Challenge: Write a Script in a Month

Today begins February. This year, I’m going to be 25. What. the. heck. I can’t believe how quickly time is flying by and lately I’ve been kicking myself in the head because I’m not doing all the things I wanted … Continue reading

The Great Gatsby & The Bible

“Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead.”

The Great Gatsby

I’m going to try this thing. It’s a new thing.

You see, I’m a huge fan of movies. I don’t just watch them to be entertained, I watch them to try and make sense of the world, as if the world can be made sense of. When I watch movies or read books or hear stories, I often find myself trying to find Biblical themes in those stories. I truly believe God is the biggest artist of them all, and so of course He is trying to talk to us through stories! Art, to me, is one prominent way in which God speaks.

In the Bible, Jesus constantly spoke to people through parables. Parables are stories illustrating a deeper message. If you look at any work of art, you will recognize how it also exhibits a parallel about life.

The Great Gatsby is no exception. This brings me back to what I was saying earlier: I’m going to try this thing. It’s a new thing where I’m going to talk about modern movies/books and write about how we can take Biblical themes from those stories. But if you don’t want to hear spoilers, then maybe you shouldn’t read these specific posts.

So without further ado: The Great Gatsby.

The Great Gatsby is a story about a man who observes the life of his wealthy, mysterious neighbor, Gatsby. He starts to hang around an eccentric, extremely privileged crowd which somewhat contaminates his innocence. This crowd is overall selfish, and in constant desire of the pursuit of the American Dream. In short, to the naked eye, they have it all. Wealth. Beauty. Youth. And friends of the same sort.

What more could they ask for?

Yet, the ending of the story reveals how shallow this world is. Though Gatsby has thrown parties in great abundance, his funeral is much less extravagant than his parties. People only wanted him for what he could give them. My favorite scene in the most recent adaptation of the film is when Gatsby asks Nick Carraway for a favor in which Nick says Gatsby does not need to return the favor. It’s only a favor and he is happy to do it. In the scene, Gatsby seems a little thrown off at this — at a man who asks for nothing in return.

The truth is, we often use people to suit our own agendas. We might be friends with a person because they make us feel better about ourselves. We might put people down to raise our own self esteem. The instant someone comes along who is more talented/wealthier/more beautiful than us, our self esteem halts to a stop. We can’t use that person to raise our own self esteem, we can only try to learn from them humbly or run away from them before others see how weak we are. It is often a blow to the old ego.

But the Bible says,

 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6:19-21

Where are you putting your treasure? In people’s opinions on this Earth? In who you’re friends with? In your career? In your family?

Just like Gatsby, many of us choose to use these things to improve our worth in other’s eyes. We put our treasure on this Earth. But, in the end, it is going to be worthless. And just like Gatsby, we are going to miss out on a fundamental characteristic to happiness: Contentment. At any point, these shallow things we put our worth in can be destroyed. Yet, the Bible says to store up treasures in heaven. If we find our worth in who we are in Christ, then nobody can touch it. We can be who we are freely. We can love others without using them. We can find hope in something true and honest that won’t be regrettable in the end.

Faith

A Trip to Burbank and Back Again

Note: the events in this post are very much real though they sound fictional because of the strangeness of my life.

There are days when everything goes wrong. You hit your knee on random things, you discover your car is broken, and then to top it off, someone demands you pay back a debt. But, on occasion, there comes a day rarer than Christmas when everything goes spectacularly well. Yesterday was one of those days.

A week ago, my father received a phone call from someone representing a film company asking him if he’d like to watch a movie and perhaps share it with the church. He agreed, and much to the egging on of my mother (thanks, mom!), asked if I could fly to California with him. To my delight, they said “yes.”

So, yesterday at noon, I was on my way to Burbank, California just to watch a movie. BIZARRE.

I just kept thinking about how random my life is. Like, seriously. Who in the heck goes on a three hour flight to Burbank just to watch a 2 hour film? Not only that, but after the film, you immediately get on a plane to fly BACK home. I’ve always wanted to do something of the sort and being able to accomplish my secret dream was pretty awesome, but I mean . . . come on . . . it’s bizarre.

Let me back it up a sec before I get too crazy here.

Yesterday, I was on a plane to Burbank with my father. When we arrived, a lovely girl a couple years older than me picked us up at the airport and drove us to the studio. THE MOVIE STUDIO. One of the “Big 5” movie studios. We parked in a real parking garage where all the movie producers and directors and important movie people park. We got a real pass to walk onto the studio. We went through security. And then we arrived. ONTO A REAL MOVIE STUDIO.

2013-06-19 18.04.33

Did I mention how my life is bizarre?

A bunch of interns/assistants guided us the entire time and even though I didn’t, I really wanted to ask, “So . . . do you think this is as cool as I think it is?” But I didn’t because I didn’t want to sound like a fangirl which I am most of the time. On the internet, I’m a total fangirl, not judged by other social recluses who are also secret fangirls. But in the person, I like to try and keep my cool because I’m a lady, dang it.

We walked onto a sidewalk which had a row of doors with numbers next to them. I’m assuming they are all small theaters. And then my dad, one of the interns, one of the assistants, and I got to watch the movie in one of those private theaters.

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Let me tell you something. Those seats were the most comfortable movie seats of my life. They were so comfortable that I didn’t even put my feet up during the movie because I thought secret security would say, “Hey you! Stop that! This seat costs more than your car!” Which it probably did.

the theater

I wish I could tell you how the movie was but I signed a contract saying I wouldn’t say anything about it so you’re out of luck on that. Also, I felt pretty fancy signing a contract because I was about to watch a movie only a few people had seen.

After the movie, we went straight to the airport. No hugs goodbye or tour or going to the bathroom. We left as soon as we had arrived. The whole time I just kept thinking, “God, what the heck are you doing?” Because this wasn’t just any other day in the book, it was a weird one. It was a day where you wonder what choices got you to where you are.

I’m not even lying when I say this is the fortune I got in a fortune cookie that day.

Goodbye, Burbank.

Most of the time, I think I know where I’m going. I think I know what’s going to happen in my future. Yesterday was a reminder that I literally have no idea what’s going to happen. But if God can do something as random as bring me to a private screening of a movie just for the heck of it, then what else is He going to do? All I can say is “thank you.” I’m so thankful that the Lord does random things like send us on a day trip to California. I love that He is always providing. I am so thankful because I am so sinful and am always running from Him. It always brings tears to my eyes knowing that God loves me, truly loves me. And He sees our secret dreams and knows when maybe we need a day where everything goes right, where we feel as though our hearts could burst at knowing His love. I don’t know how you think about all that, but I think it’s true and I think it’s amazing.

I just hope I never forget it. Not ever.

Faith