First off, let me start off by apologizing for the long gap between posts. I made the move from Campus Minister in Cincinnati to Preaching Minister in Middletown/Franklin, Ohio. It’s been a bittersweet, yet amazing new adventure that God is leading me and my darling, Kristy on. That being said, let’s get into it. Also, this blog is going to take a different sort-of direction. It’s still Christ-centered, but since I’m not using this space to write bulletin articles, I can be a little more abstract or adventurous…or just boring.
Like the rest of the world I have read Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Game Trilogy. To be honest, I had looked at this book long ago and couldn’t get past the description on the back cover. It seemed kind of cliche to me; Post-Apocalyptic America, harsh condition, gladiatorial like games – basically a description of North Korea (totally kidding, but unfortunately some truth to it). However, my wife started reading them and she read the trilogy in less than a week. Now, she did the same with The Twilight Saga and I also read those as well…sub-par but entertaining literature.
So my lovely bride convinces me to read these books, and I ended up reading the entire trilogy faster than just about any single book I’ve ever read in my life. The details were vivid, the characters were people you wanted to know, and the story line wasn’t about sparkling vampires making out with self-conscious teens in rural Washington State.
Anywho, it captivated me, so I went and saw the movie. It was very true to the book, in my opinion. However, I’m not here to write a book report. There are some themes and issues that smacked me up side the head throughout the books and movie that really draw in some incredible conclusions.
For a great blog on some of these thoughts check out Brant Hansen’s blog over at Air1.com: http://tinyurl.com/cgctu7x.
Brant Hansen says, “Every teenage girl, it seems, wants to be Katniss.” I would go even further and say that every person,deep down wants to be Katniss Everdeen. She’s a non-conformist. She’s true to herself. She doesn’t care what anyone thinks about her. She’s had a horrific childhood, she’s the sole provider for her family, and she’s tough.
She has something that most people lack: integrity.
She steps up and takes her baby sister’s place for the Hunger Games. She’s plucked immediately from everything she knew and thrown into a strange world of luxury, TV interviews, and the universe’s largest Death Match. She’s pushed to the limits; she’s beaten down; she’s threatened, she’s pugnacious. She’s taken to the point of death more times than we’ll ever know…and she gets right back up and fights.
She’s a woman of her word and I think that means something. She saw evil, and instead like so many of us who will wince at it and ignore it, she stood up and said, “Bring it.” She’s reminiscent of Rocky Balboa, Luke Skywalker, and so many other legends and heroes. These people are remembered even though they are completely fiction because they embody what we so badly want to be – real, authentic, loyal, and true to ourselves.
There are two Scriptures that sum up Katniss, and hopefully can sum up us as well:
33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. (Matthew 5:33-37, NIV)
Integrity – standing by your word. Do you do it? Have you neglected it? How are going to restore it? Integrity is so essential to our walk with God. Why? Because we can pretend all we want, but God KNOWS the real us…and He knows when we’re faking it so to speak. Don’t make promises you can’t keep and keep the promises you make. There’s too much of the opposite around today.
Another Scripture is this:
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Gal. 1:10, NIV).
People pleasing will kill you. I know because I’ve lived it. Here, Paul is encouraging us through a personal example and telling us that the only one we need to strive to please is God – no one else matters. Be who God made you – you’re unique! No one can take that away form you except you. Don’t give yourself up or sell yourself off to make someone else happy – make God happy!
Where have the men and women of integrity gone? Where did trustworthiness and loyalty sneak off to? Where did freedom get overlooked? Maybe we would do good to look at Katniss Everdeen, that dirt-stained teenager from a coal-mining town.
Stand up – You’ve been chosen. May the odds be ever in your favor.