Slaking our thirst for Resolution: Music, Films and Stories that Resolve

 

We find satisfaction when music resolves.  Just a tinge at times, but sometimes it goes deep, touching on our need for harmony and resolution.  And when we watch a film with heightened tension and intense conflict, we can have a physical reaction and a sense of euphoria at the end when it resolves.
Have you ever thought about how quickly we move from one experience, unresolved conflict or unexpected circumstance to another often without taking the time to really reflect and process what is going on?  So how do our souls stay nourished and healthy without carrying emotional baggage, becoming bitter or emotionally numb?  We don’t want to end up like Macbeth thinking “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”  
Our lives are played out with a certain metanarrative or great story in mind, a sort of script in front our eyes.  Our worldview is not always as decisively formed as we would hope to believe because we are subtly influenced by culture, the prevailing winds seeking to knock us off course if we have embraced Christ and the cross.  Every story has conflict, but only through our life in Christ do we experience the strange irony of peaceful resolution right in the midst of our struggles.  And not only that, but a crazy joy, which only makes sense when we consider the might and goodness of our God lovingly leading us through.  However, if we aren’t decisive about what influences us, culture will.  If we don’t make disciples, culture will.  It will prey on our desires, programming us to think we should find instant gratification and quick resolution.  According to Alan Hirsch, we are bombarded by consumerism, deriving our meaning, identity, purpose and belonging through the consumption of products.  
We need to be careful that we disciple people to follow Jesus, not simply to become consumers of Christianity who seek to get their needs met without understanding that Jesus is Lord of our lives.  Discipleship is becoming more and more like Jesus.  Hirsch said “In the Hebrew mind, the way you worship is to obey.”  Disciples are willing to pay the price and obey because they are in love with their Lord.  They aren’t worshiping their own dreams or scripts of how God will meet their needs and fulfill them.  Our sense of meaning, identity, purpose and belonging comes from knowing and following Jesus together with the community of believers.  But it is important to know that as we follow Him we will encounter conflict.  Jesus is in the boat with us through the height of the storm, the cusp of the conflict.  And He is the resolution residing within us.
“And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him.  And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.  And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?” (Matt. 8:23-27)

The same question applies to us today: why are we afraid, where is our faith?  Let’s get to know the powerful God who became man to save us, who gets in the boat with us and calms the storm.  Our faith isn’t in ourselves, the boat, or the weather patterns.  Our faith is in God Almighty, creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus our Lord.  
Sometimes our stories don’t resolve in our lifetime.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a theologian, a man of great faith, and a co-conspirator to overthrow Hitler.  His hope for resolution extended to the next generation because he was killed only a few weeks before Germany was liberated from Hitler’s diabolical rule.  Concerning Hitler’s assuming supreme command over Germany, Eric Metaxas wrote “But now Hindenburg was gone, and the German people found themselves far from shore, alone in a boat with a madman.”  But even in a country ruled by a madman, Jesus is in the boat with those who are His, giving peace, joy and hope.  Bonhoeffer enjoyed a vibrant relationship with Jesus throughout his trials and his life and teachings speak to us today.  
When we experience conflict and trials, we can ask ourselves these questions to find out if our hearts are inclined towards God and if our souls are being nourished by God and His Word.
  • Am I studying the Bible daily?
  • Am I growing closer to God?
  • Do I have a deep understanding of God’s presence, power, and love for me?
  • Am I learning to identify with others and comfort them in their trials?
  • Am I learning to love others better?
  • Am I determined to stay the course?
  • Am I living in community with other believers?
  • Am I a disciple who is making disciples?
  • Is my sense of meaning, identity, purpose and belonging defined by God or the culture around me?
  • Is this a time to re-evaluate and seek the direction God has for me?
And here is where our ultimate hope, our ultimate resolution rests:

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’ And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’ And he said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.’ ”  (Rev. 21:3-6)
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One Comment Add yours

  1. Auntea says:

    I love the Hebrew thought that to worship is to obey. Thanks for these encouraging words that were so needed this week. Sometime it feels as if I go from one trial to the next instead of from glory to glory. I spent a long time in the Word and prayer this morning and then read this too. To be today, is to obey.

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