What I Learned at the Movies this Week-end (That Might Just Change Your Life)

Most good stories are about change.

Over the Christmas week-end, people flocked to movies that portray lives in the midst of change – The Blind Side, Invictus, It’s Complicated, Avatar, Did You Hear About the Morgans, Up in the Air, Scrooge. It’s what we look for in great stories – a compelling character facing challenging circumstances who uses those circumstances as a catalyst for change or changes to overcome them or is changed by them for the better.

We do tolerate some characters in our stories that don’t change but we have a special name for them – villains. The bad guys or the antagonists resist change. They stagnate. They become victims of circumstance. They may grow more evil but as they become more evil they also have a tendency to become boring.

Look at the great stories and movies through the centuries and you’ll see a distinct penchant on our part, an obsession even, with characters who change. We love a good transformation.

I believe that locked deep inside our DNA is a coded message from our Designer, a message that is released when we delve into our subconscious, our creative imaginative mind and express ourselves in story. The message that emerges over and over and over is that change is possible, change is desirable, that we are here to be transformed.

Sometimes we become cynical about change. New Year’s resolutions seem an exercise in futility. We’ve spent the holidays surrounded by people stuck in endlessly unhealthy patterns. We find an old journal and realize that three quarters of our New Year’s resolutions haven’t changed since 1968. The enemy creeps up behind us and whispers in our ear that we should grow up, stop expecting people to grow, stop trying to be different – people don’t change, we won’t change, just accept it.

But people do change. Not just in the movies, not just in storybooks, not just in our imaginations.

Change isn’t easy but it is possible. Look at the disciples. What a bunch of yokels! Uneducated fishermen, a tax collector, the great unwashed, oppressed and stuck, just like the rest of us, in patterns that did not show much promise for the future.

But then they meet Jesus.

Not a single overnight success among them but now we know that because of their relationship with Jesus Christ, they became the ultimate movers and shakers of history. Change is possible.

And just like every good story, it starts in your head. Romans 12:2 says “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” When we read God’s word, we get in touch with His mind and we open our minds to Him and to His way of thinking. This is the beginning of transformation. As we follow Jesus, change happens.

So what about you? In 2010, will you choose change? Will you choose to be the star of your own movie, the character who is transformed, who overcomes, who grows? Or will you remain unchanged and risk being the villain, the unyielding antagonist, or the bit player in someone else’s story?

To follow Jesus is to know the hope of transformation, of meaningful change, of an eternal New Year. I pray that if you do not know Him, you will choose to change that in the year to come and that if you do know Him, you will go deeper with Him in 2010. I’ll see you there.

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3 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Pardon me but my response will be a portion of my blog that will be posted later today because it fits so well..LOL

    AS I look back over the year, I see so many things that God has brought me to and through, most of all I see the many blessings He has given me and my family.

    One of them is the ability to look back not only at 2009 but over the many past years since He saved me and know that HE is working in a through my life continuing to grow me and change me with every passing day, week month, and year.

  2. charlesangel says:

    I am so thankful that I am a child of the King!
    I am a work in progress for the Masters Hands. He molds me like a potter molds his clay. I have been saved by the blood of Jesus that He shed for me and all of the lost in this world. Some day we all will see Him face to face, what a Glorious day that will be!! I do not want Him to say go away from Me, I know you not!!!
    I do not have any regrets as I look back over this past year. Unless there might be one. I have not been as strong as I would like to have been in reaching the lost for Him! That is the reason we have these wonderful Blogs to testify about what a wonderful Saviour Jesus is for us. I pray that if the person reading my comment does not know Jesus as their personal Savior, they would not wait another minute without seeking Him in their life! Our life on earth is so short, but eternity is forever!
    I would rather have Jesus forever than earthly things for a little while without Him!!
    How about you?

  3. Cheri says:

    Lori, you said, “Not a single overnight success among them but now we know that because of their relationship with Jesus Christ, they became the ultimate movers and shakers of history. Change is possible.”

    What an encouragement! Truly! I want to be an overnight success, but it isn’t how God designed it. If we could be an overnight success, grace would be cheap and easily left behind for the next exciting thing to come along. It’s as we toil in the Spirit and power of our Lord… as he perfects us little by little… that we come to appreciate true love and true grace. It’s then that we can be movers and shakers, drawing others unto Him.

    Thanks for a great post!

    Cheri