"Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again."
I'm writing my first book. Not a theology book. Not a novel. Not a homiletics textbook. I'm writing a children's book, a collection of fables from a land called Kabekona. Right now I'm working with a talented young illustrator to capture the essence of the characters and scenes.
I've been telling stories to my children nearly every night for at least 6 years. My best guess is that I've told over 1,200 stories. In the minds of my children, I've created an entire world consisting of two children and a cast of remarkable, odd, and eccentric characters. Someone once told me that my imagination must be induced by some illegal substance, which is not true. I'm just naturally weird. The Kabekona adventures are other-worldly, but I always inbed some element of truth in the narrative. I find that it's effective to teach with stories. As parents, we do a lot of "explaining." Stories have the ability to "show."
The lore around C.S. Lewis's conversion is that he was deeply influenced by late night conversations with some close friends, including J.R. Tolkien (Lord of the Rings). Reflecting on his conversion experience, Lewis observed a revelation: that Christianity is "the myth that is true." Much of Lewis's writing was "fairy tale" in genre, yet so much more.
As adults, we tend to lose the meaning of story in our lives. Grown ups reduce life to bald realities. We mark with severity the minutes of the day and the dollars made and spent. Life consists of goals, objectives, and action items. Our existence seems determined by our ability or inability to achieve and produce. Lost is a sense of meaning that's bigger than the daily routine, the "return on investment," or the check-list that is crossed off.
When we look for deeper significance in the endless workweek cycle, and when we wonder what we have to show at the end of a 60 hour work week, we get "old enough to start reading fairy tales again." I'll let you know when the book is out.