My wife and I truly enjoy a good movie – like the recent uplifting movie, “Gravity” (boo on the pun). But, I’ve never watched the Oscars until last night, for no special reason other than to say that I have.
Things that I appreciated that are a reflection of something that I want to say below, but first:
1. A good story, told well and shown well, is captivating to our sense of being a human. We know ourselves and our world best when we see both told in a story.
2. Stories told well do not take place by chance. The months, even years of time that it takes to produce one good story is breathtaking: look at the credits of a movie and notice the amount of people that it takes to pull it off; think of the brain-cracking hours of script-re-writing and “take 53” moments that happen in a movie to get it right; stand in awe and wonder over the brilliant talents that come together to put on paper, then film, what they see unfolding in their minds; believe that not one frame per second (30 frames per second) is left to chance to tell the story.
3. Finally, all good movies create a problem to fix. There is no such thing as a story that does not have some kind of tension that draws us to a resolution.
I felt sorry for the very people who spend their lives working so hard to tell a good story, yet live so blindly to The Story of all stories. Of course, not all are blind, but it seems that most are. If we are by nature story-tellers and cannot make sense out of our world without telling stories, and seeing ourselves in one, then does it not make sense that a very detailed, personal, grand Story-Teller is casting the Hero of all heroes?
I appreciated that Glenn Close said, “thanks,” to all the recent deceased in the film industry, who contributed in their own way, a “story” to be told. It is right and good to show respect to people who helped make a good story come to life. And it is right to feel loss when people are no longer with us. Having observed this: if there is no higher point to the stories we tell and live, then by reason, we would not care one bit about stories and those who tell them, and live and die for them. How inconsistent it is to so appreciate story-telling and then not believe the reason why we appreciate them?
All good story-telling is Diachronic, not Synchronic. Diachronic is a word that means the present is connected to the past and the future. Synchronic is a word that means the present is not necessarily connected to anything by intention, but only by coincidence. Not one movie last night that was up for an Oscar would have gotten that far had it been told, synchronically. By nature, humans want to know why and where does this lead? We want to see real, intentional connections to people, places, and things. We can’t and won’t follow random. And we can’t just watch an event without wanting to know the meaning of the event as it relates to other events.
So if you think that your life is to be interpreted synchronically, that is, you’re here for a little while, and when you’re not – poof, you are being hypocritical to yourself since you like good story-telling. Or if you believe that when you die, there is some marshmallow cloud with unlimited internet access where you can float around and do whatever you want – don’t you see that you are not being honest with what your heart is telling you? Don’t you see that you are suppressing a truth that you can’t seem to shake? And that truth is: You were made in the image of a real and personal God who wrote the greatest script with Jesus at the center, and you were made to support the main actor. You will either support the main actor with your adoration and joy and trust and hope and allegiance and satisfaction and worship, or you will support the main actor in your rebellion the way any villain supports the hero in a story: The true hero always wins as the malcontent is defeated. And everyone cheers for the true hero!
Dear reader, do not think that you should have played the main part to your life-story. Only Christ is qualified to take center-stage. See yourself as “supporting-actor,” and you will discover the true meaning for your life.