Everybody loves a good story, you know, the evil villain is causing huge problems, suddenly the underdog shows up at the last-minute and saves the day. He gets the girl, saves the town, and lives happily ever after.
As we get older and the reality of the world around us takes away the fantasy and the imagination that once beheld us, the maturity monster rears it’s ugly head and drives out the machinations of our youth and replaces it with responsibility. Please don’t misunderstand me, obviously we have to grow up, but does growing up mean we no longer can look at anything with wonderment? I guess part of me still believes in something more. I remember having a conversation with my mother when I was probably in my mid teens and telling her that “I thought I was going to be different” She looked at me and replied, “What do you mean?” I told her I wasn’t sure what I meant, but I just had a sense I was going to be different. It’s been probably 30 years since that day and I still remember it, and what’s more, I still believe it! The darndest part of it all is, I am still no closer to having a concise answer to her question, “What do you mean?”.
I also feel an odd sort of emptiness when I ponder what could this “different” possibly consist of. I am pretty sure I’m not secretly “Superman“, because ….well phone booths are pretty much extinct. When I take inventory of my various gifts, talents and abilities nothing stands out as particularly special or unusual. I am just one of the guys trying to make it through each day, be a good provider and husband and father. When assessing those particular efforts I realize at best I meet a mediocre standard. This is not an attempt to illicit sympathy or a wallowing walk down self-pity lane, rather just an honest look at where I am. I see all these things and yet….I am not content to accept the status quo. I am a dreamer! I believe there is a lot more to this story.
Reading the bible helps me out when I get stuck, of course it helps that I believe the bible is true! Talking about fairy tales and the bible in the same conversation opens up a host of problems for many, which is a shame. Why can’t we allow any room in our conversations for happily ever after. There are those who fear sharing a platform of any sort concerning fairy tales and theology. Yes they are different, but maybe not as far apart in some ways as we imagine. In both genre’s the end of the story is what the true attraction is. Now I could get philosophical here but I won’t. And yes as we “mature in our faith” the impetus to have faith, stops being as much about a fairy tale ending, and begins to have a basis in understanding how much God first loved us.
In the end my great hope is still tied to a happily ever after, but rather than a false hope based on unrealistic expectations it’s based on the truths of the bible. Some, I’m sure will believe, I’m still as unrealistic as “Superman” and “Fairy Tales“, others will roll their eyes and intimate that I am a lost cause, one of those religious wacko’s, I don’t mind.
At the end of the day I am still a dreamer and maybe, just maybe, I am different after all!