Knowing the future makes you fearless.
Early in his life, Edward believed that he had seen how he was going to die in the glass eye of a reclusive witch. Later, when his town is beset by a giant, and Edward, emboldened by his knowledge of the future, volunteers to meet the giant and persuade him to leave.
Heaven, Fear, Eternal Life, Death, Bravery
Edward warily approaches the cave of the giant and calls out, "Hello? My name is Edward Bloom and I want to talk to you!" Deep from within the cave the giant's voice rings out, "Go Away!" and the wind from the giant's lungs stirs the air. Edward is undaunted, saying he will not leave until the giant shows himself. The giant repeats, "I said, Go AWAY!" and the force of his voice knocks Edward over. The giant emerges from the cave, and is nearly fifteen feet tall. Recalling the story, Edward notes, "Armed with the foreknowledge of my own death, I knew the giant couldn't kill me. All the same I preferred to keep my bones unbroken."
The giant wants to know why Edward has come. Edward says that he volunteered to be the town's human sacrifice, and explains that parts of him are bound to be tasty.
"Now come on, I can't go back! I'm a human sacrifice! If I go back they'll think I'm a coward. I'd rather be dinner than a coward." Then he offers his hand as an appetizer.
The giant knocks it away, telling Edward that he doesn't want to eat him, or anyone else. He is just so hungry because he is so big. Edward asks if he has ever considered that he is not too big, but "that this town is just too small?" He tells the giant about big cities with all you can eat buffets.
Wary, the giant says that Edward is just trying to get rid of him. In response, Edward introduces himself and asks the giant's name. "Karl." No longer treating Karl as a monster, Edward admits that he wants him to leave, but tells him that he wants to go with him. The town is too small for his ambitions. They both agree to set out together, once Karl can be made ready for the city.
Because Edward believed that he knew how he was going to die, he was willing to risk much -- death by giants and the discomforts of leaving home -- to live an extraordinary life. Christians can go one step further -- we know that, no matter what happens to us here, we are going to live. The recognition that this is not our final home, that God has prepared for us an eternal dwelling, should give us the courage to live our lives fully committed to His Kingdom. This knowledge should empower us to live without fear, and without compromise, anywhere God wishes us to go.
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