We began to watch a scary movie last night. The film became progressively more terrifying and depressing, until we both admitted we didn’t really want to watch it anymore and turned it off, without any argument.
This is very unusual for me. I am a consumer. I consume stories, so leaving one unfinished is like walking away and leaving a plate half full of chocolate cake (or your favourite food). It just isn’t done. Once I start a film or a book, almost however bad, I need to know the ending and find myself glued to the chair until the credits roll.
It took me by surprise to discover something new about myself today.
In the night half-run scenes from the film ran through my mind as a dream formed with Sandra Bullock in a blindfold serving up Toad-in-the-hole in our kitchen. When I woke-up I couldn’t help wondering about some of the facts in the half-watched film that didn’t make sense and how on earth her river journey would end.
Giving in I decided to google the plot and read how the story unfolded and how it ended. Spoiler alert for Bird Box! If you want to watch it, skip this paragraph. She and the children make it, although most of the others die along the way. I told this rough outcome to the other film watcher in the bed beside me and something strange happened…
We decided, in the cold light of a rainy Saturday morning, to watch the rest of the film.
“I don’t mind watching it if that’s the outcome,” he said. And strangely, I agreed.
My insatiable desire to devour another story was satisfied. By the end of the second half of the film the blindfolds were off and the birds were singing. And I’d also discovered more about myself.
I want to eat up stories, but I don’t want stories without hope.
Faced with an impossible situation, it looked like there was no way forward for mum-to-be Malorie (aka Sandra Bullock). Once I knew there was a way through, some light at the end of the fast following river and the dark woods, I was prepared to be engaged. To suspend my disbelief for 40 minutes and join in with the journey of Bird Box. I knew that the hardships ahead would eventually lead to some kind of salvation.
The link with faith is obvious. But I’ve never realised how much hope is such an important part of how I live, the way I think and what I choose to consume.
The most interesting thought I’ve been left with is that with Bird Box, I knew the ending ahead. Someone had already seen it and told me how things would turn out, so there was no need to fear. It wasn’t just hopeful watching, willing her and the children to be OK. The hope was grounded in some facts.
I don’t know how my life will pan out or exactly what the ending will be or when it will come, but my faith gives me hope. When life’s circumstances threaten to knock me down, or I feel like I’m walking blindfolded, I have hope. It’s not based on something from Google that tells me it will all be OK in the end. But it is based on God’s Word and his promises and on my experience of being held in His everlasting arms.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 1:11