I confess. I’m a movie buff. I’m probably not a great critic or anything like that, but I enjoy movies. I also confess I’m not about to blow $10 or whatever on a ticket for a comedy. My cinema dollar goes toward phenomenal audio/video experiences.
Yes, I would probably wait for a Redbox or Amazon Prime release to see a film that, to me, is not worth the admission, and I can purchase popcorn at Target (almost as good as at the theatre at less than 2 bucks a bag).
What is it about a good solid flick that raps our attention so tightly? For some, it’s the memory of seeing it with friends or a special someone. Building a memory, perhaps? Or perhaps we recall seeing our favorite actors or actresses. Maybe even an oft-quoted line. Regardless, we can remember the action, the lines, the emotional build-up for years and decades to come.
The reality is that there is a desire in our hearts to be a part of something bigger, something truly epic. An adventure, a romance, a journey. Philosophers and story-writers have embraced something for years called the hero’s path. Consider the major stories with which you may be familiar. Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia…
The heroes of these stories did not choose their paths. And neither, oftentimes, do we. And our paths, like theirs, are often significantly more challenging than we might choose for ourselves or have had chosen by our parents for us.
In these movies, we are often presented with an orphan or adopted son or daughter (in the case of Narnia, the children are actually fostered out to a Professor during World War II to keep them safe from the German attacks on London), who lacks life experience but still has a sense of wonder and amazement. Potter often says, “I love magic.” And there are doubters, “Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, Kid,” is the response from Han Solo.
Bilbo Baggins, being a Hobbit is probably the most reluctant adventurer of all because, as all the races of Middle Earth will attest, Hobbits do not enjoy adventure, preferring to be at home and enjoying one another’s company in the Shire.
I think we have lost our sense of adventure, our sense of living truly great and epic lives. We also fail to own up to our own greatness. It’s as if we fear doing wonderful things because someone might expect more from us once we achieve a goal or reach a dream.
If Harry had stopped fighting He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, he never would have experienced love and friendship as deeply as he did in the forms of Ron, Hermione, and the other students and professors, two of whom gave their lives for his.
If Luke had not left Tatooine, he would not have learned of the great and wonderful things of the Force and found deep friendships with Leia and Han, as well as his first teacher, who gave up his life for the trio to escape and fight another day.
And Aslan. The ultimate sacrifice, demonstrating the importance of faith, required to live victoriously.
Perhaps the dimly lit theatre with its mesmerizing effect draws out our passions and fuels our emotions more deeply than watching the story unfold on a tablet, notebook computer, or phone. Regardless, there is something calling, pulling at our hearts for something grand. All we have to do is listen to the call. And answer.
What adventures have you embraced in your life? Who was critical to your journey?