I’m finally feeling like myself today after a full 10 days of the worst flu symptoms I’ve ever experienced—6 days of 102 temperature, complete fatigue, and every nasty thing that comes with it. We all caught it but finally have been smuggled through back to the land of the living. Charlotte never really got it and we realized she probably has natural immunity from her tendency to eat more of what comes from her nose than any other kind of food. Apologies to any other OCD types; it’s generally enough to make my wife gag just thinking about it.
But I promised some reflections on story and structure and I’ve been thinking about it from my drug-addled haze…
We long for story to help explain our lives’ meaning. Stories help us define our experience, validate it and give us comparisons, like juxtaposing contrasting colors. Personalities can clash and reveal countless mysteries to ponder. We thrill in those alternations between confusion and discovery. And this is beauty.
There’s a hint here of the deeper order at work beneath the workings. We didn’t invent stories, just like we didn’t invent language or words or the ability to understand them. We’ve developed them, adapted and changed and manipulated them, but just like we didn’t create the materials we use to create with, we didn’t create the words. The great order did. The deeper order. Even when we don’t see the structure, it’s there always at work underneath.
And the deep romance in this is what we’re ultimately after. How unthinkable it is that God would do all this, create all this, for what reason? We’re not told, and it’s they kind of mystery that’s needed for the romance to thrive. The greater the mystery, the greater the thrill when the answer is revealed. Just like the greater the dissimilarity between the players, the greater the thrill when peace is finally reconciled. This is the story going on and when redemption finds its way to the unlikeliest of characters, we shake our heads and remember how amazing it all is and how little we really know of it. How small we really are. And how grateful must we be….
To see this and explore its supernatural reality through the evidence we have—nature and metaphors and the Bible and prayer—this is the fuel for the journey. Is seeing it something we can choose? Of course, and it starts with as simple an act as recognizing that it’s there for us to choose to see. And it does become easier with practice. When life is hard, sometimes it’s harder to recognize, harder to pry our eyes open. We can never assume it’s truly easy.
But that’s why I want to make it as easy as possible to find for others and to share my amazement. To remind myself and whoever else wants it that just beyond this ordinary, familiar 3D world (the one they’re so excited about recreating for us through technology these days) is a far more interesting one with more unbelievable wonders than you could ever dream up.
And it’s there I want to be deeply exploring, constantly waking myself up to the beauty, order, and romance behind everything we see, feel, smell, hear, taste, and experience.
These are the clues. What’s really behind them?