Monday, July 23, 2007

God @ the Movies: Cars

Why do this series? We need to cultivate a reflective process about life, and life in our own story as we wake up to our part in God’s story. Movies are one of the best opportunities for us to do that.

God has a way of guiding the selection of movies that we use here in our God @ the Movies series. Originally I thought Because of Winn-Dixie would be appropriate today, but my spirit wasn’t quite settled.

As I thought and prayed about having Hannah’s dedication, God brought the movie Cars to the forfront. Last year we had watched Cars in Kelowna as a respite from 42 C temperatures in an ice-cool air conditioned theater. As I watched I knew it had to be shown this year, and because of the generational aspects and mentoring invloved it seemed the right movie for today. I shared it with Anola & she agreed.

Last Sunday Carlin and Mike & I were talking about the movie and I asked if they liked Cars and Carlin piped up, “We love it! we even have that movie.” Up to that point I hadn’t met anyone who owned it. I love how God works.

Well Cars is a movie that gets at some very important life lessons and does it in an incredibly creative way.

You could title this talk, “Who are your friends and what race are you in?”

As an animated movie everything is a car or a truck, even the insects! The film is told around life as a Nascar type of race.

Scene 1, chapter 1 3.13-4.40

The race for the coveted Piston Cup

Scene 2, chapter 2 (start) 9.26-10.20

Lightning says, “I'm a one man show.” No man or woman is an island, although we pretend to be at times.

Scene 3, chapter 2, 11.32-12.45

“You’re stupid,” says Strip 'The King' Weathers to Lightning. We all can use a good rebuke every now and then, especially when we deserve it!

You could sarcastically call Lightning, “Mr. Teachable.”

Scene 4, chapter 4, 16.11-18.02

Life is a highway.” Tom Cochrane wrote this song after a visit to Africa for famine relief.

Scene 5, chapter 6, 25.36-27.13

Sin so easily entangles, doesn't it?

Lightning is sentenced by Doc, who is also the local judge, to fix the road he destroyed. Says Lightning, “I shouldn’t have to put up with this.”

Have you ever said that to God?

Scene 6, chapter 12, 44.06-45.41

Doc’s wisdom in action. Robert Clinton has shown through looking at the leaders in the Bible that God uses testing patterns in our life to develop character that resembles Jesus Christ.

The positive testing pattern is the incident that tests us, the recognition that the test is from God, and the positive response which deepens our character.

The negative testing pattern is similar but ends with different results. There is the incident that tests us, the refusal of the test, and the lack of character formation. The negative test almost always requires repeated remedial testing to correct the deficient character element.

Clearly a negative testing pattern was plaguing Lightning.

Scene 7, chapter 14, 49.00-50.00

Trying to make life work- Lightning really needs a mentor.

Scene 8, chapter 19, 64.00-65.26

Piston Cup with wrenches in it. Trophies of old gather dust.

What really lasts?

Transformed lives!

My old baseball medals.

We will all battle cynicism, as we get older. We don’t automatically mature as we age. We must learn from out mistakes, and from the mistakes of others. Reflected experience turns our own history into wisdom.

Reverse mentoring.

Scene 9, chapter 23 71.10-72.15

Cars didn’t drive to make great time; they drove to have a great time. What race are you in?

“Whoever has the most toys when he dies wins.”

Scene 10, chapter 25, 77.57-79.55

Life’s setbacks, life’s hurts, how do we battle cynicism?

Far too often we allow life’s struggles to give us a hard heart and a thin skin as opposed to a soft heart and a thick skin!

Jeremiah 29:5-7
"Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper."

Tune into the movement of God. Help people. Encourage their gifts, believe in them, and slow down life enough to find or create community.

Scene 11, chapter 30, 96.00-98.19

Lightning is no longer into the whole race thing- something is missing.

As humans, we are wired for experiences. But there is a subtle pressure to forget that we’re also wired for community and relationship. The very best experiences are those that we can share with friends.

And the friends that Lightning discovered weren’t fancy race cars- just down to earth characters full of love and acceptance.

I always get chills when I see this scene. I think of an old friend and mentor who has walked with me through some very challenging times. Find someone to believe in, cheer them along. Many individuals have risen above very difficult circumstances because somewhere along the way, be it a coach, a teacher, aunt or uncle who saw potential in them and nurtured it.

Scene 12, chapter 30, 101.55-104.00

You make a living by what you do; you get a life by what you give.

Jesus reminded us of that in the story of the Good Samaritan who made the time to help a Jew, who was usually their sworn enemy. The priest and the royal official had all too much work to do to stop, not the Samaritan.

It all depends on what audience you play for- do you want accomplishments and praise or do you want to be a part of changing lives and the eternal destination for people?

Scene 13, chapter 30, 104.50-106.15

As we leave each other today, what race are you in?

Where is God giving opportunity to put the past behind you?

Is God using you to help someone move through life’s difficulty?


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