Dreams

We use a lot of media clips in our Sunday services, as they are great for opening a service, introducing a subject and focusing on a specific topic. But probably most importantly, the right clip will appeal to all and draw people in; young or old, men and women, wherever you are on your walk…a well chosen and appropriate media will bring everyone together in a shared experience and common starting place. This is probably why we use animations so often…although it could just as much be to do with the fact I have three children, so Disney/Pixar has been our friend for many years now. 

Now our senior minister has for some reason always had an aversion to animations. I don’t know if this was caused by a particularly hard episode of Tom and Jerry, or whether he never quite got over Bambi. But in the past whenever I’d suggested a clip which didn’t have real live people in it, he tried to deflect…and it was pretty much guaranteed he’d never seen it. That said, his anti-animation stance did mean he hadn’t had to endure several Barbie movies as I have (fortunately my girls have grown out of them now, although my wife did have to sit through a particularly torturous 80+ minutes of The Moshi Monster Movie recently, something she still hasn’t quite recovered from).

Up

These days it is acknowledged Disney/Pixar can almost do no wrong in our church, their movies hitting the perfect balance which delights and entertains both children and adults, something the Muppets used to do perfectly. Today’s clip is taken from the film “Up“, a quite wonderful movie about Carl, an elderly widower travelling to South America with a stowaway called Russell who is a Wilderness Explorer trying to earn his badges. Carl was a balloon salesmen, and so when his house is threatened with demolition he does the only reasonable and sensible thing…he attaches thousands of balloons to his house and simply floats away.

The movie is a thing of beauty, full of humour and warmth, it won two well deserved Oscars. The clip here which we used for our service focuses on the opening scene, a mini movie in it’s own right. It tells the story of Carl and Ellie; from when they first met, through their highs and lows, right through to Carl being widowed, which is where Up properly starts. As you’ll see in the clip, Carl and Ellie had a dream to visit Paradise Falls in South America, and they were constantly saving for their trip. But, as inevitably happens in life, other things get in the way, whether a punctured tire, house maintenance…something always depletes their dream jar. And just when they have enough to book the tickets and realise their goal….Ellie becomes unwell.

It is an emotional roller-coaster of a story, condensed into 5 minutes, which sets the scene for the movie to perfection. But it also reflects real life; so many of us had hopes and dreams, especially when we were younger. But as life goes by and the reality of the world takes over, too often our hopes and dreams are put aside, parked, or just plain forgotten about. I remember back when I was a kid, I was full of dreams, goals and ambitions…and then further down the line when the reality of mortgages, work and having a family took over, some of those dreams were parked, some drifted away, and many were forgotten about. But I still haven’t stopped dreaming, and my goals and ambitions are different. Our goals and ambitions are different. But we still have them, and are still creating them and realising them from day to day.

Dreams

At the end of the clip, Carl is going through their photo album and on the last page there is the inscription from Ellie…“Thanks for the adventure…now go and have a new one! Ellie x”. So while I’m not suggesting that you tie thousands of balloons to your house, I do encourage you to write down your dreams, share your ambitions and go and have some adventures, no matter where you are on your walk.

What dreams have you let go of? What ambitions and goals do you have now?

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