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Avatar & the Savior

I have been enjoying Avatar, the Last Airbender (the animated series) lately.  Keven actually posted some thoughts on the series a while back.

It deals with a world of 4 peoples.  Like so many other stories this has the classic Earth, Wind, Fire and Water as the competing elements.  The twist here is that this world has a constant need for a savior.  But the savior figure is not immortal, and so is reborn again and again.  The catch is that you never know who or where the new avatar will be born. All the people know is what elemental group the new one will come from and some key signs to look for as the child grows. Then when the child turns sixteen or so they are informed of their destiny.

The need for a savior or one who brings balance to the competing forces of the world is a common thing in literature and it is fascinating that people lean so much towards the idea of a “chosen one” who brings balance. 

Yet, in so many stories the hero is a reluctant one. Chosen by fate, or whatever external governing force there is, the hero must “become” whether he/she wants to or not.   And in the process, in most books, they fight and resist their “duty” relentlessly until it is forced upon them

How different this is from the real story!  I think that part of the appeal of resisting a righteous destiny from a literary perspective is that we think it shows humility. The hero is not stuck on themselves, and so that somehow makes them better.  However, for the real Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, he didn’t need to be clumsy or rebellious to be humble and loved by the honest in heart.  This is one of the greatest challenges I think we have as disciples of Christ in trying to follow him:  Being confident without being prideful. 

The challenge in trying to be successful and do significant good in the world is that in order to do so, we must act with confidence. If we lack confidence, we miss our target. (See James 1 for info on what wavering does).  As we step forward in faith to be the heroes of our own simple stories, we would do well to take a lesson from the great Hero.  Learn “who we are” in God’s eyes and then be that person with confidence, dedicated to God’s truth and unabashedly set out to be an influence for good, motivated not by pride, but by love as our Great Exemplar was.

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About Ren Black

Part-time novelist. Weekend artist. Full-time Mother. Ex-poet. Perfectionist by training. Compulsive researcher sporadically. Prone to fits of linguistic commentary Unorthodox Renegade occasionally. Sarcastic by habit... Dreamer Always... Consider Yourself Warned

One comment on “Avatar & the Savior

  1. [...] action movie made from it. For those that are unfamiliar with the plotline I gave some of it in my post a while back, and Keven also did a post about it a long while [...]

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