For the past several months, I’ve been following the timeline releases and reviews of a movie soon to open here in the states. The movie is THE WAY, written and directed by actor Emilio Estevez, starring himself and his father, Martin Sheen.
As part of the trailer on the web site for the movie, a certain line is spoken that has struck me with great intensity. The line spoken is by the character played by Emilio Estevez to his father character, and real-life father, Martin Sheen. In replying to a comment his father makes to him in the movie, Emilio turns to his dad and says, “You don’t choose a life, Dad, you live one.” Wow. Is that good or what? In all fairness, both trailers that I’ve seen for the movie are excellent. Rich in scenery, interesting character introductions and a storyline that is poignant and inspirational; a movie that makes an important point and its family friendly to boot!
Okay, now I know that sounded more like a movie review but that certainly wasn’t my intention. My intention was to draw out that one line that encouraged my heart and has continued to do so since the first time I heard it. Admittedly, I use it just about everywhere on my signature line, always giving credit to its originator. Hmm, maybe I should question if I owe EE some royalties? The statement catches my attention because it speaks volumes for what I am now experiencing. Is this all there is to my life?
While I do love that line from the movie, I must be careful to not let man’s word, no matter how inspirational, mean more to me than God’s own word. Sensing that this line about ‘living a life’ seemed almost ethereal, I decided to see if I could find scriptures that correspond to a human interpretation of the line. This now has me on a quest so I pull out my trusty, phone book sized, concordance. “Live, lives, life, choose, chooses.” Hmm … the bible does indeed have a lot to say about all of those things. In yielding to the fact that this is a short article, and not a literary work of epic proportions, I’m going to quote four scriptures that seem to support my theory. All are from the New International Version (NIV).
• “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jer 29:11
• “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” Isa 42:16
• “…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil 1:6
• For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Eph 2:9-11
One of the main reasons I chose those particular passages is because they each emphasize the point that our lives, as Christians, are in God’s hands. He has the plans, He will lead, He will bring all to completion, and He has prepared our work in advance. In comparing that to this line from the movie THE WAY, we do live a life. A life that rests in the acceptance and knowledge that God has already chosen it for us. While that may sound foreboding or binding, it’s not. It’s freedom!
In retooling things for the release of the movie THE WAY in the states this fall, Emilio Estevez has picked a new slogan, now being used for the purpose of advertising. It goes like this, ‘Life is too big to walk it alone’. In a recent conversation that I had with Emilio on July 29, 2011, I asked him about the reason for using that slogan as opposed to the line that had previously been emphasized … You don’t choose a life, you live one. This is what Emilio had to say to me on the subject, “The tag line: ‘life is too big to walk it alone’ refers not only to being w/others, but walking w/God.” Okay, now I’m just pleased as punch that both lines correlate to what we’ve already been told by God, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Heb 13:5
So, is using a line such as, ‘You don’t choose a life, you live one.’ biblically correct? I believe that it is and will have no problem feeling free to explain why that line touches my heart and soul. Having done my homework, I now plan to move forward and do, not only what part of the movie teaches but, more importantly, what God teaches me. Live my life to the fullest, taking each step on the path He’s chosen for me.
Note: Written permission to quote by Emilio Estevez, Thursday, August 25, 2011.