Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Note, The Soloist, and Eliot

In the past week, I have viewed 2 movies and one online video diary that all seemed to drive the same point home. I could go into great plot details on the 2 movies but I will just give the points that impacted me, in the hopes that you will watch them and have a similar takeaway inspiration.

The first movie was The Note. I am not usually one to watch Hallmark-type movies because I typically dismiss them as chick-flicks and move on to something of greater interest to me. I had picked the movie up several times at the library, but never watched it. This time I did, which I have concluded was God's timing, considering all the other items he put in my path right soon thereafter. The story revolves around a note found in a plastic bag washed up on the shore-a note written in the final minutes of someone's life as the plane they are traveling on plummets to the ground. The note is found by a reporter, a woman who is trying to save her job as a columnist of a small newspaper. She needs the perfect human interest story and found it in the mystery of the note. The movie follows this reporter as the note transforms her life and all that cross it's path.

The second movie was The Soloist. My wife and I caught this at the dollar theatre. I wanted to see it because it involves a musician (I am a huge music fan) and a reporter (I also am interested in writers and the birth of a good story). We were both moved by this true story of a reporter for the L.A. Times and his discovery that a former Juilliard music student was homeless, yet still playing his music on the streets of Los Angeles. As in The Note, the reporter is in a dry spell for something to write about. He hears music while walking the streets in search of a story, meets this homeless man, and the story is birthed. The reporter discovers the homeless man has a mental illness, but is still moved deeply by the music he plays and the music he hears, both outwardly and in his heart. In his attempts to save this man suffering from mental illness, the reporter is changed as he befriends this man and finds new purpose and meaning for his own life's journey.

Lastly, the video diary. This short clip (link below), is a brief diary that a young couple put together for their son. I will let it speak for itself.

What was the impact these three things made on me? They reinforced my belief that God has a plan for all of us, even me, and He has swept us up into an amazing journey called Life. Our Life is not about seeking to "save our job" or "find the perfect story." Life is about making a difference, living to the fullest the story we are already in. I was reminded of how I rush through each day and I miss the the way my story intersects with the stories that those around me are in. We are in One Story and it is God's story. The girl that scans my food at Wal-Mart, the guy I tell to put me on the "Do Not Call List', my family members, my coworkers and my neighbors, and any of you who my take the time to read this. I am reminded daily of how we have only a few short breaths of life and we are gone. Many people I have spent fleeting moments with have already passed away and there will be more, including myself. So what am I going to do? What are you going to do? Am I making a difference? Are you?

As for me...

...I am going to try to have my eyes open, to truly see the brilliant images that flash before my eyes and I will join the display. Right now, East Tennessee is being washed clean by a July shower and the multi-shades of green are exceptionally beautiful in a summer right before sunset.

...I will listen for the music that plays and add my own melodies and notes to the symphony of life. The rest of the house is quiet as afternoon naps commence, backdropped by the sound of the thunderstorm outside. Peace and thunder mixed to perfection.

...I will breathe in deep the air that encircles us and smell the aromatic fragrances that blend together in sweetness and joy. The scent of freshly brewed coffee, one of God's special gifts to the nose, ranking high on the list somewhere close to the mesmerizing scent of honeysuckle growing on a bank off the main road in rural Georgia.

...and in everything I will taste that God is good because it all comes from him and is meant to point us to Him. Wow, if all that surrounds us is this good, imagine what a totally restored New Earth will be like. Hope to see you there.

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