Thursday, July 01, 2010

An appointment with destiny

"It is said that some lives are joined through time, connected by a powerful calling to a higher purpose... Destiny."

So begins and ends "Prince of Persia: Sands of Time" (or words to that effect... my memory at this hour isn't great).

The movie itself was really good (see the end of this post), although G thinks the ending is a bit weak. But I want to talk about those words, not really discuss the movie in too much depth.

"It is said that some lives are joined through time, connected by a powerful calling to a higher purpose." I think that pretty much sums up what the true Christian community through the ages is. Our lives are joined through time to Christ, and to each other. We have a powerful calling on our lives, one that may demand we sacrifice our dignity, our pride, our comfort, our homes, our families, our jobs, even our lives, to the higher purpose of growing His kingdom and saving this world. I know that's not how the movie wants you to think about it - after all, this it is fantasy. But that doesn't stop those words from being literally true as well as fantastically true.

Destiny. Do you believe in it? Do you believe that fate and destiny are the same thing?

I believe in destiny in as much as I believe that before I was born God had already created good works for me to do. I don't believe in fate though: I believe in God-incidences. And yes, the Bible teaches that we are both free to choose Christ, and that we have been predestined (i.e. chosen by God before the beginning of time) to choose Christ. I'm not quite sure how free will and predestination work together at the same time, but they do. It's one of the mysteries of Christian spirituality. I believe that I was destined to love Christ and destined to follow him (and that I chose to do so out of my own free will).

Let's be honest: most of the time, I'm rubbish at doing either. Most of the time, my own comfort and desires and pressing demands are far more urgent and immediate, or even important, than following Christ. Most of the time, I'm in the driver's seat, not God.

But every now and then I have an appointment with destiny, an appointment with God, where he reminds me that, um, actually? He's God and I'm me.

Today was not one of those days.

But seeing those words on the screen, I meditated on them. I was reminded that my life is meant to be one of service to THE king, that I am a gate-keeper to THE Truth, and that THAT kind of life is actually one of the greatest honours that could be bestowed upon a human.

The lead female character (I'm useless with names, sorry) was a guardian and a princess. So am I. (All Christians are princes or princesses, btw.)

There was no better way for her than living her life in service to the gods, and ultimately in being prepared to offer up her life, even if it meant being misunderstood by others. If truth be told, the same is true for me. It's just that I choose to ignore that most of the time.

Having been reminded about all that, maybe going to see this film today was an appointment with destiny after all.

But, philosophy aside, go and see the movie - it's still a great film and one I think I'd like to get on DVD. Good special effects in places, great fights, some witty humour, a fabulous love story, one or two interesting plot twists and (I thought, at least) a just & happy ending. Pity real life can't be as awesome as fantasy movies!

(... or can they? Maybe we just aren't seeing the ending, and we're still in the throes of going through the horrible scary bits in the middle, so this doesn't feel like the happy-ever-after we see on the Big Screen.)
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