Teachable Moments

I love a good story. On Wednesday nights now for the past few weeks, the teens and I have been taking a look at some great stories and examining the more profound messages that they contain. I think there is a reason that specific stories touch us the way they do. Usually, we can't accurately relate to a character that is worthy of a Hollywood special effects team - but in all great movies, there is still a part of the story or characters that we can identify with.

For example, I can't relate to being a Hobbit that goes from a peaceful life in the Shire to one that holds the balance to good and evil in his hands while on the run from Ores in Middle Earth... as cool as I think that would be. I can, however, relate to the inward battles that take place in all those who are choosing to protect a harmless little Hobbit. I can relate to the friendship that exists between Frodo and Sam. The way Sam never leaves the side of his friend Frodo - no matter the personal danger that it certainly creates for himself. I can also relate to the feeling of being caught up and somehow in the middle of something much bigger than myself, something with immense implications. We all can. And these stories can provide merely a few hours of entertainment - or they can give a glimpse into the greatest story ever, the story we find ourselves in. When we see THE tale in all great stories, it provides a lot of great perspective for other people who also enjoy a great story.

Just yesterday Lord of the Rings was on TV, and we had it on because, well, as a general rule if this movie is playing, I'm going to have it on. Isaac turned to me at one point and asked this question: "Do the good guys always win the battles?" That's a great question. It's also a great opportunity to talk about something much deeper than he was asking. So while I didn't turn off the movie and immediately open the bible - I did have a chance to plant a seed of deeper truth. It went some­ thing like this:

Me: "Well, Isaac, that's a good question. You know, most excellent stories involve some sort of battle between good and evil. Sometimes in movies, the good guys win, and sometimes the good guys lose."

Isaac: "What about in this movie?"

Me: "If you really want to know (SPOILER ALERT!!!) in this movie, the good guys win in the end. That's one reason  I like this story so much. It reminds  me of the story  we are living. Sometimes it may seem like the bad guys and evil is going to win, but we know we are going to win because we are on the same side as Jesus and he has already won. Jesus defeated "the bad guys" when he rose from the dead."

...(proud smile now coming to my face, expecting some profound sense of discov­ery.) 

Isaac: ...That guy's sword is awesome!

Me: ...sigh... Yeah, that's a pretty cool sword.


Genesis 3:14-lS: So the Lord God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, "Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly, and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."