I really like movies.
I feel like I get a lot out of them. The fact that all this money was spent by a studio to bring to life a director’s vision, something that must have moved him greatly, to life, and that I can experience that vision and be moved by it as well, blows me away!
Seems like most movies have something to say or leave you with something to think on. Whether it’s about human rights (Selma), the environment (Avatar), political control (Hunger Games) or a plethora of other topics, we can walk away, most of the time, with something new to think about and examples of these concepts.
Side note: Unless its Michael Bay, seriously I’ve never walked out of one of the transformers movies being able to restate what I just saw happen with words… Sound effects maybe, but not words.
Over the weekend I saw the movie Bridge of Spies with Tom Hanks. It really brought to life a very tense era of history I really don’t know enough about: the cold war.
No Spoilers I swear…
In the movie, Tom Hanks is seen with a Russian spy who, if he stays in the U.S. will inevitably be executed or thrown into prison, or if he ends up back over seas, will probably be put to death by his people who have disowned him.
Tom Hanks asks the man a very logical and common question at least four times in the film “Aren’t you worried?”, and each and every time in the film the man responds, “Would it help?”.
SUCH A POWERFUL STATEMENT!
This is a man who has been disowned and is most likely going to be put to death and he refuses to worry!
How often are we going through things in our every day life that are (hopefully) less severe in which we worry as if it is the end of the world as we know it?
Another time in history that I don’t know nearly as much as I would like to about that was also very tense is the middle east in the first century.
This was the time of the man Jesus ministry and we can find him teaching something very similar about worry.
In the book of Matthew 6:25-33 Jesus is in the midst of teaching His sermon on the mount to potential Jewish followers speaking on how to live life to the fullest in this new kingdom of love He had come to establish.
These people had had their money taken from them by corrupt tax collectors, temples violated, and been mistreated in general time and time again.
Any moment they were ready to take up arms and fight against their oppressor.
After speaking to them about how to pray, to forgive, to be at peace with God and man, and to not act holier than thou when practicing their beliefs and money, Jesus touches on worry.
Side note: Jesus’ sermon on the mount is a teaching that is so applicable today so if you haven’t read Matthew 5-7 or if it has been a while I encourage you to.
I like how NT Wright translates Matt 6:25-34. It’s a fresh way of hearing a truth some of us have heard quite a bit before (but mostly because I hear him read it in his British accent and really enjoy his use of exclamation points)!!!
“So let me tell you: don’t worry about your life, what to eat what to drink; don’t worry about your body, what to wear. There is more to life than food! There is more to the body than a suit of clothes! Have a good look at the birds in the sky. They don’t plant seeds, they don’t bring in the harvest, they don’t store things in barns, and your father in heaven feeds them! Think how different you are from them! Can any of you add fifteen inches to your height just by worrying about it?
And why worry about what to wear? Take a tip from the lilies in the countryside. They don’t work; the don’t weave; but, let me tell you, not even Solomon, in all his finery was dressed as well as one of these. So if God gives that sort of clothing even to the grass in the field, which is here today and on the bonfire tomorrow, isn’t he far more likely to clothe you too?
So don’t worry away with your ‘what’ll we eat?’ and ‘what’ll we drink?’, and ‘what’ll we wear?’. Those are all the kinds of things the Gentiles fuss about, and your heavenly father knows you need them all. Instead, make your top priority God’s kingdom and His way of life, and all these things will be given to you as well.
SO don’t worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow can worry about itself. One day’s trouble at a time is quite enough.”
These words always blow me away!
It’s something I need to often be reminded to put into practice.
These other words from Jesus always get me too!
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
and lastly, from the same sermon, Luke 12:25:
Which of you by being anxious can add a single day to your lifetime?
I know that’s a lot of scripture but the way the Russian spy in those crazy conditions acted in the face of certain death challenged me this weekend really brought all of that back to my mind.
I hope it challenges you all as well.
Everything in your life you were scared of or didn’t think you could recover from has worked out. So why not your present worries? No need to worry, there is something bigger going on. God is with you even if you can’t see it. He goes before you and He is already in the future of your situation working it for good.