V is for Vanguard, Vanquish, or Victory, and 365 Days of Blessings, Day 330
I had settled on a V word. I really had. I had chosen Victory, and then these other two words kept popping up: Vanguard and Vanquish. Why? Trying to follow my own stream of scattered thought, I realized that I had them all related in my mind.
In a story, the hero is the vanguard who vanquishes the enemy, and emerges victorious.
Too many V words, I know. But each piece feels important to me today, in both writing, and faith.
1. the foremost division or the front part of an army; advance guard; van.
2. the forefront in any movement, field, activity, or the like.
3. the leaders of any intellectual or political movement.
4. ( initial capital letter ) Rocketry . a U.S. three-stage, satellite-launching rocket, the first two stages powered by liquid-propellant engines and the third by a solid-propellant engine.
Some related words to vanguard: van, avant-garde, new wave, cutting edge, forefront
Every hero in every story, whether they are vanquishing darkness, blandness, evil, or their own fears is the vanguard of their story. They need to be in the forefront, the cutting edge of the story, and act like the propellant to their own rocket ship.
Vanquish–verb (used with object)
1. to conquer or subdue by superior force, as in battle.
2. to defeat in any contest or conflict; be victorious over: to vanquish one's opponent in an argument.
3. to overcome or overpower: He vanquished all his fears.
Whether we are following definition 1, 2, or 3, I think every character needs to vanquish their enemy in their story. Again, they could vanquish darkness, blandness, the status quo, their own fears, their own bitterness . . . anything.
Victory:–noun, plural -ries.
1. a success or triumph over an enemy in battle or war.
2. an engagement ending in such triumph.
3. the ultimate and decisive superiority in any battle or contest.
4. a success or superior position achieved against any opponent, opposition, difficulty, etc.
Every hero needs a victory moment. Every hero. Maybe this is too American of me, wanting heroes to have victory at the end of their stories, but I think Victory is found in different ways in different cultures. I recently watched a British movie that dissatisfied me because the heroine didn't live "happily ever after" in the way that I expected, but I realized that in the end she had victory over her own fears, her own desires, and her own jealousies. She had a personal victory, and newfound freedom, even if she didn't get the guy, or conquer the castle.
So, in my faith life, which criss crosses with my love of fiction writing, reading and movie watching, I believe that the words Vanguard, Vanquish, and Victory are always relavent. Jesus offered a new covenant. His words and actions were a vanguard. He vanquished sin and death, and has achieved the ultimate victory of redemption for each of us. His story is the best, and most exciting story ever told.
1. Jesus has vanquished sin and death!
2. Jesus is victorious for all time!
3. Jesus is our hero!
4. The Bible is avant guarde, fresh, new, and like rocket propellant for those of us who sit too much on our faith, and need a swift kick in the pants.
5. The Bible is one of our foremost weapons in spiritual warfare, even though the ultimate battle has been won, we each face temptations and trials which test, try, and strengthen our faith.
6. Prayer is another one of our foremost weapons in spiritual warfare. Such a simple activity offers great defense, and gives us a way to work with the Lord in this world. Prayer, with the Lord, can change lives.
7. The armor of God.
8. Love is more powerful than hate, bitterness, or anger.
9. Faith is more powerful that doubt.
10. Hope pierces the darkness, and leaves shadows in its wake.
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people."