I had a discussion with my eldest son the other day. Someone had asked me if I wanted to submit a story to one of their anthologies. Usually I am pretty open to submitting my work to all different kinds of publishers, but this particular genre was horror. “It is hard to convey a good message of faith in a horror story,” my son said. I have to disagree. People are placed in terrible situations every day, and usually it is these exact circumstances that make their moral fortitude shine through. It is really easy to put good people in bad situations in stories because the good guy is always trying to help in those situations. So yes, I think you can really convey good morals through the horror genre. That being said, I don’t think there are a lot of writers trying to. Most of them take you to a place you don’t want to be, make you consider things you probably rarely think about, and then LEAVE you there. I guess that’s why I have a little trepidation over writing in that particular genre. I don’t like leaving my readers like that. I want my readers to come away from my stories thinking, but I want them be thinking about how good a certain character acted or reacted. I grew up wanting to be those heroes in the stories, and that’s what I want my readers to want. I haven’t decided on whether or not I am going to submit yet. Only because I am not sure if I can pull off a horror story that leaves my reader in a place I don’t mind leaving them, but I will be sure and let you all know if I do. Then you can be the judge.
My personal Bible study has been on Moses. I have read the story many times, and I always stand in awe of God’s patience with the Children of Israel. Anyway, I started thinking about all the troubles and hardships that we go through during our wanderings. While I was reading I realized something. It was kind of like the ‘Elephant in the room’ that nobody (Christians anyway) wants to talk about. Everybody in those Bible stories went through hardships. The stories you read are all reassurances that God has control. Nowadays all you hear is “whatever makes you happy” or “whatever you want”. Friends, life is not about making yourself happy all the time. It is not about striving for your own gain, and as long as that is your focus you will never be happy. The main focus should be doing what is right, and just. The main focus should be as Peter said “running a good race” and taking care of your own responsibilities. Sometimes that is not going to make you happy. Actions come with consequences, and when we make bad choices we end up with consequences that don’t make us happy. That is why we lie and deceive ourselves, and try to cover it up. Or even worse, try to blame it God when we can’t achieve happiness. I won’t lie to you. Even if you focus on doing those things you won’t always be happy, but you will be able to look yourself in the mirror and not despise what is staring back at you. Sometimes the road gets rough. Our job is simply to make the best choices we can, God will get glory from our actions if we do, and He will grant us contentment from it.