Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Over the Horizon

Imagine are living in the days of kings and knights. Perhaps you are a wealthy land owner—a king, perhaps. The sun has set and you are in the great room with your family and a few guests. The room is dimly lit and warmed by a fire in the fireplace. Someone is playing a stringed instrument, but there is little else to do. You might play a game of some kind, but you are considering going off to bed. The sun will rise much sooner that way.

Then there is a knock at the door. One of the servants opens the door and appears a few moments later with a man behind him. The servant announces that the man is a traveler who is looking for a place to spend the night.

“By all means,” you say, “and do tell us of your journeys.”

After eating the leftovers from the meal you had earlier, the traveler begins his tale. He tells of journeying through the lands of another king, twenty miles to your east. He tells you of what he saw when he was there. You are glad to hear news of this land, as you do not often travel that far from home. He embellishes his tale with wizards and dragons, making it sound as if he was lucky to have lived at all, but you don’t care, because his tale entertains the children and the servants. He has earned his keep.

Jump forward a few centuries and you’ll find that stories haven’t changed that much. We have more entertainment now, but people still enjoy a good story. What they want to hear in a story hasn’t changed that much either. They still want a glimpse into the world that is over the horizon. The horizon has changed, but they still want the same. Today, though we may know more about what is happening in a town twenty miles away, the stuff that happens behind closed doors or backstage is still of great interest. Just like one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, some of the things that we find the least interesting about our lives may be the very thing that people who aren’t walking in our shoes may find interesting.

Question: What have you seen over the horizon in your life that other people might find interesting?