Lately, Noah seems to keep popping in on me. We rented “Evan Almighty” the other day, about the same time I finished “Many Waters” by M. L’Engle. It’s funny… I’ve heard the story of Noah so many times, I could tell it in my sleep. To be honest, it had become more of a children’s story than something applicable in my own life. I wasn’t intentionally setting out to change that, but recent entertainment pursuits landed me with a fresh look on Noah.
I rented “Evan Almighty”, because I liked “Bruce Almighty”, and Steve Carell makes me laugh. King Pen wasn’t all that enthused, because of the over the top humor. He likes something a little more subtle, which I can understand. But, sometimes you just need something easy, ya know? It was one of those nights I didn’t wanna think too hard about my movie, I wanted to veg out. So we popped it in, and it was just the ticket. But in the midst of laughing over Evan’s predicaments, I found something profound. Between the silliness of an evergrowing beard and sheep in the backseat, you can see that the death of pride is the beginning of obedience. Evan was utterly, completely, humiliated before his peers, which made for lots of good jokes, but it made you feel bad for the guy. He fought God’s calling, and each time he refused, he only made it worse. And when he finally did succumb to God’s plan, he was mocked even more. He was the laughing stock of the nation. Much, I’m sure, as the real Noah was. Surely Noah had to care a little bit about his ruined reputation. Surely the jeers of the people had to sting a bit. Evan’s humiliation may have been exaggerated for comedic purposes, but Noah’s was real, and I’m sure it was painful. His pride was an obstacle he had to overcome, in order to take up the hammer. He willingly faced the mockery of the world to follow God. He let go of his pride, and walked in obedience. And look what God did with that.
In a different vein, reading “Many Waters” was also enlightening. In this book, the twins accidentally stumble into one of their father’s time experiments, and end up back in the days of Noah, right before the flood. It was intriguing. It is an adult (or rather, young adult) telling of the story, where Noah and his family are imperfect but trying, where the world is wicked, where angels and unicorns and mythical beasts all play a part, where fallen angels seek to deceive and distract. It was a bit grittier than the Sunday school lessons of the past, and I found myself thinking of it for days after I finished the last page.
So, the other day, when Czarina brought up Noah for some reason or another, I answered her questions with enthusiasm, with a passion that I have not felt for this story in many years, if ever. I was surprised to realize how enouraged I am now by Noah, by the lengths he was willing to go to obey God. This story for children, of cute little animals peeking out of the windows of the ark, of a happy rainbow painting the sky– this story is for ME. When perilous waters rise around us, it is our obedience that keeps us safely floating in the waves, safely floating in God’s will. Noah’s obedience built the ark, and the ark was salvation from a watery grave. It was Pride and Disobedience that perished in the flood, and I will remember that when I see the sign of the rainbow in the sky. I will remember the faithfulness of Noah, and I will be encouraged by it.
Anyway, just a few thoughts there I wanted to share. Not sure if that all came together the way I intended, but maybe I’ll come back to it later. For now, the Matrix is on, and I can’t ignore it any longer! Must watch.