Bernie Anderson
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Current musings, whatever they may be. 

Sunday Sermonizing: Why I Still Believe in Dragons

This is an excerpt from a book I wrote for my son, as he entered into adulthood. This little volume will be available soon. The working title is "Proverbial: Meditations from the Book of Wisdom, from a Father to a Son."  The book is in the editing process now and will be available in May. 

A dragon is no idle fancy. Whatever may be his origins, in fact or invention, the dragon in legend is a potent creation of men’s imagination, richer in significance than his barrow is in gold.
— J.R.R. Tolkien
Since it is so likely that children will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage.
— C.S. Lewis

Long ago, to your great astonishment, I told you and your sister that I believe dragons are real. Your sister took my statement in stride, as she’s always had a bit of an overactive imagination. You, on the other hand, were more skeptical. Later that week, in a near whisper, you told one of your friends, ‘My dad believes dragons are real.’ I don’t think you were sure what to make of that.

My basis is the Bible, of course. There are some truly odd creatures described in the ancient book of Job. This can't be ignored. There is always truth hidden away in the mythical. Myth and legend are seldom made up out of blue sky and rainbows. My guess is there are ancient creatures, feared by the masses. Fought by the brave. Perhaps, even creatures who breathe fire out of their mouth (although most modern researchers say this is biologically impossible). And, in my thinking, if such creatures did exist, isn't it possible for one or two to be hidden away in a hole somewhere today, waiting for discovery? It's a big world. One can speculate.

But it is one thing to read about dragons and another to meet them.
— Ursula Guin

But read Revelation 12. Things get real there.

We have an enemy. An enemy seeking to kill. Destroy. Devour. Steal. This enemy will do what he can to take away everything from you. From your family. Seeking to ultimately snuff out your faith.

But this dragon is in partnership with another. A more subtle serpent. I’ve referred to the partner dragon several times in this little volume. You've inherited it from me. The Bible calls it ‘the flesh’. It’s the selfish, unrighteous, foolish part of us that wants its own way, at any cost. There is only one weapon for this dragon. Our sword is the cross. It’s always the cross. Crucify the dragon.

You have to fight these dragons with all your might. You have to fight these dragons - knowing that without the strength of Jesus, you’re hosed. It’s an ancient battle of epic proportions. In the end, Jesus wins. But until the end, we are in the fight. It’s not a video game, because the stakes are real.

It’s the reality from which the best video games, the best movies, the best stories are made.

Wisdom is also a weapon against dragons. That’s why Proverbs is an important part of God’s Word. From it, we learn wisdom and we learn of the One who is Wisdom.

He is the source of our life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption
— I Corinthians 1:30

Proverbs is a great help in learning to deal with everyday dragons. Slaying the dragon is not something we do in the ultimate, end-of-the-world sense. Dragons must die every time we get up in the morning. Dragon talons always appear in places we don’t expect. Personal habits. How we spend our money. What we do at work. How we treat our friends, family, and coworkers. It’s important to recognize talons, fangs, and scales, so you can drive the sword of wisdom and truth into the heart of the beast. It’s a constant and relentless fight.

At the same time, we rest in His constant and relentless love.

Thus we trust. That’s why it’s called a ‘fight of faith’. A beautiful paradox, indeed.

So, yes son, I do believe in dragons, both literal and figurative. The figurative ones are very real and deadly. Wisdom aids in the fight.

And I will take the slack which comes my way for believing in the literal dragons. Because I do hope that in some quiet corner of the world one may still exist.

That’ll be my odd and quirky old man thing.

I have no problem with that.