Last evening my mother and I settled in on her bed to watch a movie. Since she had never seen Disney/Pixar's Up in it's entirety, Up was the clear choice. This movie has many spectacular characteristics: the foreshadowing, the placement and selection of music, but after watching it for the 3rd time, the lessons really soaked in.
Without going into great detail about the plot of the movie, or the plot of my thoughts, I learned the importance of letting go. For the majority of the movie Carl carries the grief of the passing of his wife, his attachment to his material possessions, and his mindset that his ways are best. These three things hold him back from relationships and ultimately life to its fullest.
There is a change of heart. At the beginning of the movie Carl tried to save the pictures of Ellie before making sure Russell is okay. Carl is focused solely on perserving Ellie's memory and doing what she would have wanted, but it is in this goal that he gets confused. He focuses so much on one goal that he looses sight of the bigger picture. While trying to accomplish this goal he is unkind, and uncaring, and he has to realize that the people in his life (whether he selected them to be there or not) are the most important. He comes through and saves Kevin, Doug, and Russell, but he can only do this by letting go of his house, the chairs where he and Ellie would sit, the pictures of her, and his dream of completing Ellie's goal. When he hands over what he wants, and looks out for others, he finds that his dream does come true, and Ellie's does too. Carl finds a note from her, telling him to have his own adventure. In the end he realizes that he is on his own adventure, and that if he can let go of everything he clings to, he can have many more.
It is very fitting that the message this morning was based on Mark 10:46-52. The man healed in the story (Bartimaeus) is a lot like Russell, ready for adventure and willing to give up what ever it takes to get his badge (including putting up with a cranky, older man, and flying far away from home).
This contrasts well with the character Carl, and the passage found in Luke 9:57-62, where the man wants to have adventure and follow Jesus, but he asks first to go and bury his father.
Whether we learn lessons from Disney, the bible, or a bit of both, it is important to remember the importance of people. It doesn't matter if we are a priests or Levites, if we just walk by a man who is beaten on the side of the road, we will not be living life to its fullest, and we will not be expressing the importance of people.
Relationships are why we are here,
so let's embrace adventure and try our best to look Up and let go.