Posts Tagged ‘Stephen King’

utdFirst a confession, I hate horror. I’ve never willingly watched a horror movie and walked out on the one that was on in my house (edited for TV) because even that was too much. As such, I really had no interest in reading Stephen King. Then a year or two ago, I read his book 11/22/63 because the concept seemed interesting and it seemed he was veering away from horror. For the most part he did in that book and it was a really thought-provoking read.

I assumed he would do the same with Under the Dome. I watched the first season of the CBS series based on the book, so before vacation, I picked up a copy to read on the beach. I really liked the series I figured the book would fill in some of the details and prepare me for the coming series. I doubt that is the case. This book is wildly different from the series.

Did I like it? That’s a tough question. There were several to many times where I seriously considered quitting it as some parts were so gratuitous, that I felt I had no business reading it. At times I felt it was needlessly gory and at other times, needlessly dirty. There is one thing to be sure, King knows how to let you know a character is capable of great evil. It’s a well written page turner beyond a doubt, I read all 1,074 pages in just under two weeks, but I cannot recommend it, because I know many would find it extremely offensive. That being said for every time I thought, “Oh, Stephen, why did you go there?” I also thought “How is he going to redeem this?” and “What is going to happen next?”

More than anything else though, what kept me reading is what he did with the main villain, Big Jim Rennie. You see one of the ways that the TV series differs from the book is that in the book, Rennie is a “Christian”, a bible quoting, “God-fearing Christian” convinced that everything that is happening is “God’s will.” Before the dome comes down to separate the town, his town, from the rest of the world, he’s a shifty egomaniacal big fish in a small pond, who thinks manufacturing Methamphetamine is okay because he uses the money (well some of the money) for the good of the town. After the dome, with no one to stop him, he tries to become “emperor” killing anyone who gets in the way of him doing “God’s will.” I think this is what hit me more than anything. There is this huge exploration of situational ethics, doing the wrong thing for the “right reason” at play in the pages of Under the Dome. And Big Jim’s actions show the disastrous results of combining this line of thinking with a misguided faith.

To me this book says when it comes to God’s will, we all need to check ourselves before we wreck ourselves. You see the danger of seeking God’s will isn’t God, it’s us. The Bible says the heart is deceitful above all things, and it can be really easy for us to assume that “God’s will” is whatever we want. The reality is God’s will is for us to want what He wants. We need to know and be in the Word and use the Word to guide our will to God’s.

Romans 12 gives the guidance and lets us know how to discern God’s will. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” God’s will and the ways of the world are nearly always diametrically opposed. While I can’t recommend this book, and I have no idea of whether or not this was King’s motivation, Under the Dome challenged me to test the motivations of my heart before assuming God’s will is whatever I want to do. In that respect it was worth the read.

I’ve been wanting to post this for a while but I wasn’t sure how to proceed. One of the gifts I received for Christmas was Stephen King’s new novel 11-22-63. It was 849 pages and I read it in right around 2 weeks. It’s an amazing page turner, though I should warn you there is a fair amount of foul language and some sexual scenes that will be off putting to some readers. (For me it was kind of like this is such a good story and you really didn’t need to put that in there, but I digress).

The problem with posting this blog is it’s almost impossible to do it without giving a spoiler. Nonetheless, I will try. I’ve never been a fan of horror, which is why I’ve never read Stephen King before. It’s not a horror book. It’s a book about time travel. The main character in the book finds a portal back in time to 1958 and he is sent back on a mission to save President Kennedy from assassination. What makes this a unique story is he can continually go back to the future and reset things if something goes awry. Sort of like a reset button on history. The book is amazingly well written and I wish I could say more than that, but I can’t without being a spoiler, so I am going to switch lanes.

What’s so appealing about the idea of time travel? I mean hundreds if not thousands of books have been written on the topic. Why? I think it’s because of regret. There are events in most of our lives that we wish we could do over. (If you don’t, congratulations or stop lying to yourself, you decide.) The idea of being able to go back in time and change something is very appealing, but would it be wise?

The main character in the book gets caught up in a situation, a choice. Does he do the right thing for his for himself at the cost of the world or does he sacrifice what he desires most for the sake of the world? It might be a tougher choice than you think.

The thing is, life doesn’t have a reset button and even if it did, it would probably be a mistake to push it. The tough stuff in our lives makes us stronger if we let it. The bad choices can give us the wisdom to make better choices in the future if we let them. The hard things in life can change us for the better if we will let them. The reason for this is there is a God, who is never surprised by any situation, always knows what He is doing (and what we will do) and has it all under control. We can’t travel back in time, but we can trust God with today and give Him tomorrow.

Time travel is impossible. The Bible says, “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment…” That means we only get one life so we need to use it wisely. I believe the best thing we can do is offer that one life to God and ask Him to be your Lord and savior, loving Him like He loves you and following Him through this difficult life all the way to the end. He’s the best guide and the only one who knows the way. He has promised never to leave you nor forsake you. Secondly, there is another promise, a promise reserved only for those who love God. Romans 8:28 says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” In other words, all the pain, all the mistakes, all your past sin, everything in your life, good bad and ugly, when given over to God can and will be used by God for your good. He is faithful, He will do it. I know this because He has done it for me.

The only way we can travel through time is forward, one day, one minute, one second at a time. So give this moment to God. He won’t let you down.