We recently watched “It’s a Wonderful Life”. It’s been a bunch of years and the movie felt far more poignant now that I’m at a different stage of life and getting older. The main character George Bailey starts off with big dreams that the responsibilities of life repeatedly shoot down. The moral of the movie is to appreciate the relationships you have right here and now in your life.
I’ve never had big dreams like George. But I can relate to the daily churn leaving one feeling a bit stuck and jaded at times. There’s nothing glamorous about the slow plugging away that fills a good chunk of most people’s lives. When I scroll through Facebook or read Christmas newsletters, it’s the highlights that typically get the attention. “Today I changed some diapers, wrote more website code, figured out a Walmart grocery pickup date at lunch, talked on the phone with colleagues, and paid bills in the evening.” Yawn. Nobody goes to Facebook to read that.
Super hero movies are fun because they give an opportunity to realize big dreams vicariously. The rub is that even if one chases a dream, big or little, it won’t really bring fulfillment in the end. I’m convinced that if one can’t find joy in the banality of the daily grind, one won’t truly find it the heights of Big Adventure either. Maybe sparks of sweetness, but nothing that doesn’t quickly dissolve.
That’s because deep, solid joy comes from relationship, first of all with our Creator and Redeemer God. Perhaps like George we never even get to leave town. So what? God will walk beside us in the daily grind. Let’s be faithful to Him and others and chug away. When you have opportunity, go on Big Adventures. But know that God is preparing an Eternal Adventure that will make anything we can dream up and experience here look colourless and dull.