Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Tree of Life

Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
   Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
   Who stretched a measuring line across it?
On what were its footings set,
   or who laid its cornerstone —
while the morning stars sang together
   and all the angels shouted for joy? 
 Job 38: 4-7

 A different question than I usually begin with.

This question, asked by God of Job, is raised at the beginning of the 2011 movie, The Tree of Life.

Heidi and I watched the movie this past weekend. In discussing it afterwards we agreed that we needed to watch it at least one more time - this time with subtitles. There are subtleties and whisperings that are difficult to catch on the first viewing - at least we found it so.

If you like films with lots of action, car chases, explosions etc. - this is not a film for you. If you like a good story told in clear, chronological order - this film is not for you. If you like films that make you think and dig for deeper meaning - I'd recommend this film for you.

It's a film of memories, both happy and painful; of imperfect people in an imperfect family; of life and faith. The film asks the question, 'Where is God when calamity strikes?'

Before we watched the movie we had no idea that the story told in the film makes a connection to the biblical story of Job. I found it interesting to note the timing of our decision to watch "The Tree of Life" while we are in the midst of reading the book of Job. Coincidence? I think not.

The film leaves me asking myself the question, How do I respond to calamity; to setbacks; to personal misfortune? When it's my experience? When it's someone else's experience?

These are more significant questions than, "How's my mental health today?"

What am I going to do with these questions?

“When you face adversity, you need to remind yourself that 
whatever is trying to defeat you could very well be 
what God will use to promote you.”
― Joel Osteen,
Your Best Life Now: 
7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential

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