Years ago there was a children’s movie entitled The Neverending Story. In the movie a young boy named Bastian begins reading a book he got from a mysterious bookstore. He begins reading this book in the attic of his school after some bullies have been chasing him. His life has been in turmoil because his father has sunken into deep despair after the loss of Bastian’s mother and he really feels he is at his wits end. The book has attracted him and he starts pouring into the pages reading one after the other. The weird thing about it is everything he reads begins to happen and he is so engulfed in the story he doesn’t realize that he has effectively become a part of the story. It is a delightful movie that emphasizes the need to read to keep the stories alive and also keep the mind active. The cool part about the whole thing is what is called “The Nothing.” It seems The Nothing is starting to devour the land where all of these creatures and people live and when The Nothing reaches the princess of the land, all will become NOTHING. A young boy named Atreyu is fighting valiantly to keep the nothing from taking over and destroying his world and the battles he fights are almost overwhelming. The thing that helps him the most is the boy reading the book. As long as the boy keeps reading and believing the progression of The Nothing is slowed down, but not defeated. In a major climax in the movie Atreyu turns to the boy and says, “It’s up to you. You must believe!” The boy is amazed that he would be a pivotal character in the very book he is reading. But he realizes what Atreyu is saying is true and he begins to believe, and actually steps into their world. His imagination begins to rebuild the kingdom and the world is changed forever. Of course, there is a good ending with the princess being saved, the world is back strong again, and colors are vibrant once again, and The Nothing is defeated.
In this children’s story I can see many parallels to the world we live in right now and what our reaction as Christians should be. The kingdom that is affected here in our world is the one we can’t see right now, but know is there. John 14:2 Jesus says, “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you.” That kingdom is real and it is our mission to try to share the message of how to get there to all the people we can. The sad thing is because of a lack of creativity and action The Nothing has been taking over, and more and more people are not hearing about this kingdom. Also, the emphasis on this kingdom is heard and experienced less and less. As we read the book (The Bible) we realize that there is a battle and we are part of it. We must believe in The Neverending Story (The Gospel) and do our part to proclaim that salvation is real and God is alive. As young Bastian had to yell out to save Fantastica, we must proclaim that Jesus Christ is the only way in order to defeat The Nothing. You see evidence of The Nothing all around you. Some evidence is; a lack of people praying at the altars of churches for the lost; not reaching your neighborhood for Christ, not believing in revival or renewal anymore, church people turning on each in anger and disunity, families torn apart by non-existence moms and dads, and God’s people not believing, truly believing God can move anymore. That’s just some of the effects of The Nothing. The Nothing is a monster that has grown much too large in our world. We must read The Book and realize if things are going to change and if The Nothing is going to be defeated at every turn, then we have to get involved in the story ourselves. Jesus Christ, our great warrior, goes before us leading the way, and He left His Spirit with us so that we might be able to do our part in this battle. The Neverending Story must go on and be kept alive by believers who are willing to share it wherever they go. Then at the climax of our story we will all be able to say with the Apostle Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” The story is still very real and the battles are still raging, but some have chosen to quit reading and believing. The story is dead in their lives. Start believing in The Neverending Story of Jesus Christ again and you will see that you are a very important part of that ongoing story of hope and eternity. A whole kingdom is depending on us being faithful to fight the battle as we live out our Neverending Story called ETERNITY. Oh yeah. Be sure and put on your armor!!!
The pilgrimage continues….. David Warren