Since The Walking Dead broke records for their Season Two premiere, the show has gained a fast following of fans. Even as our airwaves are being flooded with new shows about zombies, this show stands out among the rest. The drama of human morality, fear, and life-altering choice drives The Walking Dead to the top of the charts. Viewers are left with that lingering question of "What would I do in their shoes?"
That question keeps me up at night after I watch each episode. Would I try to abort my baby in a post-apocalyptic world even though I don't believe in abortion? Would my husband kill another human being to save the lives of his family? Would my child learn to hold a gun and point it at someone who once was a second father to him? The zombie apocalypse makes a once easy answer much more difficult.
Or, does it?
In Season 1 & 2, Dale was able to keep the virtues of what is right and wrong alive but now that he is dead, the group has lost their grip on morality. The survivors in The Walking Dead are now searching for a moral compass and a cure for not turning into zombies. The challenges that the survivors face streams into our households begging viewers to think about human nature and what motivates us to survive life’s trials.
Scientists try to turn walkers back to normal but fail. In our society, false promises of living a better life are waiting around every corner. But, like the scientists' experiments in the show, these promises fail too. The walkers of our world are in need of a savior - someone who can breathe in new life to cure our hurt and mend our souls.
That somebody is Jesus.
One might argue that a zombie apocalypse has already occurred and plenty of people are dead men walking from depression, financial pressure, and loneliness. Voids fill hearts and eyes as present-day walkers shuffle throughout daily routine with a lack of joy, hope, or love. The zombies among us are alive in body but not in soul.
Some days, I feel like a mommy zombie as I go about my day battling this season of the terrible two's. I get so worn out and life choices aren't as black and white as they were before children. Easy answers to questions like "What's for dinner?" turn me upside down and I seriously consider biting someone's head off.
When I feel like a walker, Jesus' truth is the only thing that saves me. Without reading his words, worshiping his name, or giving him my troubles, my soul is dead. Whenever I face fear like the survivors on the show, Jesus gives me strength to fight and peace to rest in his presence. From watching The Walking Dead and following Christ’s example on living victoriously, I’ve learned 5 tips for not turning into a walker:
1. Know Your Enemy: On the show, other humans become enemies to each other just as much as the walkers. In our modern-day apocalypse, we will face not only dead men walking but people filled with hate, jealousy, and pride. But, Jesus tells us to love our enemies (Luke 6:27) and do good to those who hate you. First Chronicles 21:1 also shares that Satan is the superhuman enemy of God, humanity, and good. That leads me to point number two:
2. Arm Yourself: Now that we know zombies, other humans, and Satan are our enemies, we must learn how to defend ourselves properly. We are in a spiritual warfare with the kingdom of darkness and live behind enemy lines (Ephesians 6:12). During this time, we must trust in Jesus’ truth and arm ourselves with the shield of faith, breastplate of righteousness, belt of truth, and helmet of salvation (Eph. 6:14-17).
3. Get to Higher Ground: When zombies attack on the show, the survivors run to safety. The higher up they go, the more visible the walkers become allowing them to find an escape route. It is easy for us to fill trapped and surrounded by zombies, but we should follow Jesus’ example too when he went to higher ground to spend time in prayer and reflection with his Father. From this viewpoint, he gained strength to fight his enemy and wisdom to share with his followers (Matthew 5:1).
4. Don’t Lose Your Head (literally): The survivors of The Walking Dead are not only trying to stay alive from zombie attacks, but they are also trying to keep their sanity. It is so tempting for us to lose our cool under pressure and snap into walker-mode but we must seek Christ in these moments to keep our peace and well-being (Romans 8:6-8).
5. Stick Together: The remaining humans in The Walking Dead have learned that sticking together will help them to survive. Each person on the show has their own gifts to contribute to the group allowing them to work together as a unit. As Christians, we too have to stick together with other believers in Christ and use our spiritual gifts to help others (1 Corinthians 12). Fellowship in small groups, prayer warriors, and support groups help us to create community and grow as the body of Christ (Acts 2:42-47).
Choosing to walk with Christ instead of walking dead is a life-altering decision that we all have to make. Just like the survivors of The Walking Dead, we have to decide what guides our morality and how we will survive from turning into a zombie. Season Three is sure to be filled with these challenging questions and again asking viewers, “What would I do in their shoes?”