If you’re an avid reader or movie watcher, you’ve probably heard of the six basic plots of all stories. An article I read described them and mentioned which ones are the most popular. It said there are “six core trajectories which form the building blocks of complex narratives. These are:
- Rags to riches (a story that follows a rise in happiness),
- Tragedy, or riches to rags (one that follows a fall in happiness),
- Man in a hole (fall–rise),
- Icarus (rise–fall),
- Cinderella (rise–fall–rise), and
- Oedipus (fall–rise–fall)”
The article said the two most popular, the ones found most in books and movies, are “Cinderella” and “Man in a Hole.” And I can see that. In fact, we watched yet another man in a hole movie last night. The man was labeled a coward for “letting men die” in a rescue mission. Even though he saved 11 men. So, he, naturally, fell into a drinking decline for 5 years. Until he was the “only man alive” who could save people in a similar rescue mission.
I know. Not very original. But then, there’s nothing new under the sun.
Hmm…six basic plots. I find that interesting indeed.
And I find it interesting because I find Biblical numerology interesting. And Biblical numerology says 6 is the number of man or humanity. Because humans were created on the sixth day of God’s creation week. I don’t plot out my day or life based on numbers, by the way. That’s not a good idea.
But here’s what’s even more interesting. The “Cinderella” and “Man in a Hole” plots both line up well with the story of Jesus. Here’s what I mean.
Let’s take the “Man in a hole” scenario. Jesus was crucified. And He died and was entombed. “Fall.” But He rose from the dead (as He predicted He would), and there were lots of eyewitnesses. “Rise.” (aka: resurrection)
And it’s basically the same story with the “Cinderella” plot line. Jesus exploded onto the scene when He started performing His miracles and giving His incredibly insightful speeches. “Rise.” And just like in the other scenario He was crucified. And He died and was entombed. “Fall.” But He rose from the dead (as He predicted He would), and there were lots of eyewitnesses. “Rise.” (aka: resurrection)
You can say it’s a fairy tale, just another book or movie. But that doesn’t erase the Truth. You can say the story of Jesus was simply written by men with an agenda. But that only shows me you haven’t actually read the book. You can even say eternity doesn’t exist for anyone. But that’s a hopeless plot line.
And people need hope. You and I need hope. Fortunately Jesus made sure we have it. In Him.
So, out of the six basic plots, make your life’s story one of the two most popular.
Maybe you’ll rise to prominence, eventually die, but go to Heaven. Rise, fall, rise. Or you’ll live an ordinary life, eventually die, but go to Heaven. Fall, rise. Either way, don’t let the big, bad world, or even the people to your left or your right, rob you of your joy.
Celebrate Resurrection Day 2023 this Sunday (April 9). Matter of fact, celebrate every other day of life your Creator has given you. Don’t be Oedipus. And don’t let your life be a tragedy because you chose unwisely.
Here’s a rhyme to celebrate Good Friday.
Happy Easter Day
There’s a story you might know
Of a man who was killed some time ago.
He did nothing that was wrong,
But some people made Him suffer for so long.
Still there’s good news you can learn
‘Cause He died to give you what you’ll never earn.
He was nailed up on a cross,
But the people didn’t understand the loss.
Then they took Him to a tomb,
And they laid His lifeless body in that room,
But the story didn’t end there.
There would only be three days He would spend there.
Happy Easter day…He arose!
© 2007 Tony Funderburk
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