by Lee Duigon
I’m tired of writing nooze, tired of reading it, tired of watching Democrats murder my country by inches. So today I’m going to write about my books instead—because I think there’s a lesson in them somewhere, if I can coax it out.
When my twelfth “Bell Mountain” book, “His Mercy Endureth Forever,” came out last year, a few reviewers suggested that the series was getting stale, the stories didn’t grab them anymore: that the time had come to put it to bed, grant the good guys final victory, and let them all go home and live happily ever after. After all, Tolkien did it with “Lord of the Rings.” He ended the story with all the villains beaten down and only the good guys left standing.
If only it could be that way.
In “Bell Mountain” the protagonists plod along through good times and bad, weathering one crisis after another, doing their best to please God, although the world sometimes seems to fight them every step of the way. Once upon a time, this pattern was called “history.”
History doesn’t stop, which means I don’t have the power to grant my fantasy characters a final victory. An author can’t do just anything he pleases, or the story won’t ring true.
Was World War II a final victory? Hardly. The Axis powers were crushed, Hitler and Mussolini dead, the Japanese Imperial Navy at the bottom of the ocean; but it was no final victory. Almost immediately, the world war was replaced by the Cold War. Korea, Vietnam, the Middle East—the Cold War had its hot spells. Not to mention the domestic crises which each and every country in the world has to endure. They come, they go, and new ones take their place.
History continues. The Byzantine Empire, after some 300 years of war, finally defeated and, for all practical purposes, wrecked the Sassanian Persian Empire. They struck gold and silver medals to celebrate it. But the same emperor was still in office when Islam broke out of the deserts of Arabia and crashed against the walls of Constantinople. That war went on until the Turks took the city in 1453; and then the war moved on to Europe. The Turks’ empire was finally wiped out by World War I.
But as Christians we believe there is a final victory—not ours, won by us, but God’s, won by Jesus Christ. He has already won it, spiritually. It will be completed on the earth when He returns. The Book of Revelation gives us a glimpse of what His final victory will look like. And then, as C.S. Lewis once suggested, the greater story, the greater history, will really begin.
We don’t know when that will happen. God has not told us that. He has not let us see His calendar. We aren’t mature enough for that.
So we work. We plod on through good times and bad, wars and rumors of wars, crisis after crisis: we work to spread the good news of the Gospel, to give hope to a fallen world and light to the darkness. There is still great wickedness afoot, and we have to deal with it. And there will be times when it seems there is no path to victory. But God knows otherwise.
Our God is the god of history: He rules it, and from time to time, intervenes in it. It’s heaped high with the wreckage of evil empires and would-be masters of the world, dead with their delusions.
We can’t begin to imagine what the Father has in store for us, once His creation is renewed and Christ’s throne established on the earth, freed from sin and death. It’s well beyond our grasp. What more will He have for us to do?
Given that He has the entire universe at His disposal, there will be more than enough scope for any future history.
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