Can you name a movie you love so much, you’ve watched it multiple times?
Maybe you like it for one of these reasons:
- It’s funny. And somehow, the funny never gets old. Humor is very, very important. Of course, your idea of funny may be someone else’s idea of stupid, but there’s actually a lot to be said for stupid.
- It’s romantic. You can pooh-pooh this as cheesy and formulaic, but a happy ending following a fair amount of tension is pretty doggone gratifying.
- It’s action-packed, full of excitement and adrenaline-infused moments. It’s rewarding to watch someone overcome extraordinary odds, and emerge on top.
- It’s do-the-right-thing, and inspiring to see a character power through great resistance to do what’s right–whatever that is.
When you’re watching a movie, you may think you’re just passively taking in some entertainment, but consider this:
I believe that deep in the belly of your favorite movies sits a key to living your life of adventure.
When I first saw Chariots of Fire, I was inspired by Eric Liddell’s giftedness as a runner, and even more enchanted by his words, “When I run I feel God’s pleasure.” How magnificent would it be, I thought, to feel God’s pleasure in a parallel universe of endorphin-induced euphoria?
So when I had the chance to train for a 10K with a bunch of people from my church, I decided to accept the challenge, and pursue that runner’s high, both physical and spiritual.
Mind you, I had never run anything close to ten kilometers before, but I felt certain that the training was gradual enough, I could survive and thrive.
As it turned out, training was excruciating. I hated every step.
Still, I refused to quit, thinking, “If not now, when?”
The day of the race was clear and cold, and I was nervous, but determined to finish. As it turned out, I actually galumphed my way through the entire ten kilometers.
Near the end, however, I realized that the closest thing to a runner’s high I’d experienced was at the finish line when my out-loud prayer was “Thank God it’s over.”
Still, I was excited later to go online and look up photos of myself accomplishing this monumental feat. In my mind, I had morphed into gazelle-status, but when I found my picture, I noticed a telling detail: there was a girl in the picture who was passing me on the left. She was wearing a yellow bib. Yellow bibs were for walkers.
Yes, friends, this woman was walking faster than I could run.
Somehow, though, even at this skill-level, I believe I was “feeling God’s pleasure.”
Probably because God was laughing. But whatever.
At least I “ran” the thing. And I will always be glad that I listened to my gut resonating with the heart of Chariots of Fire, and accepted the invitation to an adventure. Now I’m more convinced than ever that
Often we watch movies that feed what’s missing in our lives, or at least what needs a boost.
More humor and play? More romance? More excitement and adrenaline? More courage to defend what’s right, in spite of ridiculous odds?
It’s worth paying attention to what you’re craving, and then asking yourself this question from author Jon Acuff:
Right now, if you were watching a movie of your life, would you cheer? Would you be clapping in the theater? Would you be yelling, “don’t give up!” Or would you be falling asleep? Would you be daydreaming about something more interesting? Would you be wishing you were watching a different film that had more adventure in it?
If so, it might be helpful to think about the parts of your life that would make you cheer (quite possibly after a challenge or a struggle). Go ahead, make a bullet list of a few.
And then think about the parts that would make you fall straight to sleep with movie Goobers in your mouth–the times when you had an opportunity to accept an adventure, take a risk…and you said no. Or you’re still putting it off.
Why are you doing that?
What WOULD make you cheer about your life if it were a movie?
I don’t know your answer to this, but I’m guessing it involves taking a risk and experiencing something remarkable.
Go make it happen.
Then tell us about it in the comments below, or share on my FaceBook page!
And if you’re just joining us, check out the very first post (Your Epic Adventure Starts Here), where you’ll learn about starting a yearlong (52 questions) quest to practice living a life of adventure. As a bonus, you will also find the backstory for that ridiculous herd of buffalo on the header photo of this website…