Today’s letter feels particularly relevant given the blockbuster success of The movie Noah. The flood narrative is common to several ancient middle eastern cultures and while the details vary, the concept of a destructive world event occurring by massive deluge is still terrifying and poignant concern. The consistent thing that comes up in the narratives of the ancient flood is the power and totality of the destruction that comes from the unending torrent. It’s a powerful image and a genesis sums it up well.
“For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits. Every living thing that moved on land perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark. The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.” (Genesis 7:17-24 NIV)
So often, the end of the world scenarios arise as the result of some dark force trying to bring on some end game, but what if the cataclysm is inevitable and part of a great judgment on behalf of the light? Then the objective shifts pretty dramatically from stopping some big bad evil guy to either appeasing the angered deity, pleading for mercy, or just simply surviving the coming wrath. When you are fighting against odds you know you can’t beat, it brings an entirely different idea of the win to the game. That could make for a very different kind of adventure and lead to some really interesting stories.