Pictured from L-R: Jake Greene as Thor, Kat Carr as Wonder Woman, and Charity Edwards (the Blithe Bachelorette) as Wolverine
My friend and former roommate Kat and I got our geek on at San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend. She did some Gospel-centered processing about her experience and offered to write a guest post for me.
Her thoughts aren’t specifically about singleness, but they sure can apply. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.
Last weekend I attended an off-site event at San Diego Comic-Con. (Yes, I am one of those people.) The event is NerdHQ, put on by Zachary Levi. It was the 6th year for the event and my 5th year to attend. It’s this wonderful thing that happens alongside San Diego Comic-Con where Zac provides a free place for people with common interests to hang out and small “conversations” with celebrities for a small fee of $20. All the proceeds go to help out the charity Operation Smile. Over the years, I’ve gotten to sit on these “conversations” with some pretty big celebrities and have made some great friends through this event.
But the point of me writing (which I rarely ever do!) isn’t to promote this event. It’s about how this event failed me and what I learned from that.
I barely got to make an appearance at NerdHQ last year (2015) due to the fact that I was getting married two days after it. I had missed getting to attend conversations and hanging out there with my nerd friends, most of whom I only get to see at this event, so I was really looking forward to getting to attend this year. I was unable to buy tickets to a couple of the celebrity conversations I wanted to attend, but was happy to just get to go, hang out, and see my friends. Imagine my surprise when not only one, but two of my friends offered me tickets to see two different celebs that I loved! This year was starting to shape into another great experience!
As I sat in on my first panel, I found myself getting a little bored and turned off by some of the questions other fans were asking. I also had found myself being more annoyed with the crowds and how hard it was to have quality time with my friends. It wasn’t supposed to be like this! It was supposed to be some magical and exciting event like in years past! Was something wrong with me?
My friends had some of the same complaints, but I felt like mine was different. There was this feeling deep inside of me that refused to be satisfied by this. Looking back now, the problem wasn’t so much that the event had changed – which in some ways it had, but thousands of other people still enjoyed it. The problem was that over the past couple of years, I had changed. More importantly, God had been changing my heart.
C.S. Lewis said, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” I grew up in church, so this concept wasn’t something new to me. But over the past few years I was really experiencing it and was being satisfied by the One who had made me for another world (more about that later).
After thinking about how disappointed I was with NerdHQ this year, I thought I’d try to look on the bright side and focus on the highlights. The highlights of the weekend were the time I got to spend with my nerd friends and to get to see their generosity – not only to a charity that does a lot of good work, but also to other people, including helping me with getting tickets to these conversations that I thought I desperately wanted to attend. The sad thing about these highlights, though, is that they didn’t last. The event and magic ended, and friends went their separate ways back home.
Charity mentioned to me that she overheard someone on a panel last year stating that he loved Comic-Con and nerd events because those places feel like home, like that’s where community is. Yet that community lasts only for a few days each year.
I was starting to feel quite depressed and hopeless, but then I starting thinking about where my true hope comes from. As I mentioned, there is this One who made me (and you) for another world. But not because He was bored or lonely. He existed in perfect triune community (God the Father, the Son, and the Spirit) and in satisfaction for an eternity before time. Wanting to share His glory, He created us to be a part of this perfect community and satisfaction.
Instead, we turned to other things (like an event or other people) for fulfillment and broke this perfect relationship. God the Father was also more generous than my friends could ever be and sent us his Son, Jesus. He is the ultimate friend and showed the ultimate generosity by laying down his life in our place (“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13) so that we could have the community and satisfaction for which we were truly made.
This is why my heart refused to let me satisfied by NerdHQ! It pales in comparison to the community and satisfaction I have with my Savior! My God who loves me and gave His Son for me wanted to remind me of His great love for me.
Finding joy in NerdHQ isn’t a bad thing, but it isn’t meant to be the end. C. S. Lewis also wrote about an experience he had with finding satisfaction in too small of a thing:
I was standing today in the dark toolshed. The sun was shining outside and through the crack at the top of the door there came a sunbeam. From where I stood that beam of light, with the specks of dust floating in it, was the most striking thing in the place. Everything else was almost pitch-black. I was seeing the beam, not seeing things by it. Then I moved, so that the beam fell on my eyes. Instantly the whole previous picture vanished. I saw no toolshed, and (above all) no beam. Instead I saw, framed in the irregular cranny at the top of the door, green leaves moving on the branches of a tree outside and beyond that, 90 odd million miles away, the sun. Looking along the beam and looking at the beam are very different experiences.
God gives us these joyful experiences not as the end of joy, but to remind us to follow them and look up to the source and the giver of every good and perfect gift.