Tigana is a story of a people reclaiming their inheritance. Guy Gavriel Kay has ensorcelled me with his mighty tale. But more on the book later.
Apropos of Kay’s novel and Doug Wilson’s exegesis on Psalm 2 (disparate sources, but that’s how my mind works)—
In the last few years I’ve found myself drawn more and more strongly to the heroic, the mythic, the legendary. In stories, music, and imagery, they are all clarion calls to my heart and stir up a longing for the ineffable. For something wondrous I can see, that stands just beyond me and beckons me to come. In the midst of life that sometimes feels like an endless ploughing of the earth, seeing nothing but the dirt in front of me — the legends cry: Look up!
Look up at the sky, look up to the far mountains. There is more beyond this life! And even greater: there is more to what you are doing now, even if it is just earth and fallow dirt before your eyes. Don’t you see that you are in the Promised Land, and because you ploughed your ground with faithfulness, it shall one day cover the whole world?
I’ve just begun reading the tale called the Love of Christ; but I’ve been in this other book for at least a couple years already: the tale of God the Master Storyteller.
The Lord said to me, “You are my Son;
today I have begotten you.
Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.
Why are such fantasy novels so powerful and moving? Tigana, Riddle-Master, The Lord of the Rings… the heart of these stories are of Alessan, Morgon and Aragorn discovering their true natures, and reclaiming their inheritances and lordship. So it is with us: so we read those stories, and long for what we have lost.
Mighty though those tales are, they are only shadows of the reality. Even more glorious is the story that God first told in his Son, and is now telling in his Church, in individual lives. Don’t we all want to be heroes of our own stories? And so shall we be. But who is telling the story?
The heroes in the story never know where they are going or how it will turn out in the end.
It may suffice for fantasy novels, but in the story of life all authors fall short, including myself, for we know not the end or how to get there. But God is the Master Storyteller, he knows the beginning from the end for he wrote it first in Jesus, and he knows how to get there — and tell an amazing yarn in the meantime. And just like his own story, our lives will end in glory, perfection, and full inheritance.
Even as the heroes journey through the dark, fraught, perilous times, we the readers know how it will end. People of God, whose lives are still being written by the Master Storyteller: can we possibly look at our own stories and see the same ending?
Ever since I had this revelation, I’ve had more and more peace, gratitude and wonder in my heart, that overcomes fear and anxiety about the future, the unknown. Life is wonderful! In the great deeds and small details, God is telling a good story in me. And when the days just seem like I’m staring at and ploughing the ground before me, I can still raise my eyes to the mountains and look to the sky, and that yearning in my heart tells me that there is more to be written yet.