Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Not for Ourselves - But for Others

The other morning, I was thinking about some of the famous lines from the movie, "Forrest Gump." It is one of my favorite movies. Over the years, I have seen it probably close to a dozen times! Some of the more memorable quotes:

"Life is like a box of chocolates - you never know what you're gonna get."

"Stupid is as stupid does."

"Jenny and Me - we were like peas and carrots."

Last December, I wrote a post about the Christian sub-story within the story of Forrest Gump. Much of the plot can be seen as an example of how "Jesus' destiny was to change ours."

This link contains hundreds of comments about this remarkable movie. If you read through just a few, you will see that most people loved it; while others absolutely hated it! Those that hated it often admitted that it was the Christian content and undertones within the movie that caused their anger.

What causes such hatred, animosity, and rejection of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Why does the message of the cross create such fear, loathing, and hateful opposing reactions by those who refuse to believe in Christ?

I think it has to do with the fact that people instinctively know that there is such a thing as absolute truth, yet they want to remain in a kind of relativistic truth (including moral relativism) in order to stay in their prideful, sinful rebellion.

This is why they can't stand to hear the truth of God's Word, the Bible. This is why they hate the "Religious Right."

Back to the movie.

Remember the scene where Forrest learns that his mother is dying? He dives off of his shrimp boat which is docked out in the center of the harbor, swims to shore, and runs all the way to his house to be at his mother's bedside.

In the scene, Forrest asks why his mom is dying.

His mom answered, "its a part of life...something that we are all destined to do." She also added that she didn't know it at the time, but it was her "destiny" to be his mama.

Then Forrest asks, "What's my destiny, mama?"

She answers, "You're gonna have to find that out for yourself."

It was a truly meaningful and touching scene. When we think back about how his mother cared for him as a special needs boy we also remember that both were abandoned by her husband.

Forrest: Where's daddy mama?

Mama: He's on "vacation."

Forrest: What's "vacation" mama?

Mama: It's when you go away...and never come back."

Also, his mom sacrificed giving her physical body away sexually to the principal of a regular school so that Forrest could attend there. She ran a bed and breakfast out of her home for them to make income to live. She was a remarkable woman - to say the least. She took that abandonment from her husband and turned it into good - for both her and Forrest.

And, what did she view as her destiny/legacy on this earth? To be Forrest's mama. She devoted her life to her own son, doing everything possible for him to have a good life. Forrest's upbringing was paramount in him becoming the wonderful, upright man who served in the military for his country.

Remember when Forrest made a spiritual observation? He said that some people think our destiny is set while others believe that it's like we are all just "floatin' on a breeze." Forrest surmised, "I think that it is a little of both."

Jesus told us, "In this world, you will have trouble; but take heart! For I have overcome the world."

The "floatin' on a breeze" view of life meets the eternal destiny for our souls.

With all the tragedy Forrest experienced in his life (his war wound, Lt. Dan's struggles in life after losing both legs and blaming Forrest for "ruining his destiny" to die with his troops,; the deaths of Bubba, Jenny, and his Mama), God turned it towards good.

Lt. Dan eventually "made his peace with God." We see him arriving at Forrest's wedding with his fiancee'.

Forrest had huge wealth and shared it. He gave some to Bubba's family, the local church, and a hospital wing. He had a hero's medal of honor for saving his entire platoon in Vietnam, a world champion ping-pong title, etc.

But what really mattered most to him?

His mama. He loved and was devoted to her up until her death.

Who else mattered greatly to him?

His Jenny. Through all the ups and downs of Jenny's life while they were apart, Forrest thought about her all the time. He was devoted to her. He loved her, even though Jenny incorrectly thought that he "didn't know what love is." Clearly, he certainly did.

And next? What mattered most to him?

His son.

What mattered most to Forrest was family.

In the last scene of the movie, after his beloved Jenny had died and Forrest was raising his son on his own, his last words to Forrest Gump Jr. as he ascended the bus to go to school were:

"Forrest - I want you to know that I love you."

Forrest Jr., "I love you too, daddy."

In the midst of tragedy in our lives, God gives us mercy, grace, meaning and purpose to go on living. Not so much for ourselves; but for others.

As a wife of 24 years to my wonderful husband and a mom to my two grown adult children, I can attest to the fact that nothing else that I could have ever accomplished in this world ever would mean as much as that role. But that is just me. To each their own...of course.

When God created the family as the primary focus of relationships...He knew what He was doing!

Yes. There are ups and downs in any relationship. However, it has been my experience that the joys far outweigh any of the downs. For me, as long as we have Christ as the head of our home and we create an environment where our children know that our home is where they are loved the most - I see my destiny as a mom most fulfilling and successful. And, I thank Jesus every day for that privilege.


Update regarding Weblog Awards link:

You may have noticed that I took the embedded poll off of my last blogpost. It appears that the Weblog Awards Poll voting is overwhelming their server. Tomorrow is the last day of voting so record numbers are going to the site. The embedded poll here at Talk Wisdom was appearing as a big white blank, so I took it off.

You can go
HERE to cast your vote today, but be warned that the server is running very slow!

Thank you all for voting for Talk Wisdom. I truly appreciated all of your kind words of encouragement and support!