Several years ago, when I watched the Endless Eight series of episodes of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya , I jumped in without any warning. I hadn’t read anything about the arc and at the time, had no experience with the light novels. And as might can imagine, I was confused…were these episodes exactly the same? Were those little differences that I saw? Did they make a difference? And would this go on for eight episodes?
Of course, the arc has become infamous and hated. It’s tarnished the series, which perhaps was as acclaimed as any (and is still generally well-loved). I think many Haruhi fans would like to forget these episodes ever happened, and certainly most will skip them if rewatching the season.
Still, I enjoyed the episodes. To be honest, I didn’t watch 100% of the eight episodes, but I stay tuned through most of them, and grew to enjoy picking out the differences from viewing to viewing. And further, I was intrigued by the idea of this endless loop.
The events of “Endless Eight” take place during the summer – and for sure, who among us wouldn’t want to live a mostly responsibility free summer for perpetuity (as long as we’re doing different things, of course – not the same stuff 15,000 times)? An infinity of goodness is surely a good thing.
Or is it?
I think that when many think of the infinite goodness of Heaven in terms of spending eternity worshiping God, they don’t find it particularly enticing. But perhaps that view is muddled by a lack of understanding what Heaven will really be like (we all largely feign ignorance with this), what worship constitutes, and who God is.
Like most believers, I’ve had moments where I felt incredibly intimate with God – where I truly felt His presence near me. This small glimpse of being close to God should remind me of what our second life might be like. Forget angelic throngs singing the “Hallelujah Chorus” – I simply long to bask in the place where God resides.
I almost always focus on the here and now, but when thinking of Heaven in these terms, it becomes a bit easier to see life stretching from birth to infinity, rather than from birth to death. And this Endless Eight becomes something to long for, instead of a boring piece we prefer to ignore.