Wednesday, May 29, 2024

A Real Escape - Journal Early 2020's

The Escape

The Horse and His Boy from C. S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia was one of my favourite books to read as a child.  With a book and my imagination I could lose my life and find a different one for a while.  What an escape!  I'd finish the book and feel sad and wistful.  Back to reality, schoolwork, chores and music practice at home.  I wanted a life like Shasta, the protagonist in The Horse and His Boy - non-stop adventure, travel, heroism, a girlfriend...

A couple years later I went to see Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back as a double feature.  I had never been to a movie theater before.  I was blown away.  As we drove the 90 minutes back home, the stars in the sky seemed to beckon me,  but I couldn't fly away.  A melancholy ache washed over me as I compared my life with Luke Skywalker... 

Over the years, more books and movies temporarily offered escape followed up by a subsequent rude awaking to real life.  Then came Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and SnapChat.  I could get an escape in minutes instead of hours.  Unfortunately, that escape almost always came with a comparison - my life versus the main character.  My life always seemed to come up short.

A Snapshot Vs. The Truth

Stories and tales are one thing.  True stories and biographies are next level.  Even then, I need to be careful what I absorb, and what I embrace as truth. Is what I see in a moment, a snapshot, a SnapChat, a YouTube video, a movie, a book, the whole truth about someone’s life or the way a life is lived? Can a 30 second video, or a 2 minute movie, a chapter in the Bible, or a book really speak to the entire existence of a life?  

I must realize that all of these mediums only show me snapshots  If I don't remember that, I can fall into a terrible trap.  Comparison is nasty. It turns out one of two ways, and they are both wrong - it’s either I’m better, or I don’t measure up.  More often than not, I don't measure up - whether its someone else's vacation, their car, their fish story, their job, or their adventure.  Its a recipe for depression.

Photo by Mason Kimbarovsky on Unsplash

Escape from 'The Escape'

Jesus offers me an escape from all of this.  He says:

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly."  Matthew 11:28-30

I need to put down my phone, my iPad, walk away from my computer desk, and seek first God's kingdom and His will.

When I start reading about the amazing things other people have done, or watching clips or movies of inspirational stories, my ambition gets fired up.  I think I need to DO something impactful!  The Apostle Paul reminds me to: "...make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands".  1 Thessalonians 4:11

A final reminder from the prophet Micah as paraphrased by Eugene Peterson in The Message:

"It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbour,
    be compassionate and loyal in your love,
And don’t take yourself too seriously—
    take God seriously."   Micah 6:8

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A Real Escape - Journal Early 2020's

The Escape The Horse and His Boy from C. S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia was one of my favourite books to read as a child.  With a book a...