Both Lance and I have posted on the Movie, The Ultimate Gift, back in 2007 and 2011, and I decided to have my family watch that movie last night. My three kids (ages 10, 9 and 7) all thoroughly enjoyed the movie and were saddened with tears through parts of the movie. I learned a lot about my kids (more teachable moments) in that was both my intention and my hope that they would connect to a life lesson that I was trying to bring them. The theme of the movie is in its title: The Ultimate Gift and my family and I were not let down. There are gifts that the main character has to learn throughout the movie (that are applicable to life)
- The Gift of Work - if you can appreciate this gift and learn to love the gift you can accomplish anything in life
- The Gift of Money - when you realize good stewardship and that its all God's, then you can appreciate what He has given you
- The Gift of Friends - when hard times hit, you know who you true friends truly are
- The Gift of Learning - you will never be old enough to continue to learn, appreciate the learning times
- The Gift of Problems - Read James 1 (life will not be easy, it's how you embrace them that can carry you through)
- The Gift of Family - No matter what, family (both biological and church) should always be close to you (and your heart)
- The Gift of Laughter - Life is too serious, enjoy these precious moments of laughter
- The Gift of Dreams - Set the curve high and reach for God's best in your life
- The Gift of Giving - to give is truly better than to receive, for the blessing lies in this
- The Gift of Gratitude - appreciate these moments that others do for you no matter how significant or insignificant
- The Gift of a Day - life, as it is said, is way too short, so appreciate the days that the Lord has given you
- The Gift of Love - the Ultimate Gift! In one of my favorite musicals (Les Miserables) there is a line that says, "to love another person is to see the Face of God"...
What I really liked about this movie is: Everything! What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul (answer: nothing!). This movie encapsulates a road to discipleship that is biblical and that it truly tells you that giving is better than receiving. This is completely counter-culturual in that it shows you that when you give without expectation (letting the right hand not know what the left hand is doing) God's blessing is so much better than what we possibly could think.
This movie aloud me the privilege to share a beautiful teaching moment with my family - What really matters in life. I taught about God's love for us and what he calls us to do in return. My youngest (7) was hit hard with the realization of death and that one day mom and dad will be gone (be sensitive to this), but what the tears aloud us to do was to connect on so many different levels. I learned not to be afraid to share bitter truths in life with our kids. The reality and frailty of this conversation led to a much bigger theme: The Gift of Family and the Gift of Love (God's love for us). When we put these things in our life and move towards God's path for us, then we find the abundant life that He promises us.
I would love to see a follow-up movie on this. My theme in this would be a man who used to be a trust-fund brat and totally of this world, moving to a true disciple of Jesus Christ making a difference in the world. Looking like something Job quotes in his book: Job 29.
Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all of your ways acknowledge him and He will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3).
PS - there is a sequel/prequel called the ultimate life (movie preview to follow once it is viewed)