I’m a major fantasy fiction buff. It’s kind of a guilty pleasure for me because FF is where I get to indulge my inner nerd. I’m currently reading the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan which is a fantasy geek’s dream, fourteen books of non stop adventure and intrigue. I’m only four books in and I’m completely hooked!
There is a major theme in the book that at some point a major cataclysm took place that ruined everything in existence, literally. They called it the “breaking of the world”.
I can’t say that I’ve seen the powers that be rip the very ground apart and and lay waste to everything that was, but I’ve seen evidence that our world has been broken too. I’ve seen buildings crashing to the ground with people inside in the name of religion. I’ve been there as families of soldiers cry as the bodies of their loved ones are laid to rest. I’ve witnessed families ripped apart by divorce. I’ve seen children who are the victims of abuse cry and wonder what they did to deserve their ordeal. I’ve known great people who have fought cancer for years and in the end lose the fight. I’ve known normal people who, through a series of bad decisions, become unrecognizable to those that knew them best.
Today, of all days, it is brought home to me that the world we live in, like Jordan’s literary world, is broken. We experience pain in our relationships. We feel the sting of loss. We are wrecked by sickness in our lives. We live the struggle of staying afloat in a world that wants us to drown. We feel the helplessness of depression. The twin blades of loneliness and rejection pierce our hearts.
None of this is okay.
A main reason why I love the fantasy genre is because I think that every epic story is just an allegory for our own world. The story usually goes something like this:
1. Everything is good and right in the world
2. Some evil force arises and causes some great misfortune
3. The powers that be have a great plan for the salvation of all
4. An unlikely hero emerges from humble origins
5. After a great adventure some great hidden potential is revealed in him/her
6.Said hero goes to battle for the world
7.Somehow good triumphs over evil
I thought so.
I think the problem, most times, is that we see ourselves in the wrong part of the story. We tend to wait for the unlikely hero to emerge. We wait for the herald of our redemption. But the truth is that the hero has already emerged. We are in the great uncomfortable chapter where everyone is watching and waiting for the last battle; the winner-take-all brawl between good and evil.
It’s funny because no one ever doubts whether or not good can win. Everyone always doubts whether it will win. If our heroes can figure it out in time. But they always do.
In our case our hero figured out the puzzle WAY ahead of time. About 2000 years early, to be more specific. Now all we have to do is wait for the great resolution. Now, don’t get upset at me for ruining the plot for you, because the truth is there is a lot more to this story.
The great thing about it is that in every good story there is always a group of people that surround our hero. They are usually placed there to make the stakes higher, to give you something you want the hero to fight for.
This is where you and I come in.
We are the great supporting characters. The hero never fulfills the entirety of his quest alone. Similarly the hero of our tale has left an integral part of his quest to us. We are here to build and lead his army.
Did you catch that?! Truthfully, you are and always have been intended to be a hero, not THE hero, but certainly a hero in your own right.
Good side characters always have great abilities and skills of their own that make them a huge part of the story. Did you get that? Our Great Hero needs your specific abilities and personalities for his battle. He has done his part. It’s time to do ours.
It is an encouraging thought that in this broken world we don’t have to play the part of extras. We can be proactive in fixing the world around us. We can be heroes.
Oh, and one more thing. The world we know may be broken, but there will be a day when this one will be discarded and a new unbreakable one will take its place.
21 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.
2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.
4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.
7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. . . ”