Thursday, October 22, 2015

The truth in the trailer

As I was watching my Eagles bumble their way toward a victory last Monday night, I saw that a new trailer for the upcoming Star Wars movie was playing at halftime.  The same as you, I was mildly interested . . .

And then I saw it.

It was Harrison Ford's voice that drew me in and what was said in a mere fifty-seven words speaks to all of us regardless of where we are in life.  The movie itself may wind up being a lemon, but this trailer speaks to something deep in us . . .

Watch the trailer again here.

And consider these ideas:

It starts off connecting with us and our identity:
"Who are you? . . . I'm no one"  0:17

"I've been raised to do one thing . . . but I've got nothing to fight for . . ."  0:24

It doesn't matter whether you are 17 or 77, there is always going to be a piece of you that wrestles with your identity - Are you valued? Do you matter?  What is your place in this world?  Where will you make the most impact?

A few icy notes from the piano and confessions from people that don't recognize their part in a grand story.  This is us.  We are the ones who feel disconnected and unimportant in the big picture.

It introduces us to the villain.
"Nothing will stand in our way . . . I will finish what you started"  0:50

We have these forces in our lives - individuals or institutions that aim to keep us inert or insignificant.  Sometimes we become the monster so the monster will not break us.

And then it reminds us that we are part of a bigger story . . .
"There were stories about what happened . . . It's true . . . all of it"  1:08

You and I are rescued when we connect with the deeper story of life - one in which there is good versus evil and God does care about you and your future.  When we hear Han Solo say, "It's true . . . all of it" there is a connection to our childhood - a surge of hope that there is more to life than what we see around us.  

"the Dark Side . . . the Jedi . . . they're real"  1:27

Again, there is a reality that goes beyond this present world.  It only makes sense that if nothing gives birth to itself, then this present reality points to a reality beyond (from which it came).  This trailer - though just a story from Hollywood - identifies with something deep within us because we were meant to connect with that reality beyond this life.

It ends with an uncomfortable invitation.
"the Force . . . it's calling to you . . . just let it in" - 1:46

From a marketing standpoint, this line is pure genius.  "Just let in" the spirit of your childhood.  Escape to the story of your youth.  It is simultaneously inviting and uncomfortable.  Inviting in how it calls us back to a simpler time and a story that helped make sense of the world at some point.  Uncomfortable because we seldom think of the world beyond this now.  We are caught up in the day-to-day issues of succeeding in life, finishing school and providing for families.

But do we dare to imagine that we are currently missing out on something deeper?  In the same way we saw our imaginative youth as a stage of life - is it possible that where we are now is just as much a stage?  A stage of life that ignores the bigger story outside of this life - a stage that is limited in understanding because it ignores the impractical matters of soul and spirit.  Maybe you have not so much matured as you have silenced the silly questions of God and your eternity in order to do well in the 'here and now?'

Because outside of this movie - there is a truth that goes deeper than your schooling, your relationships and your job.  

It's true . . . all of it.

In the beginning the Word already existed.
    The Word was with God,
    and the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God.
God created everything through him,
    and nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created,
    and his life brought light to everyone.
The light shines in the darkness,
    and the darkness can never extinguish it.

John 1:1-5

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