(Photo courtesy of telegraph.co.uk)
Why Is It ‘A Wonderful Life?’
By Mike Komisky
In this season of Christmas, my family has many traditions. We love to decorate our Christmas tree and see elaborate lights on people’s houses. However, what I enjoy the most is watching holiday movies, especially the classic 1946 Frank Capra film, “It’s A Wonderful Life.”
I don’t want to give away all the movie for those who have not seen it, but the main fictional character George Bailey (played by Jimmy Stewart), has many parallels that we can connect with, especially this year concerning all of life’s heartaches.
The film spans the years 1919 through the 1940’s, set in the small town, Bedford Falls. As the beloved drama unfolds, the main character faces illness, lost dreams, grief, bankruptcy, folding of business, stock market plummeting, as well as marriage problems, wartime woes, depression, alcoholism, and a suicide attempt. Yet, it is important to note, George did not begin this way. Rather, he gradually lost his optimism and perspective. Likewise, we, like George in this year of 2020 can relate.
You may ask, “How can life be wonderful, in the midst of what we’re going through? How can we say life is wonderful when so many bad things have happened?”
Our lives Impact Others
Whether we see it or not, we have a reach and an impact. George always lived for the needs of others. The seeds of kindness and love he planted bore tremendous fruit. The Bible says to not be weary in well doing, for in due season we will reap if we don’t give up. Right now, our current year has been filled with anxiety and stress. Yet, people desperately need to be loved with Jesus’ love even if it’s just a hug or a smile; the effect could be long lasting.
Sacrifice Wil Be Rewarded
George was a giver. All his dreams were shattered for the sake of others. He literally laid down his personal ambitions to answer the call of other people. Today you may feel like your plans and future have been devastated. You may be a caregiver or lost a job. Life has been hard for you. You can understand George. However, in your life, you can trust that Jesus sees what you are going through. Your pain, disappointment, and heartache will be rewarded. Trust Him.
Perspective Means Everything
George was allowed to see how much others loved him for who he was. Life was wonderful because he realized how blessed he was. He had a beautiful family and true friends. Today many of us have lost sight of what truly is important. Yes, this year has been very tough for so many of us but don’t let that cloud your vision. Life can be precious if we are aware of others’ needs around us.
As much as George was a people person with a giving heart, he needed others as much as they needed him. In the film, his isolation actually tarnished his perspective. When George encounters someone named Clarence, who reminds him of the blessings in his life, he says, “No man is a failure who has friends.” George Baily was a good friend and others knew this. But he needed to see how much others loved him in return. In the end, it would be his friends who aided him during the holidays. George needed to know he was not alone in his struggles. He was hurting, and so was his community, who were hurting even more without him. George, like us needed to see he mattered, and so did his community.
Hope Can Be Found in The Darkest of Places
George Bailey found that in the midst of his most horrible circumstances, including despair, he could find help again. In the movie, George prayed to God to give him a second chance and he realized how much he loved his family and those around him. To all of you out there who have been in despair this year, there is always hope, but that hope only comes through Jesus Christ. Through Him we have purpose and value to know we matter and our life matters.
In this movie, George found out what mattered most in life – love. In our lives, we too can discover that love for ourselves, others, and ultimately God, is life changing. First Corinthians 13 talks about how if we don’t have love, we are like a sounding cymbal – it means nothing. But if we have God’s love, it means the world. In my life, I choose hope. I choose love, just like George. My prayer is that you may have a greater sense of purpose and draw closer to the One who can turn things around and make it a wonderful life.