I am always interested in bookshelves when I visit other homes, not just to see what friends might have read or be reading, but to seek out books that I might like to read. If you were to ask me about my favourite books (apart from the Bible) then I would have to go by those I have read the most. The most dog-eared fiction books on my bookshelf are The Chrysalids by John Wyndham, and Trapps’ War by Brian Callison. I like all of John Wyndham’s books, but The Chrysalids stands out because it features a dreamer called David who one day finds that his dream of an incredible far away city is a reality. I also dream of a far away city that will one day become reality. It is the promise of God to all who seek Him and is beautifully described in the last two books of the Bible (click to read Revelation 21 and 22).
In contrast Trapp’s War is about an old rogue of a sea captain who commands the S.S. Charon in the Mediterranean during World War Two. The Charon is no ordinary ship and Captain Edward Trapp is no ordinary captain. Captain Trapp remains strictly neutral, his only purpose in life to make money. While I am nothing like Captain Trapp, he appeals to my sense of humour. I also like the fact that the book is written by an ex-seafarer who knows his subject matter. Charon, of course, was the name of the ferryman of Hades in Greek mythology. The ferryman who carried the souls of the recently dead across the River Styx, this being the river that separated the world of the living from the world of the dead. It was a miracle that Captain Trapp’s Charon remained afloat. While Trapp is just a character in a story I wonder about his soul. If the story had been true would Captain Trapp have been worried about sailing on a ship named after the ferryman of Hades?
Fact is that we all have to die. What happens next depends on the choices we make now. Whether we reach the Heavenly City described in Revelation or whether we find ourselves heading across a different river. Jesus said that all who believe in God would be saved. Being saved is just the beginning of a journey – not on a lonely ferryboat crossing the River Styx, but on the road to eternity escorted by and in company with Jesus Himself who journeys with us.
“If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. No, I will not abandon you as orphans – I will come to you. Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live. When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.” (John 14:15-21 NLT)