Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Fatal Tree CSFF Tour Day 3 - All is Not Lost, God is Still In Control

Stephen R Lawhead

DAY 3 - All is Not Lost, God is Still In Control

      On this third, and last, day of the Fatal Tree blog tour I wanted to discuss how things work out in The Lord's time, that often isn't our time schedule. But, I don't want to give away the ending. One of the main characters, Wilhelmina, or Mina, seemed a bit nonchalant about God and religion in general back in the first book of the series, the Skin Map. To me, she seemed miserable, and blamed the world for her misfortune.  Over time her travel along the ley lines, and more importantly the gentle kindness of Englebert, or Etzel,  led her to an understanding of a higher purpose for her life. Mina's look to heaven and a prayer of thanks after a safe return seemed to bring home this point.

     To me, Etzel represented the mind-set and attitude Christians should portray. From the beginning, he took newcomer Mina under his wing and grew a business with her. Lord Burleigh and his henchmen attack and harm Etzel, yet Etzel is able to forgive them through Grace, and he brings the five prisoners food and drink to feed them in their cell. Etzel's continued kindness and compassion sway the four henchmen, and Etzel is able to secure their release from prison. Left alone in his cell, Burleigh has weeks to ponder his plight, and begins to reconsider his actions and how his choices had brought him to where he had sunk so low. Yet again, Etzel's actions brought others closer to The Lord. 

     I wondered how past events were important, then remembered how Mina returned to an earlier time to help Kit. When Kit fell through the Spirit House and ended up seeing Arthur Flinders-Petrie carry Xuan Li into the Well of Souls. This happened in the past, yet Kit needed to see Arthur's walk into the waters to help explain why time needed to seek its balance. Turms the Immortal saved the life of Benedict, Arthur and Xuan Li's son. Years later, Turms is unable to save the life of Douglas Flinders-Petrie, Arthur's great-grandson. A balance of sorts is achieved. 

     The Skin Map is a road map of the ley lines through time, but it is also a guide to the balance of all that works into The Lord's plan for mankind. As humans, we are given free will to chose our responses and actions. When we chose wisely we move toward The Lord's plan for our life. When we go against God's plan, stronger measures are called for, and many detours through tough times we wouldn't have needed to  make. Burleigh saw no need for The Lord, or being kind to others. He brought about his own chastisement of a solitary prison cell. He thought he was in control, and master of his own fate. 

Instead, Burleigh learned that God is in control, whether you are lost in far places or times, or in the midst of multitudes. Mina learned that God is there when you seek him; he's been watching over you all along. My take-away from the series is that The Lord has a plan bigger than all of time, and he knows the outcome. 
We have the choice of whether to work toward His Goal, or work against it.

*The Fatal Tree -
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I received a review copy of The Fatal Tree by Stephen R Lawhead from Thomas Nelson in conjunction with the December CSFF Blog Tour

Extra: If you're like me and like to read a complete story collection, and read Kindle books, Amazon has the complete Bright Empires set for $16.99
     Stephen Lawhead Bright Empires Set on Kindle

Youtube of First Book:

CSFF Tour Links:
  Julie Bihn Thomas Clayton Booher Beckie Burnham Jeff Chapman Karri Compton April Erwin Victor Gentile Jason Joyner Janeen Ippolito Carol Keen Emileigh Latham Rebekah Loper Shannon McDermott Meagan @ Blooming with Books Rebecca LuElla Miller Nissa Jalynn Patterson Writer Rani Nathan Reimer Audrey Sauble Jojo Sutis Rachel Starr Thomson Robert Treskillard Steve Trower Shane Werlinger Phyllis Wheeler


Julie Bihn said...

Great concluding thoughts there. Well done!

Fantasythyme said...

Thank you, Julie. Thanks for visiting too.