Life Lessons Learned From Fantasy Tag

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I hope you all are enjoying the celebration of Fantasy is February Month as much as I am! And what’s more fun at a celebration than some games? So here’s one! It was inspired by my blogging buddy Tracey over at Adventure Awaits, as she recently wrote a post about the importance of fiction, which resonated with me – and I thought we could turn the idea into a game of tag.

Rules:

1. Link back to my blog

2. Use the image above

3. Tell us 5-10 lessons you’ve learned from reading a fantasy book (or watching a fantasy movie) – lessons can come from multiple sources, as well, of course

4. Tag 2-4 other bloggers to keep the game going

And that’s it! Pretty simple, right?

Here are mine:

C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe showed through allegory the absolute beauty of the sacrificial love my Savior has for me. It also taught me that redemption is available to even the worst of traitors.

Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time taught me that love is truly the greatest weapon at our disposal. Evil and darkness cannot exist long in its light. Another story that hammered this point home in a different way was…

J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, which taught me many things – and I could write a whole series of posts on that, but here are a few. It taught me that size, position, authority, and status have no bearing on the courage in one’s heart, but that heroes can come from anywhere. It taught me that old bitternesses can be laid aside and covered in forgiveness for the sake of a greater cause. It taught me that even the mightiest may fall prey to temptation. It also taught me that even the strongest temptation can be overcome and atoned for. It taught me that, when times get hard and I am tempted to despair because evil seems so prevalent and far-reaching that “there is good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.”

Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman’s The Death Gate Cycle taught me about the dangers of predisposed notions and arrogance. It taught me that no one is too far gone to make the right decision, and that redemption is attainable for all.

Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s Tales of Goldstone Wood continually teach me about the “still, small voice of the Holy Spirit” and the benefits of following His lead even when the path may make no sense. They have also taught me about redemption, forgiveness, and self-sacrifice.

J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series has taught me about true friendship, about remaining loyal and sticking by someone even when it’s hard, and how to persevere.

John Bibee’s Spirit Flyer Series taught me about spiritual warfare and how to be vigilant against the schemes of the enemy. It taught me that Jesus broke the chains of sin and darkness, but that sometimes it is in our nature to pick up those chains and wrap them around our necks once more, broken locks and all… but that we need not despair, because those locks ARE broken, and he will continue to deliver us… that sanctification is something that is worked out throughout our lives, and only finished completely on the other side of the veil.

Terry Brooks’ Magic Kingdom of Landover series has taught me that sorrow does not last forever and that joy can be had in the aftermath. It also taught me about the importance of perseverance in the face of difficulties.

Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files have been a very unexpected source of teaching what a true Christian walk should look like, and how a quiet steadfastness can affect and influence the people around us, even (and sometimes especially) unbelievers.

C.S. Lewis’ The Last Battle taught me to look forward to heaven with eager anticipation because there we shall realize the “beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”

 

These are just a fraction of the lessons I have learned while reading and watching fantasy. And these just from fantasy… as I have learned many lessons from other genres of fiction as well.

Now I tag:

Deborah @ Road of a Writer

DJ Edwardson

Madeline J Rose @ Short and Snappy

Liv K Fisher @ Whispers on the Wind

~ jenelle

11 Comments

DJ Edwardson

Great lessons. I especially appreciate the imagery you use about picking up broken chains and lashing them around our neck. How foolish we are!

It’s really neat to see you list them all out in a row like this. I don’t think we often reflect on just how profound and wonderful the messages we receive from books are.

Thanks for creating this game and tagging me. I’m off to cook up something…fantastical!

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jenelle

Thanks! I highly recommend the Spirit Flyer series if you haven’t read it. SO GOOD.

Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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Deborah O'Carroll

Lovely post! I love all of these. :) So, so good! <3 (Currently at a loss as to how to do this one… my mind is drawing a blank as to specifics, even though I KNOW fantasy has taught me so much… urgh. :P) Great tag, and thanks for tagging me!

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sarahtps

I quite like this post!

I am curious about your mention of the Dresden Files for two reasons. First, would you recommend the series? I’ve been thinking about giving it a try for a couple years now, but wasn’t certain because I didn’t know anyone else who’d read it. Second, how exactly did it teach you about what the Christian walk should look like? I’m fairly certain it’s not a Christian series.

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jenelle

Thank you.

As far as your question on Dresden Files: Would I recommend it?

No.

Not without a lot of caveats. It’s kind of like Firefly that way. I love it… but I don’t recommend it without reservations, or to just any audience. It is extremely well-written. The characters are engaging, the stories are complex and fast-paced, and the plots are truly enjoyable. I love the way they are a combination of mystery and fantasy and myth/legend, and I love that the setting is Chicago (my original home area). I love the very witty humor that the book is absolutely filled with.

However, there are a lot of very dark themes I would not recommend to a younger audience. There are a few scenes throughout the series that I skip over that I would not recommend to anyone, and particularly to an unmarried individual. There is a lot of violence, and some swearing/cussing that is heavier in some of the books (the second one in particular… the first one there wasn’t much, which made its appearance in book 2 feel like a slap in the face… which the author or the publisher must have gotten negative feedback on, because he tones it way back down in books 3 and on).

You are correct, Dresden Files is not at all a Christian series. I have no idea if Jim Butcher is a Christian, but if he isn’t, it is obvious that he has at least read a lot of the Bible or studied Christianity or had some sort of Christian influence in his life or done some large amount of research. I say this because my favorite character in the story (a man named Michael) is a devout Christian/Catholic. He is quite literally a Warrior For the Lord (something like that is his official title). And his interactions with Dresden and his steadfast faith in the Lord and his love for his friend while constantly gently trying to point him towards God (despite Dresden not really wanting anything to do with religion) is extremely powerful. He has some of the best and most powerful lines in the series, and though he is not the main character, he is the most compelling character by far. Particularly as he is seen and told through the eyes of Dresden, who is NOT a Christian, but has a deep respect for Michael and wants him to think well of him. I think the parts of the story where he does talk about God (and always with deep respect and astonishing truth) are even more powerful because the story isn’t a Christian one… because it’s so unexpected deepens its impact. If that makes sense. I wish I had some of the quotes of his that I love written down… because I feel like sharing them would help this answer make more sense.

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Madeline J. Rose

Thanks for the tag! ^_^ I will definitely have to do this one! *starts thinking of a list of books*

And I totally agree with the Chronicles of Narnia. I read them a lot when I was younger, but I never realized up until now that they had such a beautiful allegory of the Gospel. It’s really amazing. <3

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E. E. Rawls

Love this tag, Jenelle! Can’t wait to do mine this week. :) Tolkien was a huge inspiration to me. In fact, LOTR is what got me into reading and writing fantasy, in the first place!

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