The importance of faith

If you don’t mind my taking the gaming motif one speculative step further, bear with me for a moment. I haven’t been in the battlegrounds much over the last few days, partly because I was occupied with the aforementioned Imaginary Property work, but also because I found myself completely drained by a particularly heated battle the other day.

It took them much longer than I expected, but the Horde finally found themselves a leader capable of counteracting the basic strategy that the Finnish leader and I had refined between us. The mindless warriors of the Alliance had gotten accustomed to following that strategy, which was admittedly quite effective, but once a strategy becomes predictable it is much easier to work out tactics to blunt that effectiveness even if you don’t have a counter-strategy. When I popped in late the other day, I was surprised to see that we were losing by about 100 casualties, one of our towers had been burned and we had given up both graveyards in the middle in return for one graveyard in the south.

It was clear that the Alliance was not only handicapped by a silent Battleground Leader, but further disadvantaged because the Horde appeared to have a pretty good one for once. Things were getting increasingly desperate when the loss of the graveyards put Icewing under obvious threat and the idiots got too enthusiastic about pushing south from Iceblood and lost that as well. Just then, the leader chose that moment to succumb to demands from a few experienced Alterac vets and make me leader. I really didn’t know what to do, since strategy is much more my thing than tactics, (the Finnish guy is an amazing tactician, if all the Finns are like him it’s no wonder the Soviets had so much trouble with them in the last century), and I hadn’t even looked at the map before Icewing was being taken by the Horde with little prospect of us getting it back thanks to our loss of the two nearby graveyards. Three, if you count Iceblood.

I figured the best thing to do was to try to stabilize the situation and staunch the bleeding, so I ordered everyone in the north to stop trying to take back Stonehearth or Icewing, where they could do nothing but rack up casualties at a rapid rate, and instead defend the chokepoint at Stormpike. I told everyone that we could draw it out and make them pay for the victory, but I really didn’t see any way that we could win at this point since we were so far behind and the Horde obviously had a pretty good leader. I was completely resigned to losing, when one of the vets replied “yeah, well, so do we.”

I don’t know how, precisely, but that small expression of confidence in my leadership was like a shot of pure inspiration. They were pressing us so hard and were so far ahead that I realized they weren’t likely to worry much about defending. So, I put together a stealth team of two rogues and a druid and sent them south to Frostwolf, while ordering everyone still battling around Iceblood and the nearby towers to fall back and take Snowfall from behind so that we could at least try to keep Balinda alive. Meanwhile, Icewing burned and the outnumbered northern forces were driven back from Stormpike, which quickly put the Dun Baldur towers under threat since we could not hold the bridge.

Fortunately, the Horde leader only sent two defenders south, both of whom were dispatched by the stealth team, and the two Frostwolf towers burned. Snowfall helped us keep Balinda alive, and the Horde finally quit trying to kill her in favor of overwhelming us at Dun Baldur, the two towers of which were constantly changing hands. The stealth crew in the south managed to take the Frostwolf Relief Hut, so suddenly it became apparent that if we could burn the Hut and kill Galv before one of the Dun Baldur towers burned, we would win. I ordered everyone from Snowfall to Galv even as the Horde took the southern DB tower, but it was clear from the timer that there was no way we could do either before the Horde burned the crucial tower. I led three charges, but we were outnumbered and simply couldn’t beat our way through… but the attacks provided enough of a distraction that one of our southern roguestars – who’d taken the initiative to recall once it became clear that the Horde was letting the Frostwolf hut go – slipped in behind their defense and took the tower back with less than five seconds to spare.

Not ten seconds later, the relief hut burned. Not a heartbeat after that, the very welcome words GALV IS DOWN! appeared, followed by the crashing piano sound and the announcement that the Alliance had won the victory in Alterac Valley. One fighter summmed it up for everyone: “How the #@$! did we do that?”

The answer, I think, is that faith flows both ways. The follower’s faith in the leader may be just as important to the leader as it is to the follower. Now, God does not literally need our faith to sustain Him any more than I literally needed to know that my warriors had confidence in my abilities in order to give them direction, and yet it’s not hard to understand how He might desire that faith, and perhaps even find motivation in it, all the same. Our faith in God sustains and inspires us, but who is to say that it does not also sustain or inspire Him in some manner? According to Scripture, it seems that He at least finds our faith to be something to be desired.

Perhaps the more rational conclusion is that I simply spend way too much time inhabiting imaginary worlds. Of course, I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t when a fair amount of what passes for my work in the nominally real one is every bit as imaginary.