Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thoughtful About . . . Suspending Disbelief

Last night, as we were flipping through the TV, we came across a new-ish show. It's another of those reality shows, this one following an archaeologist and writer who specializes in symbols. Who, naturally, is jetting around the world in search of lost legends. Like a real-life Indiana Jones.

Yeah, sure.

We watched this for about half an hour, mostly, I think, so we could laugh at some of the leaps the dude made. What, you found a 6th century sword? Then obviously it was Arthur's! I mean, why not? You connected three dots so seamlessly . . .

But as I shook my head, I also enjoyed the premise on some level. And thought, not for the first time, that it's kind of a shame we've been conditioned to doubt everything. Because wouldn't it be fun to think that Arthur really was the king of legend, and Excalibur was lying around England somewhere, waiting to be found? Wouldn't it be fun to think that there are artifacts so worth questing for?

There are, in a sense--items that, if found, could enrich our history or shed new light on old stories. But do any of us believe, anymore, that those legends have the magic (for a lack of a better word) in them? Not really. And I kinda wish we did.

Sure, I read with amazement how the Ancient Greeks imbued everything with mythology. And as a Christian, I have definite beliefs about where the supernatural comes from. But sometimes I wish we could wind back the clock of time so that I could believe more easily--and not just the legendary tales of magic swords or wishing stones. I'm pretty sure that, without the skepticism and "intellectualism" we're taught all our lives, we'd believe a lot more about our God as well. Maybe, if we were more disposed to believe in miracles, we'd see more of them.

I've talked about this before in various ways, but watching someone quest for Excalibur last night brought it up again. I'm not always willing to suspend disbelief for a half hour TV show--and yet, it's when I can that I begin to see things in the world I never noticed before. Things that make me smile, make me raise my hands to heaven, and make me thank my Lord for creating a world beyond which I can normally see.

Do I believe Merlin used magic to weld an ancient sword back together, one which could not be defeated, which first came out of a stone? No. But I do believe that with faith, we can triumph over our enemies. Sometimes in ways that are called miracles . . . or which become the stuff of legends.


  1. Sad, but true. I wish-sometimes-the same.


  2. Great post!
    Faith, the thing that we can depend on.

  3. Your post made me miss cable and channel flipping and all that stuff. Sniff, sniff.

    I heard Pioneer Woman is getting her own show on Food Network... That might break my resolve.