“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)
Last night my wife and I saw a movie that reminded me that everything great in my life is a gift from God. Although I personally feel that the first movie was a lot better, the second movie in the Chronicles of Narnia series, Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008), brought me to this spiritual epiphany.
I won’t destroy the storyline for those who haven’t seen the movie but I do want to share about the scene in the film that led to think about my life and my relationship with God. About three quarters into the movie, in the fight against the tyrannical Telmarines, one of the kings and queens of the past (Lucy, Edmund, Peter, Susan) i.e. the protagonists of the film and “good guys” of the movie, Peter the magnificent, wrestles with whether or not he should put more faith in own abilities to lead the group against the tyrannical Telmarines or to put his faith in the power of Aslan (the Christ-God-like character in the story who has been absent up to this point in the movie). Seemingly frustrated with Aslan’s disappearance, Peter tells the others that they can defeat the Telmarines without the help of Aslan. Peter feels this way because in the first movie, Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005), he with the help of others defeated the antagonist of the first movie, The Wicked White Witch. His little sister, Lucy, disagrees with part of his new-found confidence in himself and says: “You need to remember that you didn’t defeat the Wicked Witch all by yourself.” Her words are true because in the first movie, Aslan, the Christ/God character in the movie is one who ultimately defeats the evil White Witch. By saying this, Lucy is trying to convince Peter to humble himself and ask for Aslan’s help instead of trying to defeat the Telmarines on his own. Although he doesn’t respond to her words at first, at the end of the movie, Peter does look to Aslan for help and as a result, Aslan does make an appearance in the battle between the two parties and comes to the aid of Peter and the others. How much of difference does Aslan make? You will have to rent the movie to find out for yourself.
I was convicted by Lucy’s quote because I started to think about my own life and then I asked myself if after looking at good things that have gone well, do I “really” give glory to God and remember that it is him who has been responsible for any success that has taken place in my life? As I thought about it, I was guilty because I know that in my everyday life, I should give God much more glory than I do. God has blessed me with the opportunity to serve as a full-time intern in a church in Tacoma, Washington, for the past 2 and ½ years; I have a loving wife who is both beautiful and spiritual; I have been a disciple for always 9 years; I have been a part of several thriving campus ministries in the Northwest and even got a chance to go on a mission team to Spokane, Washington; I have a host of family and friends that love me and give purpose and meaning to my life; and many more blessings in my life (too many to count really). However when I look at what’s went well in my life, one constant reminder that I always I need to go back to is that I am not the reason that I have been successful: It is all because of God.
So as I close, I want to remind you the same way I was reminded last night: Every great blessing that you have in our lives is not because you are so great, but that serve a great and glorious God. Everything that has gone well and the blessings waiting for you in the next year (and for the years to come) are because of his grace and his undying love for you.
In this “film of life,” let’s not forget who the real Aslan (God) is in our lives!