I saw Prince of Persia last week. It’s not going to win any awards but it was a bit of hollywood fluff that didn’t outstay its welcome.
The film follows the exploits of Prince Dastan, a street orphan, who is adopted by King Sharaman of Persia. Through a series of events, he is forced to go on the wrong after being wrongly accused of the murder of his adopted father and comes into possession of a dagger that control time. By pressing the button on the dagger he is able to travel back in time by one minute, but if it is inserted into a certain holy wall then he can travel back as far as he wants.
We’ve done something or said something that we later regret and wish we could go back and sort.
I know I have.
But it got me thinking about a more interesting idea. At the end of the movie (spolier alert) Dastan goes back in time in order to prevent Hell on Earth (quite literally). He has seen what is going to happen and goes back and changes his actions accordingly.
Discussions about God’s divine providence still go on today. How much does God know about what it is going to happen? How much is He in control of events?
The Book of revelation has been often read as a guide to what is going to happen at the end of world. A kind of crystal ball. I’m certainly not convinced that was the aim of John when he wrote it but I understand how people can come to that opinion.
What I do believe is this.
The death and resurrection of Jesus brought about the start of a renewed creation. It showed us we are to partner with God in bringing about this new creation. I believe in the poetry and story of Revelation that one day God will dwell on earth and everything we do now will somehow have meaning then. Because we know how the story will end, we should live accordingly.
Are we about bringing Heaven to earth or Hell to earth?
What kind of world do we hope will exist when God renews everything?
Let’s start working with God to bring about that renewed world now.
This time around what I was most intrigued by was the Joker’s conversation with Harvey ‘Two Face’ in the hospital. He said, and I paraphase slightly, that when things go according to plan, everything is fine. People Don’t react. But when you don’t follow the plan, you bring about chaos.
Christians, by there very focus on the hope of the Resurrection and the eventual return of Christ and the merging of Heaven with Earth do not follow the plan of the world. We see things differently.
Should we then be causing more chaos?
As a youth worker seeking to discuss with young people the hope of Jesus, should I be encouraging them to cause more chaos by the way they act?
To the point, is there such a thing as good chaos?
I immediately thought it was an interesting tool for youth work but then started to think what an interesting tool it was for anyone.
If I could send an e-mail to myself in 2037, what would I want to say? What would I want to remind myself of?
Setting aside the thought that e-mail probably will be long gone by then, what words of advice would I give?
Who knows what kind of person I will be or where I will find myself in 28 years time. I’ll be 54..I know that much. And that’s pretty scary.
At college on Thursday, a lecturer emphasised how important it is to remember the “grace moments” in your life. The times when you just knew something bigger was at work. Maybe it was God. Maybe it wasn’t but…it was something. Something bigger than you. You caught a glimpse of another world.
As a Christian, I think, it’s important to remember those “grace moments”.
When the doubts come. When you’re just not really sure anymore. When you feel lost.
Remember the times when God was with you. That’s what the Israelites did. God reminded them over and over again. I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt. When they were lost. When their nation had been crushed and and they were taken as exiles to Babylon. God reminded them. I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt.
We need those grace moments. We need to hold on to them. Remember when you felt God. When you heard him. Because sometimes that’s all we have. The memories. When science causes us to doubt. When we see oppression and poverty all around us. When we simply ask, “Why God?”. Those are the times when we need those grace moments. To get us through.
For the Jews, it was passover. For Christians it’s the Eucharist. Communion.
We remind ourselves when God showed up.
Maybe that’s what helped Jesus through his “lent” 2000 years ago. During those 40 days in the wildreness. When he was tired. Alone. Away from his family. Away from God.
Maybe he reminded himself of those grace moments. When he communed with the Father. With the Spirit.
We need those grace moments too.
Maybe that’s what I would e-mail myself. All the grace moments in my life. The times when I came face to face with something much bigger than me.
So that I might continue on this journey. So that I might finish the race.
What are your grace moments?