It’s A Myth-story.
Wanna Tell You A Story.
Sometimes a quote or a one liner can get me thinking for days or even weeks. This week I have read one of those sentences that I have only just began to chew over but I want to share some of the cud on here already. I blame Martin Scott for this one in his post Lions and creation stories he wrote these words;
“True myths are more powerful than scientific discoveries”. – (See more at: http://3generations.eu/blog/archives/7879#sthash.lXHrWKAV.dpuf)
That one line captured my attention. The power of a true myth. Is that an oxymoron? Does it make sense? Is Christianity built on the power of true myths? Martin mentions the Creation story, but it can also be the case for Noah, Abraham, the history of Israel and even the life of Jesus Himself, all contained within what we call the canonical books of the Bible but are they a collection of infallible accounts or a collection of true myths? Stories passed down from generation to generation where truth is communicated but over time it gets shrouded in the myth of the story. The myths of God and His people if you like. Does this make the story any less powerful? Does it make the core message any less Truth? In story truth always gets distorted to emphasise something, then over time the emphasis becomes an exaggeration, but the truth still remains in the middle of the myth, the mystery.
I love listening to my children sharing a story of the days events. An event that has only just taken place can already become something of an altered account. How it has been perceived and what was the important part of the story, especially the part that made them laugh, becomes exaggerated to the place of already being unrecognisable, apart from the truth they want to communicate. A recent event involved my eldest son Joel walking across a road while another of my boys John was in the car that he crossed in front of. To Joel it was a normal moment of crossing the road and just having to hurry a bit as he saw a car coming, to John it became an event of Joel nearly being run over and making an embarrassed apology. Both were there, both witnessed the same event, but within minutes almost different accounts were being told. The myth began to grow that contained the truth. The story-telling added to the power of the myth and the truth of what actually happened. We only see the bits we see. Surely this happened to the myths surrounding the events of Creation, Israel, Jesus etc. That is why even something as simple as four Gospel stories view things completely differently. It is not a schizophrenic Holy Spirit making contradictions and getting events confused in order, it is the true myth being created in the minds of the witnesses and recorders of the events, who themselves heard reports, saw events, heard words with their own eyes and ears. Passing things down from generation to generation creates something of a Chinese whisper situation where we only hear what we want to hear or what we think we heard.
Life is Full of True Myths.
What we know about any and everything is normally created into a true myth. What we know about the Middle East, Muslims, certain celebrities etc. is all built around reports, stories, bias or world view amongst other things. Even eye witnesses only see things from perspective, this creates a story that becomes a myth. In this is truth. We build a myth around what we read, hear, experience, stories of others etc. The truth is within that but to say all is true misses the point I think of the story/account. It is like everyone has this myth about who I am to them. They may even mention my name, talk about events in my life, maybe even have met me, but the truth will only be within the myth. It is only if someone lives with me they start to discover the truth, and even then Allison will often say she does not know me really. I am real, some things you know of me are true but they are hidden within the story/the myth. The same is true within the whole of life and what we know, or at least think we know. Robin Hood, King Arthur, the stuff of real legend. Even within these myths is truth. Life is full of true myths.
Good Night, Vietnam.
I have friends who suffer or who have suffered from depression. I cannot for a second imagine what that must be like to continually battle the cloud of self and not be able to get rid of it. The nearest i maybe came was the time I resigned from church leadership, lost my identity through that process, got into debt, lost friendships in the so called ‘prophetic’ world and found nothing but darkness for twelve months. There even seemed to be an absence of God during this time. It was a dark period in my life. Was I depressed? I would not say so when I compare it with a life like Robin Williams. A man haunted continually by dark thoughts. I grew up with Robin Williams in Mork and Mindy and have since seen many of his movies. He knew how to make people laugh. He was a comic genius. But like many comedians before him he was also a genius at hiding what was truly inside him. Many of his films spoke eternity and message into my heart and life; Dead Poets Society, Good Will Hunting, The Fisher King, Awakenings, just a few of the films that meant something at some point of my life. His tragic death through suicide has put a tinge of sadness in my heart this week. A genius filled with the gift of the Divine to make people laugh. I trust that right now at this moment the Divine is giving Robin something to laugh about back for all the joy he given.
Nightmare at the Museum.
This is where i close this weeks blog with my unbelief at the insensitivity and shallow words of some so called members of the body of Christ. I read one person on Facebook writing ‘just hope he isn’t still living in eternal torment in hell.’ What the hell are you on? That is the most un-Christlike thing I have ever read (well one of many really). Others saying if only he had been evangelised or if only he had found Jesus or had prayer. These people are so ignorant of what depression is it is unbelievable. They think that by coming to Jesus Robin would have been okay (who is to say he didn’t?). Depression is a bitch that will not let go. It is not s demon to be cast out or a problem a Scripture verse can heal or a quick two minute prayer can deal with. It is so entangled within the character of the person that it becomes infused with who they are. It cannot just be shrugged off in the name of Jesus. The problem then is if we really find out they are full of issues and not a quick fix we get disinterested and move on to someone more responsive. We need to get real. We need to find some sensitivity, love and acceptance of those struggling within themselves. Life is full of tragic comedy. I trust the sad loss of Robin will awaken us to the issue and find us more careful about the things we say or don’t say. I think we would be surprised how many Christians sit in churches secretly suffering because of the shame, the stigma and their lack of response to prayer. This darkness will keep taking if we do not wise up. More and more I realise that God is not just a God of light, He is also God within the darkness. Robin Williams Rest In Peace.