November 07, 2011
A culture’s ultimate desire can often be observed at the end of a movie. Watching the Chinese film, Hero, displays ultimate honor. Perhaps the Persian film The Color of Paradise could be articulated as a desire for belonging. But I’m relating with the new TV show “Once Upon a Time” (written by the writers of “Lost”), which clearly articulates a desire for a happy ending. That is, of course, the ending of every fairy tale. But this particular show has drawn more out than a simple “happily ever after.”
What draws us to happy endings? Dr. Gwenfair Adams teaches my class called Dynamics of the Spiritual Life. The first day of class we set the context for studying the dynamics in our own individual spiritual lives within a story arch she calls our mallon or more and more story line. It is our individual expression of the hapax or once-and-for-all story line that Scripture depicts. Allow me to explain…
The desire of the hapax story of Scripture is for the Creator God to be in perfect relationship with his creation. It is a story of conflict against the enemy of sin and death overcome by the protagonist, Christ. In light of the hapax, then, we delve into our own mallon stories, seeing how our own life aims toward the ultimate desire of being re-united with Christ and re-created into the perfect image of our Creator. Our testimonies serve as witnesses of the ultimate Author and the consummation of the world to come. This is the story that the history of the world is telling.
So, then, it is no surprise that I have noticed a trend in media lately articulating a craving for a happy ending complete with evil vanquished and perfect love restored. I am seeing that the characters in this TV show are articulating the once-and-for-all desires of our world. The writers have actually written, “believing in the possibility of a happy ending is a very powerful thing” and “good will always win.” I am drawn to watch and re-watch the episodes, looking for glimpses of the finale in which evil will be vanquished and life brought back at the instigation of true love. So when I see a simple, silver cross hanging from the neck of Snow White (she really is wearing a cross in the show), I can’t help but think, Do the writers know the hapax story?
Where do you see the desire for a happy ending being articulated in our culture?