Now back to our regularly scheduled program in the Reel Christmas series:
Last Thursday, I talked about The Polar Express – a wonderful movie which draws us in with it’s graphics but quickly engages us in the emotions of the characters, helping us to embrace the truth that believing is seeing.
Another great lesson which can be derived from this movie, is that sometimes spiritual believing and seeing, requires a personal encounter of faith.
At the end of the movie, when the train has stopped at the little boy’s house to drop him off after an eventful evening at the North Pole, the conductor steps off the train, and stands in front of the boy. As they stood there in the snow, with cold breath on their faces, the conductor gazed down at him with eyes filled with wonder, and said something very profound.
He said: “It doesn’t matter where you’re going; what matters is deciding to get on.”
Sometimes we think where we are going in life is what is most important. We focus on building careers, raising families, making money, gaining financial success, recovering from losses, relocating to a new city or home, and just getting through to the end of each day.
But even though we are all living in the same world, we all have different paths in life, different careers, different families, different struggles, different sins – our lives all go in different directions. The tricky part, is determining if we are on the path God prepared for us, or if we are trying to figure out if we want to get on board with His plan. Or maybe, we are still unsure what His plan is for our life.
Our unique differences are exactly what God uses to route our journey, making it completely different from someone else’s journey. The important thing is whether or not we are trying to drive the train ourselves, or allowing God to be the conductor. Whether or not we have faith, and a trusting heart to believe in the unseen, instead of making and following our own plans.
It takes a lot of faith to trust that God is orchestrating our lives in a predestined way that He ordained. It takes a lot of faith to believe that God can use our past mistakes and sins to glorify Him. It takes a lot of faith to trust God enough to trust His plans, even when we don’t understand them, feel qualified for them, or even like them.
Yet, it is imperative that we embrace unshakable faith if we want to possess the confidence to believe in a God that we cannot see, and the courage to embark on a journey we may not understand.
The little boy in Polar Express could not believe in Santa, until he had a personal encounter with him. After this encounter, he believed with his whole heart. Just as the little boy’s faith in Santa Claus soared after his personal encounter with him, our faith in Jesus will also soar when we experience a personal encounter with Him. We cannot see Him with our physical eyes, but we can encounter Him spiritually – through prayer, quiet time, worshipping, hearing His voice, answered prayers, and seeing His activity in our lives.
A jingle bell held a special meaning in this film. In the beginning, the boy thought the bell was broken because he couldn’t hear it jingle. But after his faith in Santa was renewed and his enthusiasm for Christmas was awakened, he could hear the bell jingling loud and clear.
If you think about it, faith works in the same way. Some people do not believe in Jesus, because they cannot hear or see Him – but the truth is, it takes believing, before seeing and hearing can occur. That is what is faith is all about. When we believe with our whole heart, then our spiritual eyes and ears are open, and it then we can begin to see and hear Jesus loud and clear. His faith opened his ears.
Believing is seeing, not the other way around, and personal encounters with Jesus reawaken our faith, and renew our enthusiasm for Him as we get excited about ‘seeing’ Him all around us. Faith brings life, to life.
Are you ready to believe, so you can see? Are you willing to allow God to be the conductor of your journey?
God knows exactly where you are going – He is simply waiting for you to get on board.