Vampires, werewolves, and Twilight, oh my! I first began my experience with the world of Twilight and all things magical to get in touch with the younger teenage girls. I found it to be a world that I knew little about and found it quite odd at first. I mean, who would want to read a weird love story about a teenage girl and a 107-year-old vampire? Like that could ever happen anyway!
I was having a hard time connecting with young teens being a young twenty-something and finding this whole Team Jacob/Team Edward thing a bit confusing. I caught myself making fun of all the other college students my age who were actually reading these books. I couldn’t believe that they would stay up late at night to read a book that was not for a Western Civilization class or their next Biology exam. Really? College girls were even getting sucked into the vampire world now? Even though I thought that the vampire craze was a little ridiculous, I found myself being sucked in pretty quickly myself.
Once I started reading the books, I found them quite enjoyable and hard to put down. It really was not like me at all to read a book for enjoyment. Most books I read were mandatory, but yet I couldn’t put it down. I also found it helpful connecting with younger girls in my youth group back home. I was able to bond with young girls and instantly gained some coolness with them when I had said that I had read all of the Twilight books. For example, I was a sponsor for a weekend Christian retreat dedicated strictly to teenage girls. At first I found it difficult to have a conversation with them about anything because even though I was a teenage girl once, everything they thought was cool had totally changed in the past decade. Then I remembered Twilight. I know, I know, it sounds silly that a book would be an icebreaker with a group of girls, but it really was! We were able to discuss literally for an hour straight which book was the best, what would be better—to be a vampire or a werewolf—and did Bella choose the right guy.
In the Twilight Saga, Bella, the main character of the books, has a dilemma over which guy that is in love with her to choose. Doesn’t every seventeen year old have this problem? Two extremely wonderful guys fighting for her love. Ah, which one to pick? The werewolf, Jacob, is not immortal; he will eventually die. Bella could have a nice long life living with Jacob. However, the other guy she could choose is Edward, a vampire. He will live forever unless he gets decapitated or something like that. If she chooses the path with Edward, she could have the potential to become immortal too. Most people reading the book imagine being put in that same situation. Especially since the author, Stephanie Meyer, wrote the book in first person. And so, discussion with the teenage girls I was sponsoring led to what it would be like to live forever as the Cullen family was doing in the Twilight Saga.
Is living forever really all it is cracked up to be anyway? Edward and the rest of the Cullens didn’t have a choice in the matter; they were changed into vampires by someone else’s doing. However, Bella would have the choice. She could pick: live a normal mortal life or live forever.
As Christians we have a similar choice: We can live forever in eternity with Jesus Christ who died for our sins, or we could spend eternity in hell because we did not accept Jesus’ free gift of salvation. Hearing girls discuss eternal life really opened for discussion about Jesus telling people that he had come to give eternal life. Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life and you might have it to the full” (John 10:10, NIV). I also talked to the girls about the Bible story of the woman at the well. Jesus Christ told her that he had something far greater than water. He had Living Water. Jesus said in John 4:14, “I offer water that will become a well spring within you that gives life throughout eternity. You will never be thirsty again” (The Voice).
On my journey of reading one of the most popular books of this generation, God made something extraordinary happen: I was able to share with teenage girls the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. Boy, I didn’t see that coming from reading a book about vampires and werewolves! It just proves to me again how God can use anyone or anything to help people build relationships that matter for eternity—true eternity with Jesus Christ.