Accel World 03: It Ain’t All Roses (or Drifting Away from the Faith)
Accel World is totally a fantasy for the losers, the otaku, the overweight, the bullied, and the less-than-attractive. It practically throws itself at that audience, screaming, “Live vicariously through this series!” Also, the OP is terribly corny with a great song choice…for 2002.
So of course, I’m absolutely loving it.
Episode three was better than the previous two. Some backgrounds were revealed and we learned more about Haruyuki’s best friends and Kuroyukihime. And what we learned most about them is that they, too, have problems. These beautiful, popular, loved young people have issues they struggle with as well.
It reminds me of the difficulties Christians encounter in life. There’s this moment that many of us have where wejust get it. We come to see the depths of our sin and heights of God’s grace and our lives are changed.
But despite seeming to be put altogether, like Haruyuki’s friends, a Christian’s “top of the world” moment is temporary, until the high wears off and jobs, studies, financial problems, girls (or boys), depression, hurtful people, alcohol, drugs, health issues, entertainment, pornography, or any of a variety of things derail our spiritual progress. In the short term or in the longer term, many start to lose faith, in practice if not in declaration. Our lives are no longer so cheery as the weight of the world hits. For instance, Ray of Anime Diet shared some of the difficulties he faced after once being “filled with positivity” after becoming a Christian.
And I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen a young person openly declare his or her love of God, only to eventually leave the church or even their faith.
I’ve struggled, too. Some days, I know my life is a poor reflection of my faith. I wonder, what kind of dad am I to my kids? What kind of husband am I to my wife? And what kind of son am I to my Heavenly Father? And the answer to all those questions is sometimes, “I’m a rotten one.”
So maybe it’s a surprise that I admit my immediate, gut reaction to those who drift away is one of judgment. But in my better moments, I realize I’m being the hypocrite and too much like the stereotypical American Christian, who pushes away with hate rather than embracing in love. I’m too quick to apply a Pharisaical standard to others, instead of following Jesus’ command to love.
In the end, I’m all too little reminded that we are all people, and sometimes the challenges of life drag us down. Like Haruyuki’s friends, old and new, we all have issues that pain us and change us, steering us from perhaps becoming who we want to be. The answer to those struggling spiritually – for months, years, or even decades – is complicated and different for each, but also, in a sense, simple and the same. It is, and has always been, love.
Here is an invitation – if you are a Christian who has in some sense drifted away from your faith, I invite you to leave a comment or send me an email. I’m far from perfection, but I’m here to to discuss anything you’d like in regards to your faith, where you’ve been, and where you are now.