I didn’t think it was appropriate to take my four-year-old son to the new Batman movie “Dark Knight” (it was a close call though)…so instead, we journeyed over to watch Pixar Disney’s animated “Wall-E.”
Wall-E truly is a movie that needs to be seen by everyone. If you care – you’ll leave caring even more – and if you don’t care, you’ll start to. This movie fell right into my wheelhouse of what I’ve been going through this year. How could a movie, for kids, about Robots, with all of 15 words said through the entire movie (of which not a single word was uttered for the first 25 minutes) keep anyone engaged, much less keep us on the edge of our seats? It did so by tackling some incredibly hard truths regarding earth, life and purpose. In about the year 2300, earth has become a desolate land filled entirely with skyscraper heaps of garbage…an abundance of garbage due to the overconsumption of the world. Basically – it declares the exact place we’re headed if we keep living the way we’re all living. It painfully depicts and plays right into what makes us tick at the heart of our culture. All human existence has basically used up all of what the earth has to offer – and now lives in a mammoth quasi-cruise ship in space named the “Axiom.” It cuts like a knife when you learn that the corporation that hosts this “new life” as “BnL” which stand for “Buy-Now-Large.” It plays into consumerism really, really well. I have no idea if anyone could leave the theatre without feeling uncomfortable…especially after holding our traditional 5-gallon buckets of popcorn and 64 oz sodas…it was great. All of mankind on the ship is referred to as “Auto-Pilots” showing how we’ve all become so numb to real life, destined just to follow status quo living for our next purchase to satisfy our insatiable need to consume and gain for ourselves. Humans live in moving recliners, served their every need by robots, never having to lift a finger for anything – becoming ever so blind to human touch, love and real life encounters.
All of this is taking place in the background, while Wall-E discovers something that everyone is in search for. I don’t want to ruin the movie and tell you what it is – but it’s powerful. It’s amazing what it is and even more amazing in what it symbolizes. At one point, the captain of the perfect world Axiom ship, is given eyes to see and declares, “I don’t want to just survive anymore, I want to live.” It was incredible. I recently heard a quote that has played a part in shaping my recent existence that says, “If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.” We’re a people plagued by status quo. We’re daunted by staying safe and self-protection. We’re drowning in being conservative…rather than taking this world by storm – and turning it upside down. We’re promised the Kingdom has come and is coming to earth – why don’t we start acting like it? Why can’t we push each other and ourselves to the limits to bring about change and a fuller existence in life? When do we realize status quo is directly from the world’s system and has nothing to do with the Kingdom or a higher life? It’s Tyler Durden in “Fight Club” that says, “I don’t want to die without any scars.” I’m finally starting to understand what he means. I don’t either and I refuse to. I’ve played it safe for too long. Tyler just wants someone to punch him right in the face so he can actually “feel” something for once.
We’re not called to drag this body through earth like a corpse until we “get to the other side.” We’re called to be co-creators and dreamers with God. Why aren’t you more excited to get up in the morning? If this is true – why won’t tomorrow be the greatest day of your life? It won’t be, because we’re going to do the same thing we did yesterday. We won’t take any risks and we won’t take any chances.
We need to Dream Big. We need to change and be transformed. We need to live out the Really Real and turn the world upside down. That doesn’t mean anything more than it affecting your own little world. That’s not a daunting task that seems impossible – because it truly just means your own little world, tomorrow. The people around you, your co-workers, your job, your money, your kids, and your community.
Wall-E brought to back to earth, life…at all costs. At all costs.
As the credits come at the end of the movie, it ends with an amazing Peter Gabriel song, “Down to Earth” and the first line says, “Did you think that your feet had been bound by what gravity brings to the ground?”
Let’s not be a people defined by what grounds us – but rather by all the things that’s left to be imagined. There’s a song we sing that says, “The only limit left for us is what we dare believe.”
So what do we believe? Status quo just barely making it through our day? Or Life in abundance?