I heard a very interesting illustration from our regional minister this past week, who stole it…er…borrowed it from a conference he attended at Grainger Community Church in South Bend. He said two guys were watching the epic movie “Braveheart.” In one scene, William Wallace (played by Mel Gibson) is readying his band of soldiers to fight the English army, and he gives this stirring speech: “Aye, fight and you may die, run, and you’ll live… at least for a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin’ to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take… OUR FREEDOM!” It is one of the most stirring moments in the film as the soldiers follow Wallace into battle.
At the end of that scene, one guy turns to the other and says, Wow! That was amazing! What did you think of that?”
The guy says, “I didn’t like it.”
“Why not?” the other guy responds incredulously.
“Because it had a discontinuity in it.”
Sure enough, the guys rewind the DVD (do you rewind DVDs?) and watch the scene over again. As Wallace is charging toward the English army, the movie cuts to him running, then back to the army, then to him running again, then back to the army. And with each cut back to Wallace, his sword disappears. In one scene he’s carrying it, in the next it’s gone, in the next it’s back, in the next it’s gone.
“See? The editor messed up. There’s no continuity.”
To which the other guy responds, “We’ve just watched on of the most moving scenes in any film ever made, and you’re worrying about a disappearing sword?”
I wonder if sometimes in life we spend so much time focusing on the problems that we miss the miracles around us. When life does what life tends to do, which is toss discontinuities into our well-laid plans, do we dwell on the problem, or do we see the bigger picture of God at work in the midst of it all?
This Thanksgiving, if the turkey is too dry, be thankful you have food on the table. If Uncle Larry gets a bit overbearing, be thankful that you are gathered with family. If Grandma Rose tells that story for the 13th time, be thankful that there are stories to hear about your relatives. This Thanksgiving, if something goes wrong, be thankful for all that goes right. Happy Thanksgiving!