Monday, July 2, 2007

It's a Wonderful Life

Frank Capra's 1946 classic of the same name has become one of the most enduring and endearing movies of all time, even though it lost $525,000.00 at the box office on its Christmas Day release. Many families I know, including mine, have made it a tradition to watch this inspiring movie every Christmas Eve, and regardless of how many times you've watched it, you're still moved to surreptitiously wipe a tear from the corner of your eye. What makes this movie so captivating? Why does the story seem so timeless? May I presume to answer by saying I think it's captivating, timeless and so much more primarily because the big idea is that "no one is born to be a failure." This truth resonates with the human heart. In the midst of our greatest trials, tragedies and struggles, we are somewhat comforted in knowing that, unlike the timeless impact of the movie, our trials are temporary.

There's a little bit of George Bailey in all of us. Our temporary trials often cause us to fixate on the problem and not the solution, which is often times staring us right in the face, and often takes the form of the most unlikely of solutions, just like Clarence the non-descript angel. The truth is though, that we are all created with a sense of purpose and destiny, and our lives remain unfulfilled unless we are walking in that purpose. If we view life only through the prism of our own circumstances, we have a tendency to forget how much of an impact our lives have on the lives of those around us. Life does not exist in a vacuum and George Bailey had the "impossible" privilege of experiencing this concept first hand. He had the chance to see what Bedford Falls... (I mean Pottersville) would have been if he had never been born.

Your impact is more far reaching than you can even begin to imagine. Your "momentary and light afflictions" are only for a season and make you a "far better person than you could ever have been otherwise." There's a great set of verses that speak to this very idea.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is the Father who is full of mercy and all comfort. He comforts us every time we have trouble, so when others have trouble, we can comfort them with the same comfort God gives us."

Whatever troubles you might be facing today, remember that you were not born to be a failure, and this trial is only temporary. Your mountain top experience is just beyond this valley of troubles. Oh, and don't forget, you have a "Clarence" assigned to you too, so you don't have to worry about anything!