Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Tom, Jimmy, & Adam
Castaway has long been a favorite movie of mine... Actually, I think you really cannot go wrong with Tom Hanks. If you aren't familiar with the plot, it goes a little like this: Parcel delivery company worker (Hanks) goes on a flight to deliver packages abroad, but a freak plane accident over the ocean finds him the lone survivor floating on a mostly deflated raft. He eventually washes ashore a tiny island, and has to learn survival skills in order to stay alive. Four years go by... yes, FOUR, and still he has not been found, and in fact, presumed dead. This desperate man goes to desperate measures to find someone to help him. He finally sets sail on his handmade log raft, and a large cargo vessel spots him. He is brought back to the USA safely to return to life as he once knew it. Whew! What a journey.
Then there is It's a Wonderful Life. That one takes the top spot on my list. Again, if unfamiliar with the story, here it goes: George Bailey (played by Jimmy Stewart) finds himself married with children, running a not-so-successful loan business/bank with his very forgetful uncle who misplaces a large sum of money. This was it. George saw no way out and was about to end his life by jumping into a river, when an angel is sent on mission to save George's life. He takes George through a tour of his town & how different it would be if George never existed. It seems every part of George's life has touched so many others for the better, and without him, everyone is worse off. Clarence the angel saved George from doing the irreversible and unthinkable. George regains immense gratitude for his family, community, and own life. By the end of the film, he is running downtown shouting "Merry Christmas!" to anyone who will hear him.
Do you see a parallel in these two movies? Both men in need of help. Not just anyone, but someone who can do them a HUGE favor. Both men take drastic measures to make things better, and in the end, both are saved. I love a good redemption story. Triumph after trial is just so fulfilling to witness.
There is another story not unlike the above movies that everyone needs to hear about....except, it happened. Hollywood has yet to come up with a better plot. Here it is: a man made in a perfect, beautiful garden is in close relationship with his Creator. He even names all of the animals sent to make his world enjoyable, even fun. He is given a woman as a helper, and his only instruction is to stay away from a particular tree, which bears fruit of knowledge of good and evil. A devious serpent tempts the man into eating a forbidden apple from that tree. Guess what? He is alienated from his Creator. His legacy becomes all of mankind's tragedy. His actions have led us all on a path of disparity. His choice doomed all people to be far away from God while making mindless, selfish, sinful choices. Then, enters Jesus.
His life, His choices, His legacy changed it all. We all have hope because of this Man who went to extreme circumstances- a criminal's death, and a cruel one at that, to bring us back to God. We need to just accept the offer, the help so freely given.
The parallel, I hope, is now obvious between all 3 stories. Fallen human in search of help, exasperated by trying to get it right and merely surviving, finds a Savior when least expecting, and is brought safely home to live a life of purpose.