There are two things going on in my life this week that have strangely impacted one another. The first is an ongoing challenge my wife proposed that we see the Oscar© nominated movies before the awards ceremony. The second is the blizzard that is hitting the Boston area, expecting to dump about two feet of snow upon us. These disparate circumstances have proven to be enlightening to me, both spiritually and intellectually.
So far my wife and I have seen two of the nine nominated films – “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and “Silver Lining’s Playbook”. It should be said that these two films are very different experiences. “Beasts” is about a community in Southern Louisiana where a girl and her dad are seeking to live on their own terms while refusing to be corrupted by outsides. “Playbook”, on the other hand, is about a couple of people dealing with their mental illnesses and seeking to make sense of their world. Strangely, both movies deal with an undercurrent which sees the human condition – albeit from very different perspectives – as a series of choices seeking to make sense of life and protect what one sees as ideal.
As I write this, the snow outside is beginning to accumulate, which unsettles me. I don’t like changing plans, cancelling programs and rearranging schedules – all of which I thought were pretty good ideas when they were first established. It irks me to no small degree that my plans can be brought to nothing by something as innocuous as the weather. Yet, I sit here knowing that I have no choice but to safely wait out the blizzard and pick up the pieces after the last flakes have fallen.
It makes me think of these two movies. Am I like Wink and Hushpuppy from “Beasts” stubbornly holding onto a pattern of life that denies any interaction with those outside the “bathtub”? Am I like Pat from “Playbook” who is trying to weather the storms, convinced that there is something good about even the worst of circumstances? I wrestle with these questions, knowing that God does in fact interact with me, also for my good, and that every circumstance can and does glorify Him. My love/hate relationship with snow reminds me, yet again, that God is allowed to break into my plans and that every time He does there is a silver lining – a blessing that I would miss if I somehow was able to avoid the storm.
Perhaps “Lincoln” will have something to teach me about shoveling. Now that would be a blessing.