I came across these Adventures in Odyssey-inspired reflections among my writings, and thought they were worth sharing — even if you’re not an AIO fan or a writer:
If you’re going to introduce a character with a unique storyline, it’s important to develop that character beyond that storyline so that, when it ends, the character doesn’t lose everything that made him or her interesting. It would seem that a character becoming a Christian has the potential to make him or her much less interesting, especially if the writers have been building toward it for a long time. That didn’t happen with Connie and Eugene, though I would argue that pre- (and immediately post-)salvation Eugene was Eugene at his best, and since then, especially lately, the writers have had a hard time figuring out what to do with him (especially after all the drama with Katrina ended).
The salvation storyline is used often in Christian fiction because it’s an important issue that’s rather easy to portray, and, when done well, can be moving, thought-provoking and inspirational. But too many stories end with “and-then-he-became-a-Christian-and-they-lived-happily-ever-after.” While becoming a Christian is certainly a great, exciting thing, it’s not the end of the journey in real life, and so I don’t think it should be in fiction either … especially since it happily-ever-after from then on. Becoming a Christian doesn’t mean your problems are over. Neither is that moment of salvation the pinnacle of one’s faith. There’s the deepening of faith and love over time, the wrestling with doubts and fears and insecurities, the growing dependency on God during hard times, and the hard things that God may call you to do. It’s an adventure!
Generally, I think AIO does a good job portraying both the journey to faith and the journey of faith, but sometimes it’s hard to make the latter seem as exciting as the former. I think a lot of people sometimes fall into the trap of seeing the “becoming a Christian” part as the be-all and end-all, when really it’s just the beginning.