11/03/2009

Who I Am Hates Who I've Been...

I can't take credit for the BSG vs. Star Trek comparison. I first read about it here. You should go read that article. It's awesome.

Do I really need to restate how much of a nerd I am? Of course not. Josh is to nerd as obviously related object is to another obviously related object. And said quality of nerd has (naturally) led me to a love of science fiction.

I remember first taking an interest in Star Trek (TNG) when I was a Freshman in High School. I hung out with a group of older kids who watched it all the time and even played a Magic: The Gathering-like card game of it in band class. (That's right. Read that sentence again. I wanted to be like these people.) We would talk about what happened in episodes, who our favorite characters were, and what we would do if we possessed the technology that the Enterprise crew enjoyed. Star Trek captured our imaginations because it allowed us to glimpse a world of limitless possibilities. It allowed us to live vicariously in a world that was civil, clean, educated, and virtually problem free. Well, except for the occasional conflict with Klingons or Romulans. (And I haven't even mentioned the holodeck. Oh... the holodeck.)

It wasn't until I was living in San Diego that I was introduced to the world of Battlestar Galactica. (Thanks Rod.) BSG and Star Trek have a few things in common: space, spaceships, military regimes, robots, umm... bars located on spaceships. But are mostly discussed together because of how different they are. While Star Trek is generally viewed with wonder and hope, BSG is usually loved for its "realism". People love BSG because its characters fight with each other over things we fight about. They're jealous over each other. They're dishonest, lustful, ambitious, and... well... a lot like us.

And that's the gist of the article I linked to above. Star Trek represents who we want to be, and Battlestar Galactica represents who we actually are.

I can't help but project this comparison onto myself. Do I have a realistic view of myself or an idealized one? Does it have to be one or the other? Is it possible for the two to coexist?

I know that I have a lot of blind spots in my life. I have areas of sin that I'm not always conscious of. (Thank goodness for the Holy Spirit and friends who aren't afraid to be honest with me.) And while I think I have a pretty realistic view of myself, I know I don't know (or acknowledge) everything there is. I'm actually kind of thankful for that. I'm sure that part of it is the Lord holding things back from me until I'm ready to handle them. I can't imagine what it'd be like to be confronted with just how depraved we actually are full force. I bet it'd be like when Dorian Gray finally sees his portrait.

But on the flipside of the coin, I am filled with hope. I see what my future looks like and it's better than my past and present. And I know this isn't because of anything I've done or can do, but it's because of the source of my hope. It's because of what I put my faith in. My faith in God produces in me a hope that drives me. It pulls me. it compels me. I cannot be separated from it. I cannot be deterred from it. I might be temporarily delayed, but I can't be stopped. I won't settle.

And this is something that has always confounded me about the Star Trek vs. BSG comparison. Why would humanity ever settle? If we see the possibility of a redemptive world, why would we settle for anything less? Is there a way to live in reality while striving for the ideal? Within a relationship with and to our creator, yes. Without that, I don't think so.

After all, what other hope could last? And why would we ever want a hope that doesn't stand the tests of time? That's no way to ever reach our dream of a holodeck...

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