Faith & Fandom
Harry Potter & Being A Seeker, By Harrison Brown
Harrison Brown, whom you may know from - well, you probably don't know him from anything, actually. He typically sticks to writing music (available at soundcloud.com/heartbeats_music), but finds the occasional inspiration to write short essays. As a Jesus-following student, he jumps at opportunities to share his faith in creative ways and is very grateful for the opportunity to contribute to this book. He finds it very awkward to write in the third person like this. There is an old saying, “You are who you surround yourself with.” While not necessarily an ultimatum for all, it certainly holds some truth. There is a similar saying, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” However similar, the two differ; the second only offers a change of mind. The first ensures a change of heart. Harry Potter! Hated and abused orphan turned admired and heroic wizard. Bane of Conservative- Christian mothers everywhere. I myself wasn’t allowed to read the series as a child, and just recently got around to it as part of my desperate search of procrastination materials in college. I’ll be transparent; small piece of my psyche half-expected bits of witchcraft-y satanic material, borderline blasphemy, and hidden anti-Christian propaganda. These things, to my pleasant realization, are rather the opposite of what one will find within the covers of each bestselling book.
My psyche was ridiculously wrong - I would even be willing to compare the series to The Lord of the Rings, where Christian themes are unstated but accessible to one with open eyes. If you can get past the barrier of words like ‘witchcraft,’ ‘prophecy,’ and ‘magic,’ you will find a world of clearly defined good and evil, morality struggles, and the importance of friendship and acceptance. Appetizers aside, allow me to introduce you to this essay’s main course. Quidditch is the ever-popular sport of wizards in the world of Harry Potter. It involves four types of players on each team: a Keeper (the goalie), three Chasers (the offense), two Beaters (the defense), and a Seeker (a unique player with the sole ability to end the game.) Like most sports, teamwork in Quidditch is synonymous to success. Every player’s role must be filled adequately in order to achieve victory, and it certainly takes a team with good chemistry to win the game.
My next statement will indeed be said matter-of- factly, with complete disregard to the fact that we cannot fly around atop janitorial tools. We have all played Quidditch, and are playing right now. Some of us are currently in the lead, and some are losing miserably. Let’s bring back the opening statement. “You are who you surround yourself with.” You are only as good as your team is, and you simply cannot succeed if you try to play Quidditch as a one-person team.
Allow me to explain.
We can’t, of course, have real Chasers passing the ball to each other trying to score. However, we can have people in constant communication working towards the same goal. As do many wise biblical figures, King Solomon insists that a team is more effective than flying it solo. It only makes sense. To complement Ecclesiastes, Solomon also states, “whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment” in Proverbs 8. What I reckon from all this is that it’s basically pretty stupid to try to succeed alone. I’m not saying that God will only support those in groups, but in general great strength can stem from God-centric teamwork. You need friends around you who are truly living for God together. You need Chasers who bring with them constructive community and Godly inspiration.
Ecclesiastes 4:9 “two people are better than one because together they have a good reward for their hard work.”
The Keeper –
Though often not explicitly stated in the sports world, goalies are often the first (and easiest) to blame for a team’s poor performance. After all, they’re the ones who allowed a score in the enemy’s favor! In reality, a goalie’s job is not to win the game. A goalie’s true job is to help the team regroup once
the offensive and defensive players have failed. A Keeper isn’t much different in Quidditch; once the opposing Chasers cut through all defensive measures, the Keeper must prevent a score and help everyone start moving forward again. Let’s make this all theoretical again and say that the enemy scoring is analogous to you falling prey to a temptation. Satan sends his Chasers at you and they find a way to slither behind your offensive and defensive measures... So you sneak a drink. You watch ‘just a little’ porn. You lie. Basically, you break your word to God and pursue a destructive worldly pleasure. You failed. Who is going to help you get back on your feet? You’ve turned away from God and back towards yourself... Who can help you turn around? The Keeper is often underrated, but one of the most important members of the team. They are usually represented by a very close friend whom you feel comfortable confiding your issues with – the ‘accountability partners’ of the team. If you insist on going it alone, I would plead with you to at least find a Keeper for yourself. Turning back to God after a failure is painful and difficult, as Satan will do everything in his power to keep you backsliding so he can score over and over again.
Galatians 6:2 "Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."
What could make flying 70 mph on a stick of wood a half mile up in the air more dangerous? Just add heavy homing cannonballs that fly around trying to knock you off your broomstick, of course! To make the game even more hectic, neutral weapons called Bludgers hurtle around the fray ramming into anybody nearby. To keep the Chasers and Seekers safe from these missiles, the two Beaters of each team fly around the field (wielding bats) and knock the Bludgers toward enemy players and away from friendlies. Basically, a Beater’s job is to cut distractions away the rest of the team. Satan has a nasty habit of lying, have you noticed? I would hazard a guess that just about all sin stems from lies. For example; depression can grow from the lie of worthlessness or loneliness. Divorce can sprout from the lies that satisfaction is no longer obtainable. I’ve found that whatever problem exists and however well equipped you are to defend yourself against it, Satan is very capable of overwhelming your defenses by his sheer number of lies. You may be stronger than him, but he can convince you that he holds the upper hand. You simply can’t win in a fight against Satan flying solo. You need Beaters. You need stable and wise people around you who can see lies and proceed to take a big ol’ biblical bat and grand slam ‘em back to hell.
James 5:19-20 "My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins."
Possibly the most crucial member of any Quidditch team is the Seeker. The Seeker alone holds the ability to score a whopping 150 points and end the game. Even if a team is losing badly, a good Seeker can transform the lost game into a win. This team member’s job is to (independently from the rest of the team) dart around the field looking for a tiny golden ball called the Golden Snitch that flies rapidly around. Not only does the Seeker hold the most valuable job; they also hold the most difficult job... Finding the Golden Snitch proves to be a teasing and drawn-out process. The spirit and duty of the Seeker finds its home on your shoulders. You are the Seeker. Surrounded by Beaters, Chasers, and Keepers to help you along, you must chase after God’s will with all your heart. Often you can lose sight of it and become discouraged, but you must resume your search; you will find it again. It’s not easy. It was never meant to be easy, but it is certainly a worthwhile pursuit.
Isaiah 55:6-7 "“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."
Offense. Defense. Support. You. It seems obvious. It’s not. In this sin-baked world, putting together a full team of like-minded individuals is a rarity and a blessing. Regardless as to how and who, I encourage you to find teammates. God did not intend us to fight Satan alone, and gave us community for good reason. Find a Keeper who can encourage you when you fail. Find a Beater who can discern Satan’s lies. Find a Chaser who can encourage and inspire. Make sure you yourself are Seeking God. You will find that you yourself will end up playing more than one position for those around you. I have been down the road of failing alone and the road of failing together. I assure you, failing together is better in every way. Surround yourself with good Quidditch players, and life will become more bearable, more effective, and certainly less lonely. Good luck, Seekers.