I’m struck by how some of the more cerebral Anime series do such a fascinating job to point out the seemingly shadowy nature of existence in this world. Unfortunately, this is more informed by a (at least in a nominal sense) Buddhist worldview, at times, leaving you with the impression that human existence on this earth is but a bit of smoke and mirrors. As Christians, we must reject such a view. However, we cannot doggedly cling to this life or its goods, as if this were everything. If such were the case, I will gladly start reciting Macbeth’s last soliloquy.
Therefore, if life is not a tale told by an idiot (or the average Hollywood executive) signifying nothing, then that leaves us agreeing, in a narrow sense, with the melancholic Anime directors. Indeed, reality and life is a shadowy business this side of eternity. But we maintain that this is only so due to the corruption of sin upon this world. This sin will one day be undone because of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Why bring up such a basic truth? Are not true believers aware of this and understand to live in light of eternity? We all know too often this is not the case.
Indeed, Christians will speak such truths, but our lives indicate we rather prefer everything to be done in this life, and that happens in such a myriad of forms! We demand temporal influence, signs from God, programs, “successful ministries” you can tally the results of, and much more! Some of these stem from initially good motives or are not wrong in a certain sense (let the reader understand), but the problem with such is that we have fixed our gaze upon something other than Christ and his Kingdom. If we do not start with Jesus Christ as the foundation by which we see and act upon, then indeed, we do engage in a shadowy existence of smoke and mirrors—blind to the spiritual reality of the situation around us. Jesus, the God of the universe revealed to man in human flesh, is not only how we have hope beyond this life, but he can also do the work of our Father in heaven here in this life, one which will have eternal significance!
This such a simple principle to have in one’s mind, to weigh everything in light of Christ, but how difficult it is to carry out. Trials, distractions, and man-made short-cuts plague our path, along with so much else. Thanks be to God we have union with Christ, the indwelling of the Spirit, and the hope of the resurrection. Thus equipped, we can carry out the task of the Great Commission and live lives in this fallen world that are a light to the world of even the most melancholic of Anime directors.
See ya around!