Monday, December 28, 2009

Too Ordinary for Hollywood

My Father-in-law likes a good war movie. The only problem is that he usually falls asleep and misses quite a lot of what he's watching. Anyway, because we know he enjoys the bits he sees, we sat together yesterday and watched "The Heroes of Telemark", a classic 60's production that retells a true story with a lot of "dramatisation" thrown in. Which is a polite way of saying history is rewritten to make it a bit more exciting.

The true story is far less glamourous and altogether more ordinary. But since when did that make a good film? I'm not blaming the culture of film-making for the rewriting of history, although one does wonder why they don't set the film in a fictional town with fictional characters rather than tempt you with the idea that what you are watching is true. But this is the essential difference between life and film, reality and drama. Who, for example, in their right mind would move to Midsomer?

No, ordinary life is just that, ordinary.

In our dreams it's a different matter. We are all heroes in our dreams. I don't remember my dreams for very long after I wake up. I know that 45 minutes ago, just before I woke up, that I was having a truly vivid dream, but now the details have faded away almost completely. What I do recall is that it had something to do with saving the world again, I always manage to save the world, and it seemed to involve being able not only to survive the vacuum of space without a pressure suit, but I could hold my breath for an inordinately long time! True Hollywood!

I'm not going to go all psychological about why we dream what we dream. They are just dreams after all! The point is that real life is not a dream and it's not a TV or film drama either. It's ordinary.

In a few hours we're off to see yet more relatives for what will be an ordinary lunch with ordinary conversation. I doubt that we will encounter too many aliens on the Southend arterial road or need to find a diversion around a suddenly erupting volcano. We live ordinary live with ordinary friends and ordinary families.

And yet, it is in this very ordinariness of our lives that our extraordinary God wants to share himself with us and to work through us. He invites us to live our ordinary lives inside his extraordinary mission.

2010 is unlikely to find me involved in solving some intricate conspiracy. I doubt I'll be dodging bullets by hiding behind a car door or abseiling down the outside of a tall building using a fire hose. At least I hope not (I don't do heights very well!). What I will do is meet people, hear stories, share memories, give of myself and seek to follow Jesus Christ as closely as I can. And I'll pray that through sharing in ordinary life, ordinary people will be touched by the wonder of God's love, mercy and grace.

No comments: