I Want to Live!

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, January 12, 2009 0 comments

Many of you may or may not know that I am a movie buff. I’m not a huge one, but I enjoy relaxing to a movie with my family or even sitting down to watch Jackie Chan for the 10th time. I just love movies!

Two movies in 2008 stood out to me not only as great entertainment, but also as stories with a poignant message from which to learn and teach. In this first installment, I will be writing about that adorable strong man and intergalactic superhero — no, I’m not talking about Hancock or Iron Man, but none other than… Wall(e).

Yes, Wall(e). I was hesitant to even watch this movie because of what I had heard from others and from what I had perceived would be nothing more than a brain-washing statement on the danger of global warming and a thoroughly politically-correct “green” message. 

However, I was pleasantly surprised to find, I believe, a diamond in the rough. Behind all of its comedy and cuteness is a serious lesson for students and adults alike. Let me explain one truth that I recognized. At one point in the movie, we are introduced to humans who are on a spaceship. They are all overly obese, excessively entertained, and completely self-indulged on food, convenience, and communication. It was an eerily realistic representation of the way that many of us Americans live. It led me to consider: Have we become so carnal, self-absorbed, and self-centered that we don’t even see the truth anymore? I believe the answer is, “yes.” My own life is included in that answer. (For further reflection, listen to our podcasts with Dan Schilling on Oct. 27, Nov. 2, and Nov. 9, 2008. They will equip you to have a kingdom mindset for life.)

“Black Friday,” the shopping day after Thanksgiving, is a perfect example of the blind carnality and self-absorption that many of us have. A Christian friend of mine told me that on Black Friday, he dove for one of the three remaining laptops for the sale price of $299. (Ok, I probably would have done the same thing, but does this attitude glorify Christ?) The entertainment industry wades in the desire of Christians and non-Christians alike to escape from reality through entertainment. For instance, game companies now flood the market with board games about television shows. Instead of actually playing tennis, bowling, or exercising, we now play a sport on our TV and equate it with the real thing.

Rather than getting only a regular size soda, we “build a bigger barn,” and order what seems to be a keg of soda just for one sitting. And we presume that that is normal.

Here’s more proof: My father was recently in McDonald’s to purchase two chicken sandwiches, a small fry, and two small drinks for himself and me for lunch. The man behind him handed the cashier a coupon for a chicken sandwich and told her, “They usually let me get three with this.” Let me tell you that this man certainly was not in need of three sandwiches, if you know what I mean. However, since he was with a couple of people, we supposed that the sandwiches were for them. After the cashier’s approval, the man pulled out three more coupons for three sandwiches each, for a grand total of twelve sandwiches, and ordered fries, drinks, etc. Thus, the three of them sat down to devour their feast.

I think you get the point. Some of you might be thinking, “What’s the big deal? They had the money, and McDonald’s approved it. So why write about that?” Despite the obvious fact that such a habit is unhealthy, here’s the truth that I am trying to convey for you to ponder: Have we, as the Church, gotten so complacent that we just want to be entertained and spoon-fed from the pulpit? For those of you in small churches, have you become numb to winning people to Christ or so focused on your “club” that you think that baby baptism and confirmation are enough to be a Christian? You may go to church services every Sunday morning just to get your spiritual charge for the week, to gorge yourself on the biblical message to last you until next week.

But do you care to live your faith during the week?

Another truth is portrayed in a poignant scene near the end of Wall(e), in which the captain of the ship is speaking to the ship’s auto-pilot robot. The captain wants to return to earth, but the auto-pilot informs him that he has been warned against that, in order for the human race to survive. The captain plaintively responded, “But I don’t want to survive! I want to live!” Even in his comfortable, mundane existence, the captain realized that there must be more to life than mere survival.

We need to realize that God has so much more for us than just survival in the life that He has given us. Now those of you in large churches also need to be aware of your attitude toward church. In a busy, active church, it is easy to get lost in Sunday morning services and programs that fill your time throughout the week and forget that there is so much more to the Christian life.

Live the Christian life! Get into ministry opportunities right where you are. But don’t contain “ministry” just within the walls of your church building. Go out into the world, as the disciples did after Jesus went home to heaven. They were merely following His example, though: He ministered right where He was in the everyday world. Don’t remain locked away in some church athletic program or a cliquey Sunday school class. Actually, when Jesus went to the temple, He questioned the status quo and seemed to challenge the hypocrisy that the institution had become. Jesus did not challenge God and His ways, but He challenged the man-made, man-instituted rules that they were placing upon the people. Perhaps it is time to follow Christ’s example. He did not challenge people and their practices to be a jerk or a problem. I believe He genuinely wanted people to search for the truth.

What about you? Are you tired of the mundane and the table scraps you are receiving? I know I am. Do you feel like you’re just surviving? Your needs, wants, and whatever else you can think of are being met, but are you truly living? Are you living the adventure that God has in store for you? Maybe living for God has become just a religion or a list of rules to fulfill your obligations to the Supreme Being and others. If it does, you might need to reevaluate your relationship with God.

Are you ready to live for Christ with a reckless abandon, not worrying about yourself or what others think about you? I know my family and I are, and we want to welcome you to join us in this adventure for Christ. Live the adventure of a lifetime serving Christ where you are, no matter where that is and no matter your circumstances. Next week, I will tell you my favorite movie of the year. No, it’s not Prince Caspian or a story about a Dark Knight.