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Oh, Say Can You See?
Photo: David Coleman
As Independence Day approaches, I'm reminded of July 4 of last year. Mark and I saw a beautiful display of fireworks, and the evening was perfect. There was no wind, the crickets were tuned up nicely, barefoot kids were running on cool grass, and toddlers were oooing and ahhhing at the living night sky. Mark put the top down on the car, and we sat back and let our senses embrace a moment of Midwestern summer. I even treated myself to a soft singing of The Star-spangled Banner as we watched the “bombs bursting in air.”

I should speak more about Independence Day since that is the holiday at hand, but something else comes to mind. Here it is. Our son Jon came home a few evenings ago very put out that he had sat through a movie called Click which was supposed to be funny, but ended up being very sad. The purpose of the movie, I’m told, is to cause the viewer to think about relationships and use time wisely, spending time with people while you have them.

Hmmm….. I guess I can’t fault the movie makers for trying to cause people to think about these things. The intent is good. But I’m not one to watch a movie for the purpose of making me realize things that I could better realize by living my own life.

I Don't Need Hollywood

For example, I don’t need Hollywood to point out to me that my evening with Mark at the fireworks display was priceless. I didn’t need a director to prompt me to lean over and ask Mark for a kiss beneath the open summer sky, nor did I need a movie to tell me that I should feel disappointed that I missed a large family gathering at my parents’ home recently. I don’t need a fake story to point out the priceless moment of hearing my daughter’s affirming words in the Mother’s Day address at her college graduation, nor do I need to be told that my son’s spontaneous treating me to lunch a few days ago was a moment to cherish as well. I know these things because I’m living them.

I guess if movies like Click help some people to take a second look at their relationships or the way they’re living their lives, that’s good. But it just seems a shame to me that more often than not, we tend to spend our precious moments of life observing a mirror of life played by hired participants when we could be making moments in the reality of our own lives. And some of the best moments can be ones we actually spend alone, reflecting, praying, and enjoying our own company for a little while.

Okay, I’m stepping down now. Guess I just needed to get that off my chest. Anyway, if you have a choice this year between watching fireworks on TV and watching them “in person,” go for the real thing! It’s your life.

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By Gwen Scott Simmons. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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