What is one story that has shaped your life and view of the world?
(One bonus point if you say The Bible, ha.) There are so many wonderfully creative stories in book, movie, music and other art forms readily available to so many of us. And they are labeled FANTASY. Some of my favorites are famous like Harry Potter and The Wizard of Oz series, old such as The Epic of Gilgamesh, harrowing like Shakespeare’s Hamlet, melodic and menacing like Gustav Holst’s The Planets, op. 32, and even Van Gogh’s The Starry Night tells quite the Hollywood blockbuster tale.
Fantasy informs reality
The truth is, as creators form art to represent fantasy, each story is embedded with a ton of reality, too. These artists–using whatever creative media of their choosing–brilliantly sift through their own life experiences and real parts of daily living and somehow embed illustrative parts into a beautifully described boy wizard or an ensemble of stringed instruments can aurally describe the planet Venus, bringer of Peace. Think of the ways you were amazed and delighted as a child (and as an adult); perhaps your eyes twinkled, your jaw dropped and you were in complete awe of the creative fantasy shared with you. These moments peak our interest, give us permission to dream and create. Theses stories stretch our imaginations and either teach or remind us of truths we hold dear, like loyalty, honesty, kindness and even our faith in God.
We need Fantasy in our lives to remain Real
When we visit or revisit fantastical stories through a book, movie, music, visual arts or other creative arts, we discover who we are deep inside. When I spent a year in the Land of Oz in high school (playing Dorothy with two different theatres), most everything in my life went back to that story of home, belonging, courage. I had so much to learn about the brilliance of storytelling and what an honor it is to be inside of the story for others to experience. And you know what? Being in those shows helped me develop as a human like nothing else has–I was a part of a story that has belonged to millions of people’s lives over 100+ years, people of all ages from many parts of the world. And stories like these shape us, change us. Whether it is Roald Dahl, Jemison, Game of Thrones or other Fiction, these stories help us learn more about ourselves, accept difficult truths and discover some of our own strengths that can make life better for all of us. In this space, we are also able to see the extraordinary in the ordinary (this is how Disney stays in business, as you know).
Whether Fantasy is your favorite genre or one you tolerate, consider revisiting that favorite book or movie, or perhaps watch Harry Potter for the first time. It really could do wonders to all of the other parts of your life! And, as you probably see where this is going, Jesus used many stories of fiction and metaphor (as did most of our prophets) to teach about life, love and pursuing God’s path of righteousness. We can give thanks for this wonderful genre of storytelling and sharing.
Sunday, November 14 at 9:00 am: SPECIAL MEETING FOR PARENTS/GRANDPARENTS DURING BFG – LED BY ERIN MCDANIEL & LAUREL IN THE LIVING ROOM; THIS IS TIME TO DISCUSS FUTURE WORSHIP PLANS FOR KIDS AND YOUTH, AND WE APPRECIATE YOUR FEEDBACK!
And at 11:30 am… (please RSVP to Laurel by Thursday if your family is planning on attending)
Have a wonderful rest of the week!