Better than the Movies

The rise of cinema and television has arguably led to one of the most creative time periods for writers. Stories are told of great horror and immense fortune. Our films and TV shows transcend the screen and infiltrate our lives. We have fan girls of fictive characters. Team Edward. Team Jacob. We have people preparing for the “impending” zombie apocalypse. In 2009, American youth began their obsession over Seaside Heights (Jersey Shore) and its residents. We find ourselves wound up in Shonda Rhimes characters and plot twists. We feel personal relationships to our favorite television characters. When they die; we weep. Our films, our movies, they move us to tender emotions. We feel joy over relationships mending. We feel anger at betrayal. We laugh at their antics. We cry at their misfortunes. Even our “bad guys” are being built with so much depth that we are forced to recognize their humanity in light of their insanity.

We feel all those emotions for fiction. Our joys. Our pain. Our associations. Our bonds. All of it is entirely short-lived because these stories are not real. Even the tales of “reality stars” are questionable because they live in the luxury of their fame.

Do not mourn this loss though. There is such an amazing gain for us. We have life. We are not confined characters that are threatened by series cancellation. We have our personal reality. We still have access to all those emotions and many more. We are more than complex characters. We are people with known and unknown histories affecting us. We operate in contexts, film could never capture. Our reality is not always beautiful, but that is the beauty of it. How can we appreciate the radiance of our life unless it is compared against the backdrop of our struggle?

We do not have the cinematic fortune of watching a plot happen. There is no rising action or climax. There is conception. There is birth. There is death. However through those three points, decisions are happening. Decisions that change us. From our mother’s prenatal care of us, we are formed. Then we are born. And between our birth and our death so many life decisions are made it is impossible to create a story adequate enough to replay. We choose so much. We are a love story, a drama, an action film, and a documentary composed into one life. Our main characters, supporting characters, and location are constantly shifting or perhaps remain the same forever. And, the only adequate ending for our life story is death. It would be an injustice to relive the same story.

My life is better than the movies. I don’t want this epic love story, with emotional twists. I want commitment. I don’t want a great sign of love for me. I want everyday generosity. I don’t want a story  with me as a main character – even if it is my life. I want my story to be so much about Christ and so much about others that I found myself lost in the story and found in the role I was supposed to be in. I refuse to allow my life to be dictated by the unrealistic nature of film.

My story is simply my story.


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