a bride… a beauty) and sends his offspring to the planet to rescue humanity from its own brokenness.
Jesus, now, God in the flesh… the hero comes, not as a conquering hero, but as a lowly servant, humbly teaching and inviting people to understand his heart and turn their eyes to a kingdom not of this world. The battle begins for the souls of humanity. The heart of mankind and the glory of the King, both are worth fighting for. And so, Jesus makes the ultimate sacrifice, taking on slaughter as His way to show the world what the heart of God truly is for humanity. Jesus carries the sin and wickedness of the world on his shoulders, dies and is buried…and rises again.
This is the true story of the human heart. Eternity is written on your heart. Everyone of you. The reason we so deeply feel what we feel about Star Wars and any other story that has moved our heart so, is because God has put in us a divine spark of curiosity.
You must find the answers to the questions you are asking. An awakening is happening. And the Divine is searching for you.
What is keeping you from accepting this story as true? How long will you allow powerful stories to simply pass you by as fairy-tales? Submit yourself to the story of God.