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Exercise Wednesday: Oh, my God!

April 3, 2013
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Whether you embrace religion or despise it, it’s hard to ignore it. The concept of God, gods, or some sort of higher power is something that touches everyone’s life, for better, worse, or both.

How a character encounters God can tell you a lot of things about that character. Do they see God as a dark, foreboding taskmaster, looking for any mistake, any reason to send them down the condemnation chute to a hot, sulfurous lake of fire that burns, but never consumes? Do they see God as the impatient parent, impossible to satisfy, regardless of the efforts put forth? Do they see God as the prodigal parent, running vast distances to greet them when they come home dirty and deserving of condemnation? Or maybe as the impossible dream, as an entity so good and so merciful that nothing like it can ever be possible?

Or do they see God as a dangerous delusion–as a concept that brings far more harm to the world than good, as an ancient superstition in a modern world of science and reason?

Today’s exercise is to put your character in a position in which the concept of God cannot be ignored. It could be a loved one’s child’s baptism or a funeral. It could be their own mortality, with a well-meaning on-looking bringing God into the equation. It could be the strident insistence of someone trying very hard to make disciples of all the nations, whether the nations want to be disciples or not. It could be someone at the end of their rope and flailing form anything to make sense of it all.

No matter what the circumstance, today’s exercise is to make your character have to take a position on God–and for you to understand what the position is, and why they’re taking it.

Time limit: 20 minutes

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