When I looked up the statistics about the movie Do You Believe? – I found it revealing that the ratings are so low. But then, look at the culture that director Jon Gunn and writers Chuck Konzelman, Cary Solomon are up against. The United States, as well as much of Europe, and way too much of the world has renounced our Christian heritage. We are now a secularized world that is more moved by our American mythology of Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, and The Avengers, than by the reality of Jesus Christ. Not that I don’t like Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, The Avengers, and the rest of those good guys. I like them. They point to a truth, but they can only point – they aren’t really true. But movies like God is Not Dead, Do You Believe? face the rather dauntless task of reminding us of a truth that sounds more like fiction than alien beings coming to conquer and save us – depending on their mood. Instead of gods of good and evil, Mr. Gunn, Mr. Konzelman, and Mr. Solomon attempt the near impossible – to use fiction to remind us of something so incredible, we hardly dare to dream something so good is true. Because frankly – in this world – it doesn’t seem true. It is easier to believe in aliens and the inevitable destruction of another major US city (Boy the tax hikes after these events must be killers!) than the reality of God’s own son dying for us, saving us, and preparing a home for us in Heaven.
So, as I reviewed the movie last night, which left me with pondering my vocation in life and wondering if a cup of hot tea would sooth the ache behind my eyes (It was that emotional) and even this morning as I supervised my little ones help paint the classroom wall downstairs (Who knew paint on the bottom of feet could move that fast!) I thought about the irony of ratings and money makers in this world. What does it all mean? What does it all come down to?
Well, for me, as I face the troubles of my day, big and small, I think about my mom and my husband who have both passed to the other side in recent years. (That scene of watching a Leukemia victim die in a hospital hit rather close to home – though my husband didn’t rise again in the hospital – he did his rising somewhere I cannot yet follow) I think about my kids – and their futures. Who will they grow up to BE? I think about the fact that I won’t be around forever either. I tell them, “Be who call God calls you to be. Don’t go where you will end up alone.” When I think of our fashioned gods of clay – our self-made images – I have to ask: Do these have the keys to the kingdom of Heaven? Can they take us into eternal life?
Personally, I am not a movie maker, a world shaker, or a woman of means. I am hoping to glue down some plastic tiles in the boot-room today and if I do that well, my world will be a little neater than it was. As Aristotle once said (I seriously paraphrase- forgive me): “A man is revealed by his habits” so in my habits of cooking, cleaning, serving, loving, hugging, laughing, and crying as needed, so I reveal myself and the God-habit in me. He is the cause of my being, the compass of my soul, and the love of my life.
When I consider ratings, I think – well – my writing may not get much notice, but if I nudge one soul towards God, I just changed the composition of Heaven, I just changed an eternal reality. What more do I want? Ratings indeed!