You’ve heard that deep male voice that enticed you to watch it, and after you finished the movie you came to see, you remembered that there was another great show on the horizon because of that tremendous trailer.
When I was a little girl someone told me that when we die everything we did in life will be just put out there for all to see. Later I understood that to mean that we would be in a place of total authenticity. But in my child’s mind what I imagined from that statement was that there would be a big movie screen where parts of my life replayed, and people would be laughing at my stupidity while throwing back handfuls of popcorn or smiling with common interest because of the relatability of said stupidity.
It wasn’t long after that that my parents encouraged our family to walk out of a show we had overestimated and kindly asked the theatre for their money back. Later on (maybe that night?), I had a dream that this would happen to me in the afterlife. There it is. My life, displayed on “film” and someone would walk out and demand returns on whatever they had paid. Huh. Over the course of time, I have considered this memory and a friend recently drew a similar analogy that made me drive back around to it.
I thought I’d share with you why it’s not a bad idea to consider your life as a movie trailer. It is a rather silly thought, and it just may be appealing to the self-absorbed, but to you, it may just be a good way to consider your impact on this world.
YOUR DIRTY LAUNDRY
First of all, let’s imagine for just this example that, hoping it happened to be a natural passing, you slipped the surly bonds of earth a few years back. Now your life has been made into a movie. It has a trailer that entices people to see it. What do you think about that?
Any proverbial dirty laundry you had would subsequently be aired upon viewing the film, and there’s nothing you can do about it. There are some things you would just rather keep as a memory or gone, right?
Maybe you think your life is movie would be boring (I doubt it) and that people would rather be on their cell phones instead (I seriously doubt that too). Or ... maybe you aren’t hip with the possibility that people might find out about that 'something' you smoked at a stoplight when you had just learned to drive. Or that time you used to have a problem with taking some things that didn’t belong to you, even though you turned yourself around. Or that person you kissed who was not your spouse.
Those got progressively worse, didn’t they? You get the idea. Even if Don Henley does sing the theme song, IF your life is a movie that people get to see … would you want them to know you had some fairly dirty laundry? Hopefully, you are secure enough with your relationship to God that it just won't matter. Hopefully!
YOUR THEME SONG
Second, since I mentioned Don Henley ... how about the theme song to your movie? Would it be as emotionally memorable as Singing in the Rain, Rocky, or Titanic? Or would it be darkness and finality like Adele’s theme to Skyfall? “This is the end, hold your breath and count to ten ...” That last one is depressing. But I digress ...
You know, a LOT of the favourite movie themes are about finality. Don’t Forget About Me, Stayin’ Alive, and My Heart Will Go On to name a few … well, I've always thought finals were a good thing though as long as you made a decent grade on them. So yeah. Personally, I hope I’m prancing to the pearly gates proclaiming that I’ve Had the Time of My Life. You?
WHAT WILL THEY SAY?
And finally, if your life previewed as an epic film, no matter what your profession, your relationships, or your politics, would people remember you liked Jesus? Oh yeah, you do. And you know you do. But … would THEY know this?
Take a moment to look over these thoughts from a song I learned some years ago:
After all that’s been done, after all that’s been said …
What will they be saying after you're dead? What will they say?
When you come to the edge and your life has run out …
What will they be saying your life was about? What will they say?
Will they say Jesus was your holy example
and that you followed Him best that you could?
Would they say that your life made a difference to the people who knew you best?
Wow, I sure hope so. I am reminded of someone pretty precious to a lot of people I love, specifically my husband. Her tombstone has a Keats inscription: “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” And she truly still is. I totally plan to high five this chick in heaven.
So here’s the thing. You AREN'T dead. Yet. And though it’s quite fun to consider your theme song or your life as a movie, the point is also rather clear that if someone saw your movie as a result of watching said trailer, would they feel convicted, compliant … or confused? Regardless, my friend, your name might not be Robinson, but Jesus DOES love you more than you could know. And no matter what is happening in your life, you are entirely capable of finding a way to live so that YOU will truly be ... a joy forever.
The next Don LaFontaine is waiting for his script to your trailer. Can you finish this sentence for him? I'd love to hear your ending...
"IN A WORLD..."
“So, my dear friends, listen carefully; those who embrace my ways are most blessed. Mark a life of discipline and live wisely; don’t squander your precious life. Blessed the man, blessed the woman, who listens to me, awake and ready for me each morning, alert and responsive as I start my day’s work. When you find me, you find life, real life, to say nothing of God’s good pleasure . . .” Proverbs 8:32-36
(previous song lyrics by Keith Lancaster)