Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Night with Little to Say

I made a commitment to write something every day on this blog. Right now I'm tired after a busy day at work and an evening church meeting. I surf our selection of broadcast TV channels, while my wife cuts out faces to make paper bag puppets for the kids she works with after school. Then her sister calls and I decide to write this.

Stuff like that makes up most of our lives. It's the mundane details that get passed over in the well-plotted scenes of novels. If it was allowed to make airtime it would be worse than dead space. Fiction may have a great impact upon real life but it certainly is not real life.

I remember a scene from a first season Deep Space 9 episode called "Captive Pursuit." Quark runs a holodeck -- a place where fantasies can come true for a price. He encounters a person named "Tosk" who has been bred to serve as the prey for a race of hunters. He takes temporary refuge on the space station and, feeling sorry for the harassed alien, offers him a free evening to live out any fantasy he desires. The alien refuses. "I have no use for fantasy adventure. I live the greatest adventure one could ever desire." All Quark can say is "Then I envy you. Mr. Tosk."

In my clearer moments I realize this to as least a small degree. By grace, I have a meaningful role to play in a great production called "The Kingdom of God." I am not the lead, but what I do is crucial to the satisfaction of the playwright. Sometimes I need help remembering this. I think that this is the main work of pastors and mentors -- they keep us humble and they keep us engaged.

"Engage!" -- that's what Capt. Picard used to say just before the Enterprise got into trouble.

P.S. A few years ago, I got to meet the actor who played "Tosk": Scott McDonald.

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