I hate to get old school on you, but recently I watched one of my all time favorite movies and I have to share some of the lessons it has taught me over the years.
The movie is "Oh, God!", a 1977 film directed by Carl Reiner starring John Denver and George Burns. It's a very spiritual movie, as you would expect from its title.
John Denver plays Jerry Landers, an assistant manager at a supermarket. At the supermarket one day, an elderly man who claims to be God (Burns) approaches Jerry and recruits him to be his messenger.
I don't want to spoil the full movie for any of you who may be interested in checking it out for yourself, but there are so many memorable quotes and I had to share some of them with you all:
"I know how hard it is in these times to have faith. But maybe if you could have the faith to start with, maybe the times would change. You could change them. Think about it. Try. And try not to hurt each other. There's been enough of that. It really gets in the way. I'm a God of very few words and Jerry's already given you mine. However hopeless, helpless, mixed up and scary it all gets, it can work. If you find it hard to believe in me, maybe it would help you to know that I believe in you." - God
Jerry: Why me?
God: Why not you?
Jerry: You mean there's no special...
God: Life is a crap shoot, like the millionth customer that crosses the bridge gets to shake hands with the governor. You thought I picked you because you're better than everyone?
Jerry: I'm not?
God: You're better than some but not as good as others, but you crossed the bridge at the right time.
Jerry: How can you permit all the suffering that goes on in the world?
God: Ah, how can *I* permit the suffering?
God: I don't permit the suffering. You do! Free will. All the choices are yours.
Jerry: Choices? What choices?
God: You can love each other, cherish and nurture each other or you can kill each other. Incidentally, "kill" is the word. It's not "waste." If I meant "waste" I would have written "thou shalt not waste." You're doing some very funny things with words, here. You're also turning the sky into mud. I look down, I can't believe the filth. Using the rivers for toilets, poisoning my fishes. You want a miracle? *You* make a fish from scratch. You can't. You think only God can make a tree? Try coming up with a mackerel. And when the last one is gone, that'll be that. Eighty-six on the fishes, goodbye sky, so long world, over and out.
Oh, and here's a fun clip that all of you Mets fans will enjoy:
There's so much to love about this movie and how it answers so many of the toughest questions about faith with relative ease. This is a movie you probably need to watch with your kids; it definitely hits a lot of notes on the head.
My question for all of you is - if you could have a conversation with God, what would you say? What questions would you have?
My friend Bob Beaudine wrote the book 2 Chairs: The Secret That Changes Everything. It discusses how trouble is unavoidable in life, and to combat the feeling of uncertainty Beaudine asks you to consider 3 things: if God knows your situation, if it's too hard for him to handle, and if he has a good plan for you.
One more "Oh, God!" quote for you:
Jerry: "Uh, sometimes, uh, now and then, couldn't we just talk?"
God: "I'll tell you what. You talk, I'll listen."
God is listening. Considering how everything today is so complicated politically - with gun violence, suicide, addiction, and more plaguing us each day - maybe we need to step back and realize that we're causing it.
Maybe it’s time for us to start talking to God a lot more. I've got to believe he's pretty open minded.
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Quote of the day: "The single most important piece of advice about prayer is one word: Begin!” – Peter Kreeft
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