When I was in junior-high I ran across a book that changed my life.
I was a awkward, fat, maladjusted teen from a broken home living with my Father who was at least attempting some sort of normal childhood for me. I had a bike and a dog and huge seemingly endless wood to explore out back of my grandmothers house and books. I couldn’t get enough books, particularly Fantasy and Science Fiction books of all varieties. Here’s the part where I find the book, thanks for waiting on it. It wasn’t the Bible even though the radical change that wrought in me is indescribable.
It was “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.”
Not exactly a deep theological tome as Douglas Adams was an athiest. The mere concept of aliens blowing up the Earth would probably send a theolog in so many directions at once he might never get his tongue un-knotted. But I loved this book and the idea that a dork like Arthur Dent could be a hero in any situation. Here’s what I mean:
“Are we talking about,” he asked cautiously, “some sort of Vogon laundromat, or what are we talking about?”
“Eddies,” said Ford, “in the space-time continuum.”
“Ah,” nodded Arthur, “is he. Is he.”
“What?” said Ford.
“Er, who,” said Arthur, “is Eddy, then, exactly, then?”
Ford looked angrily at him.
“Will you listen?” he snapped.
“I have been listening,” said Arthur, “but I’m not sure it’s helped.”
See? Dork through and through.
The point is that my world was fairly dark and dismal at that point but God sent this book my way so I could have a little laughter. I read the Bible too. I read it quite a bit and I was pretty familiar with it for a 12, 13, 14 year old but these others gave me a fresh perspective. Something to think about besides getting my butt whipped in basketball six or eight times a week.
Here’s what I mean. On down toward the end of this discussion Ford is having with Arthur we see that Ford finally gives up and says to Arthur, “Just believe everything I tell you, and it will all be very, very simple.” and even Arthur has the sense to reply as follows:
“Ah, well, I’m not sure I believe that.”
Even he has it figured out that nothing is ever as simple as it seems.