Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers,
but to be fearless in facing them.
Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain,
but for the heart to conquer it.

- Rabindranath Tagore

Inspirational Music

Sunday, February 24, 2013

First time, again

Do you ever wish you could go back and watch a film for the first time again? I do with certain films. The ones whose twist was spectacularly unexpected or those which are unique and groundbreaking. For example, I would very much like to go back and see The Matrix again because I was mesmerized by it. It was like nothing I'd ever watched. To name a few more of this kind for myself: The Dark Knight with Heath Ledger's performance of the Joker, Casablanca because it's Casablanca, or Alien with its bone chilling terror. On the other hand, I would love to be able to see certain films for the first time again because the plot twists are so well crafted that your jaw drops to the floor when the filmmakers unveil the truth. I will only list a few of this type, and only ones I assume most people have viewed. If you're anything like me, knowing there is a twist ruins half the fun. This list includes films like The Shawshank Redemption, Fight Club, and The Usual Suspects. Can you imagine being able to experience these kinds of things for the first time again?

I was listening to hymns this morning and something stuck out to me while listening to "In Christ Alone" which was written by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty. It's been performed by multiple artists to varying success, but here is a video of a version that I particularly like:

The song has an incredible degree of narrative strength in my opinion. By that, I mean that when the third verse begins you almost feel the sadness that comes with The Christ being dead and buried because the song has already introduced you to him. I realized that this hymn, and many more, reflect something of the story of redemption we find in the Bible: Birth. Ministry. Death. Resurrection. My "ah ha" moment was when I realized how badly I wish I could reread one of the gospels for the first time. To be able to read about Christ's life without any iota of contextualization or Christian culture, nothing. I want be completely mesmerized by his death and even more blown away by the twist ending: The Resurrection. I have realized that I never had this experience to begin with--I don't doubt that few, if any, American Christians can say they have. What a pity that we've eliminated one of the sweetest narrative experiences from our faith.


I was about to publish this and couldn't find it in me to leave you on that last note. So I will end with a quandary for you. Albert Einstein said, "All religions, arts, and sciences are branches of the same tree." This guy was pretty smart, but he was also human. With that in mind, my question is "What aspects of this statement are true and which are false?" (This would be a great time to leave a comment, I would really like to hear some "foreign thoughts" on this.)


Carmen* said...

They all branch from the same tree of "the search for truth." They have been discovered, created, happened upon

Carmen* said...

And acted upon by our human natures desire to seek out and interact with Truth. Not all of them are truth but all come from the depths of that desire. We are the trees and they are our branches. From each of them bears fruit. Some of them good, others, not good. Some of them truth, others a synthetic experience mimicking truth (plastic fruit bowl kinds of fruit.) Same tree, not the same thing.