Monday, May 12, 2008

SORRY TO SEE IT GO

Sometimes when you read a book you're just sad to see it end. I finally got around to reading Seabiscuit, by Laura Hillenbrand, finishing it yesterday. I wished I didn't have to finish it. If you've seen the movie--itself quite good--the book really allows you to connect with these long dead figures. Seabiscuit is history well told, history that you want to read with no agenda other than allowing you to look through a window into a bygone era. We can read about people simply living their lives without any idea that someone might write a book about them, yet refusing to quit despite the odds.

We live in a historically myopic era that is cut off from its own past. There are many implications to this, both cultural and policital. There are also religious implications. Our modern age pushes us towards an atomistic approach to life in which we are cut off from not only history, but also family and community, church and God. We can imagine ourselves accountable to no one, able to operate as our own standard. The Bible itself is history, inspired history, certainly. It is the history of God's redemption of man, but also the history of individual men and women who lived real lives and had real struggles. One of Scriptures great messages is that despite clear defeat persevering in God will bring us ultimate victory. What history will you write with your life?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well said, Alan.

Hope you're getting settled in your new home.

Sean Busick

Mark said...

Alan,
Welcome to the Midwest, brother!

Great thoughts in your post - I can smell a bulletin article out of those thoughts!!!

Historic and Spiritual Myopia - GREAT!!!

Andrew Clarke said...

You raise a good point here. The proverb goes "Forget the past and you lose an eye," meaning the past is half of how you understand the present. And in a more cynical vein, George Orwell said in "Nineteen Eighty-Four" that whoever controls the past controls the present", meaning that if you write history dishonestly you can deceive people about the present - like telling them someone did what they did not, or vice versa. Good post! We need to know where we came from, including the role of Christianity and God in shaping it. The laws protecting life are part of a Christian heritage, and some people try to deny that - which is folly, because God will not be denied.