One of the greatest plot devices of any story is the hero who is mired in circumstances but who longs for more. We see it expressed in so many stories such as Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, The Frog Prince, etc. These stories all rest on a universal principle that there must be a greater story that is common to all humanity. This greater story can be referred to as the grand narrative.
The grand narrative is hard-wired into every human being who has ever lived. We are all created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). God’s law is also written on the hearts of every human (Romans 2:12-15). Because we have sinned against God and have separated ourselves from Him we are not who we are meant to be. We desire more. We desire redemption; a second chance (Rom. 8:22-23). This is the uber-plot or grand narrative of the universe.
If you consider the great fiction classics that have ever made their way to the big screen, they all in some way, shape, or form conform to the grand narrative. In Lord of the Rings, Tolkien (a believer in Christ), demonstrates a clear good, a clear evil, a flawed humanity struggling against evil for redemption. C.S. Lewis (also a strong believer), employs the same imagery in The Chronicles of Narnia. Even the wistful J.K. Rowling, (who professes Christianity) weaves this grand narrative into her Harry Potter novels. These stories connect and draw sympathy because they speak of a great truth that is and that many to their own detriment have suppressed.
When we teach our children we should make good use of this grand narrative to help them own their longing for God. We can nurture that longing by dealing with reality through the lens of the Gospel. We should help them confront unpleasant things knowing that God’s grace is sufficient and that He is all wise, all loving, all caring, and all good. As a parent who wants your kids to love the Lord, you should be encouraged because the truth is on your side.
The best story ever told is true and the ending is out of this world!