Monday, July 25, 2016

Spiritual Observation –Orange: Letter From the One Who Knows Our Future

The world outside the blogosphere has been chaos for me lately, but I'm more than overdue writing a post on here... Last time we talked, the spring season of anime was wrapping up and Kiznaiver was high on my list of favorites. Since then, I binged through Shonen Maid, which I enjoyed thoroughly, and started four out of the many anime currently running. One of these is Orange, a show I've been anticipating since December and have not been let down by yet. Besides the obvious appreciation for the animation style, I found myself wowed by the approach to writing the story took on. Its metaphors were beautiful; its similes fantastic! The way in which scenes were shot also grabbed me right from the get-go. Every episode seems to hold something interesting in this regard, wether it be a repeated shot of the main character's bento bag to represent the fact that it was constantly on her mind, or the just as jumbled cut of the rock, paper, scissors duel in episode three. The fact that I usually never pay attention to this kind of stuff in anime really says something about Orange –that there is more to just the story than subs and character design, and today, I'm going to dive deeper into discovering what that actually is.


For those of you that haven't been following the summer anime season, let me give you a brief synopsis of the show to fill you in:
Naho Takamiya is a girl of much uncertainty and many regrets. To stop her life from continuing in such a manner, she does what any of us would do if we had the chance –she writes a letter to her past self. Through the complicated workings of a reverse time capsule, the letter goes back and arrives to her ten years before. Among other things, it includes a detailed list of her life experiences and as Naho reads, she watches situation after situation unfold before her very eyes. The letter includes advice about many of her foretold responses and one very special warning about a boy named Kakeru Naruse.
The theme that revolves around such time travel-like stories always gets me thinking, "What would I do if I had the chance to rewrite my past?" Unfortunately, the technology doesn't exist to explore this question in actual detail, so we might never know the answer. However, there's a Power that transcends all time and understanding, and by listening to it, we can discover how to live all over again, and our lives will change as a result.


Now let me stop and explain before I get too ahead of myself. I may not have a special reverse time capsule to go back and rewrite my past like Naho, but I know someone who does. The God of the Bible wrote a plethora of letters for this sole purpose –so that we may review them and reexamine our lives accordingly. Those that reject such advice from The One Who Knows the Future, may be called foolish and simple-minded, but sadly this describes our generation far too often. Not only do we loose sight of the potential to improve our life beyond the world's standards, but as Christians, we also frequently loose sight of our future as children of the Heavenly Father. How often we forget that if there's someone there on the other side writing to us, it means no matter what happens, we'll be okay. For Naho, this is not necessarily a promise of getting through life without bruises and scars, but it is a sign that, ten years from now, she will still be living and breathing all the same. For believers in Jesus Christ, much the same message applies. Physical suffering and mental anguish are a given with any life on earth, but letters from an Almighty God guarantee that those who have accepted His free gift of eternal salvation will get through it nonetheless (Psalm 34:19).

So have faith in that person on the other side of that letter. They exist to help you and guide you through trials and temptations of this life, and it all starts with reading the Word that was written to you. For Naho, this was easier said than done. No matter what happened, she'd still be alive, yes, but that didn't mean her future was going to necessarily be any brighter. In the case of a born-again believer, our future is more than predictable. The Bible promises that life on the other side of that letter is one of healing and full-body renewal, and we should do everything in this life according to its guidelines to guarantee our safe arrival on the other side (Revelation 21:4).

I think Max Lucado said it best when he said, "Heeding God's Word is fighting God's War. Conquest happens as the covenant is honored." If you want to live a life without regrets, the best advice I can offer is to follow that of the Bible. Your present self may not see the wisdom in this, but I assure you, your future self will thank you all the more.