jpmurad

History, Belief Systems and Pressing Onward

In Onward on December 12, 2008 at 12:24 pm

After writing a page and a half of my story, I wandered over to the magazine rack to explore some of the current titles.  A picture on National Geographic caught my attention; sandstone ruins set on a canyon rim peaked my interest.  Over the past few months, I felt an emerging interest in the Middle East.  Interest in languages, culture, deeper roots of Christianity (and religions in general).  I cannot help but notice a growing apathy toward Christianity in the western practice.  Authors such as Rob Bell and JR Woodward have begun exploring the depthful roots, which led to our current traditions and practices.

As it turned out, the article matching the picture highlighted the life and times of Kind Herod.  As the author was quick to point out, this was the same Herod said to have slaughtered hundreds of babies in attempt to kill the prophesied Christ child.  Accounted for in the gospel of Matthew, Herod appears to have been a very paranoid ruler.  The writer of the article recanted this biblical account by saying that Herod “was almost certainly not responsible for such acts.”

Though I felt mildly defensive, the irony of the writer’s claim struck me almost immediately.  The next few sentences of the article uncovered that Herod was responsible for the death’s of several of his family members.  (Certainly, this could not be the same man…)  But, before I get too far into my defensiveness another observation came to mind about myself.  When I want to believe something, I am prone to look for evidence to prove my rightness.  At an instinctual level, I think to myself, ‘what good is a person that wonders without any authority?’  (Somehow, authority comes from my rightness)  I hope you see the inconsistency.

The point is, people can look for evidence of what they already believe, rather than approaching evidence with wonder.  If I was convinced that a man named Jesus lived, died  and was of no consequence, then I am pretty sure I could establish evidence, however patchy, to support my claim.  Before disillusionment takes over this posting, I just wanted to make the observation that history requires faith.  History books have been written from different belief systems, values and backgrounds.

Onward.  Writing a book requires a certain amount of singularity of thought.  Though I am tempted to explore other languages, cultures and stories; I am compelled to stay true to the story I began.  Watching the first season of 24 has only added to my need for closure.  The writers are like modern torture artists; drawing out a slow death to the story.  My need for closure drives me to further episodes.

All that to say the story is coming along.  My wife has been a huge point of encouragement and grace as these initial days feel like a dramatic shift.  I would also thank all others whose words of encouragement, prayer and attitudes toward my writing have been a huge blessing.

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