Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Childhood Things

I don't why I thought to think of one of my favourite childhood movies, The Fighting Prince of Donegal. Perhaps it was Rhys' excitement at watching Finding Nemo. But I loved this movie (a Disney movie) and back in those days (the 70's) you didn't rent movies - you waited patiently until the Sunday evening Disney show played it again. I saw it maybe 2 or 3 times but it played out many times in memory in the backyard. I was the fighting prince Hugh O'Donnell liberating the Irish from the oppression of the English.

It's movies like this that cultivated a sense of the romantic in me. I am not a big cry-er. In fact, hardly at all. But if there is something to bring a tear to my eye its moments of achievement against the odds - I will shed a tear watching Olympic medal ceremonies where Kiwis are flying high.

More than that, I sometimes wonder whether it was movies like this with grand themes of freedom, redemption and overcoming the odds that kept alive a spark of what passed for faith in those days. Not faith in anything particular, but faith in transcending the human condition - that there was something more than biological existence. The thought never entered my head because the thoughts in my head were profoundly atheistic. But I can't help but wonder at the sustaining effect of these sorts of dreams.

John 1 describes the world prior to the Word becoming flesh - Jesus:

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. 3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

The passage goes on to say that the true light was coming into the world, but meantime there was this life that was the light of men. I think of it in these terms: just enough light to see that we need more light. In other words we're not left fumbling in the dark for the light switch. There's just enough light to see the difference true light could make.

I think of films like this and the grand themes they encompass as being part of that light for me.

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