This past year, my wife, Carmen, started working part-time with Tim Bargo as part of First Priority Tri-County. If you are unfamiliar with that organization, they are all about reaching students for Christ and being a Christian influence in our area schools.
Every now and then, I hang out with Carmen in the First-Priority office here in Corbin. And if you’ve ever been in that office, the first thing you might notice is Tim’s nice collection of books.
One particular series of books that caught my eye one afternoon is the “Videos That Teach” series. In each of these books, scenes from various Hollywood movies are discussed. Then the book explains how you can apply a lesson from each scene to your Christian walk.
Since I am a Christian who also loves movies, I had to borrow one of these books to share the lessons that can be learned from some of these blockbusters.
THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
Luke Skywalker travels to Dagobah in search of the Jedi Master, Yoda. Luke knows that to become a Jedi Knight, he must learn to use the Force.
After his X-Wing ship sinks in the swamp, Luke is instructed by Yoda to lift it out by using the power of the Force.
When Luke tries and fails, he gives up and the X-Wing sinks deeper into the swamp; however, Yoda is successful, telling Luke the reason for his failure is because he does not believe.
Just the way Luke did not have faith in the Force, we sometimes don’t have enough faith in God to overcome our obstacles. But Philippians 4:13 reminds us that, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
Because of a medical condition, Forrest must wear special leg braces, which only add to the ridicule he faces because of his less-than-average intelligence.
As he climbs into the bus on the first day of school, the children sense his uneasiness. No one will let him sit down. Finally, Jenny invites him to share her seat.
Forrest will remember this act of compassion for the rest of his life.
This scene is similar to a story from the Bible, which takes place in Luke 10:25-37.
A man fell among thieves who stripped him, wounded him and left him for dead. Both a priest and a Levite passed him by, but a Samaritan showed compassion by helping heal the wounds and taking him to an inn.
The Lord tells us to love your neighbor as you would yourself.
Just like the Samaritan in the Bible, Jenny showed a lot of compassion for Forrest when others would not.
THE KARATE KID
Mr. Miyagi has agreed to teach Daniel karate; however, after several days of hard work, Daniel is frustrated and storms off.
Mr. Miyagi calls him back and explains why he made Daniel paint the fence, wax the car and sand the floors. In doing seemingly menial tasks, Daniel had actually been learning the basic movements and foundations of karate.
Daniel is appropriately humbled and ready to study. Mr. Miyagi begins his first lesson, stressing that respect must go both ways between student and teacher.
Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Just like Daniel should have trusted Mr. Miyagi rather than drawing his own conclusions, we should fully trust in the Lord to guide us in life.
The Empire Strikes Back, Forrest Gump and The Karate Kid are three of my all-time favorite movies. There is no doubt I will watch each of them many more times in the future. By studying this “Videos That Teach” book and by studying the Bible, these movies will be even more enjoyable knowing they will serve as a reminder of God’s awesome word.
Brad Hall is the nighttime editor for the Times-Tribune. He can be reached at email@example.com