Stories that hold our interest involve conflict of one sort or another. Life is in conflict from the lowest one celled creature to great-civilized nations living in technical prosperity beyond imagination. Conflict eliminated thousands of species, unable to survive environmental forces or other life forms competing for the same resources. All life competes, but only humans hurt and kill due to confusion of purpose. Soap operas, and reality shows pit family members, unable to live in harmony with their dearest. Conflict escalates to the neighborhoods, tribes and religions of the world. The crusades ravaged Europe and Ireland hosted religious wars for centuries. The USA has been in conflict since before the Pilgrims landed; cultures in the Mideast and Darfur are killing indiscriminately to this day. Conflict, in this rapidly changing world, surfaces faster than we can anticipate or find solutions for. It is to this world of confusion and chaos that our Father in heaven still offers a way to be still and live in harmony—if we will submit to his perfect will.
Our Creator knows us better than we know ourselves, each other, or the entire civilized world. Conflict began with fallen angels, and Adam and Eve set the stage for the state of mankind’s conflict; each story reminiscent of original sin—conflict with the will of God. Biblical stories tell of men who loved God and wanted to do his will but their own struggles got in the way. Whether in the Garden of Eden or on that day in Jerusalem, steeped in the clash of brutal intersecting cultures, they held on to their own selfish interests, traditions, and history of bloody sinful conflict. Before and since, every nation and culture has been built on greed, power, conflict and war—sadly between the world’s great religions as well.
Wonderfully, on the first day that man and woman chose conflict with God’s perfect will, God put His Perfect Plan in motion to send His Son, who was of Himself. So God visited us in a form that we could hopefully ‘understand’ and thus be taught without any confusion or conflicting interpretations. Simply put—He loves His created ones, and wants us to love and know Him, and His will for us. Each one is so important that a plan was conceived the moment of our ‘conception.’ All humans have the same basic plan, only their unique gifts add variety and completion to the whole.
Conflict lives because of the fall, as the Eagles sing, “It’s a long way from Eden.” There is hope by knowing the savior and give our conflict to Him, and to die with Him on the cross, even though that was long ago. God sees all events in real time and unfolds His will as He sees appropriate, and He’ll end the conflict in our lives if we submit and surrender to His perfect will.
This is why conflict in stories and books is so important. We can’t escape unless we surrender. Good stories must call to fallen creatures—it’s what we’ve made of ourselves. The story must begin with the fall, and be true to that reality, or it fails to serve and give God the glory for Creation, and His Grace.
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