Monday, May 01, 2006

Happy Birthday, Nessie!

On this date in 1933, Nessie, the so-called "Loch Ness Monster", was sited for the first time in the modern era.

Now, I am a natural skeptic. I don't believe in Bigfoot or the Yeti, as much I'd love it if they really existed. Nessie, however, is quite real. I have excellent reasons for affirming her existence.

First, I am a Scottish-American. Both my father's family and my mother's family are Scot and, while, there is also some German and a few other things, I have proudly embraced my Highlands heritage. I would never say or do anything to hurt Scotland or its economy, so I'll support the idea that Nessie is real.

Second, Nessie brings to mind a quote by the eminently quotable G.K. Chesterton, a great early 20th century English Catholic writer who was a huge influence on figures such as filmmaker Ingmar Bergman, writers Neil Gaiman and J.R.R. Tolkien, and theologian C.S. Lewis.

Chesterton once said, "Fairy tales are more than true - not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten."

The quote is a reminder to me that Christians need fairy tales...we need wonder...we need magnificent tales of heroes and monsters and the fantastic. Nessie, for me, represents the mystery of creation and the amazement of the unknown. I need these things to remind me of the greatness of God, to remind me that there is still much "out there" that remains unknown, and to remind me that, as in every good fairy tale, good does triumph over evil in the end.


Jan said...

I know this isn't the point of your blog, but I too embrace my Scottish heritage. My parents even chose a community called, "The Royal Highlands", with it's appropriately named streets, when they moved to Florida.

Jeff V said...

I agree that we need wonder, mystery, and amazement. Which is why I believe magic and illusion have a place in helping people visually experience the Bible. I also believe in the existence of Nessie, Santa, and the tooth fairy, as they live in our legends and imaginations. P.S. I'm not Scottish.