Friday, April 28, 2006

My Life-Affirming Movie

Last week I attended a leadership banquet at my church. The minister that facilitated the banquet showed a clip from the movie, Rudy. His charge to us was to "stay in the game" no matter how discouraged you may get. At my table, I decided to throw out the question, "What's your life-affirming movie?" I'm somewhat known for my "table topics" to keep a conversation going during meal time. To define "life-affirming movie" I said that it was a movie that when you feel you have no purpose or worth, you can watch and feel like you can conquer the world. Some might call it a George Bailey moment. This isn't your favorite romance, mystery, or action flick, but a movie that goes deeper than surface entertainment.

Normally when I throw out a table topic, I have my answer ready in case it is needed to spark the conversation. My life-affirming movie is Mr. Holland's Opus. I'll never forget the first time I saw it - I cried like a baby at the end. The tagline alone is moving, "It's not the direction you take, but the direction you give." I love that! For those of you who may have never seen it, the story is about a musician and composer who takes a job as a music teacher so in his spare time he can write music and become rich and famous. The end of the movie is so moving, that when I think about that scene I get teary-eyed. If you haven't seen it, I won't ruin it for you - go rent the movie and see it for yourself.

I think I identify with this movie because I love to spend my time mentoring others and doing ministry through my church, but in the depths of my heart, I dream of writing a novel and being published. Ahh, but where is the time? I realize that life happens while you are making other plans, and life is pretty doggone fulfilling at times. I may never get a single thing published - and I've tried - or ever get that novel on paper. But, in the meantime, I'm enjoying life and the road it is taking. And, as Mr. Holland's students said, "We are the music of your life."

What is your life-affirming movie? And, remember, not just that movie that is simply entertaining, but the movie that makes you realize why God chose you for the work you are doing.


Twinkie said...

OK, this one is kind of obvious, but have you seen Simon Birch? Holy cow... you talk about crying like a baby. I was out of my mind. That movie reminds me that it takes MANY, MANY different kinds of people to make the world go 'round. When I'm getting strange looks because I sometimes "march to the beat of a different drum" I am doing just fine and dandy.

RosieBoo said...

I've heard Simon Birch was a huge tear-jerker!! I've not watched it mainly because a friend of mine, who is a rock and never cries, cried like a baby. I need to prepare with a couple boxes for that one...

Jules said...

The one movie that stands out in my mind at the moment is "Bruce Almighty." While there are points in the movie that bug me (ie-potty words), I really like "Bruce Almighty." I love the part about the old lady who was bankrupt and prayed for a financial blessing and Bruce gave it to her, only to find out later from "God" that had she not fell into the $$ (literally) she would've been forced to contact her sister which would've led to a reconciliation between the two...point being, we pray for alot of things and about a lot of things, but the fundamental truth is that we really don't know what we want outside of His will for us. We "think" we do, but none of us know the "big picture." Also, the way they include "free will" into the equation. And the file cabinet of everything you've said, done, thought, etc...Good grief. It's life affirming for me because I like the idea that God has a sense of humor...that the gifts I have are mine for a purpose. His purpose. It's just kinda sad on my part that it took me nearly 3-4 decades to figure alot of this out.

RosieBoo said...

I've never seen Bruce Almighty, but I'll have to check it out. I had first heard it was a bit blasphemous, so I was hesitant, but I'm curious to know how Hollywood is portraying Christianity.

TimTheFoolMan said...

"Bruce Almighty" is an absolute riot.

My favorite line is when he decides to hear prayers via e-mail, determines that there's no way to keep up with all the prayers, and exclaims "What a bunch of whiners!"

My movie... I'm torn between "Apollo 13" (because God seems to drop me into moments of crisis) and "Remember the Titans." In my life, I've had the opportunity to touch as many (or more) lives through coaching youth football as I've had teaching youth Bible study.

Accordingly, I see "Remember the Titans," and am inspired to have the same kind of impact on a wide range of kids.