The Oscars And Thoughts On Living Fully

Used with permission:

Used with permission:

This past weekend we hosted our annual Oscar Party. Our tradition started a few years ago and has remained one of my favorites. We eat some food, hang out, and try our hand at voting for the top picks.

Every year, I feel inspired after the ceremony and also learn something.This year, especially, was unique. So, here are a few thoughts on life, creativity, and the importance of movies.

First, there were a TON of incredible movies this year. It honestly felt like we were inundated with memorable movies, wonderful performances, and hauntingly beautiful songs. I honestly believe the movies from this year will live on for years to come.

Second, I believe the Oscars reminded us that films capture the human spirit and actually make a difference in our lives and world. So many of these films inspired, convicted, and challenged me. And I know I’m not alone here.

Movies are an important part of our culture and will continue to be (and perhaps increasingly be), a way to talk about important issues.

These films brought up real heroes the world didn’t know about. It brought to life stories that revealed the beauty of the human spirit and the love of family. And they challenged us.

Every year, I try to see as many of the Best Picture Nominees that I can. This year I got around to seeing a number of them.

I loved La La Land for a beautifully acted, filmed, and inspiring LA-story. It reminded us of the importance of dreaming and the reality of choices and sacrifice.

I loved Lion for its unbelievably wonderful story. I felt so much in this film. It reminded me of the power of love, the importance of family in whatever way that looks, and that God still works miracles in this world.

I loved Hidden Figures for its portrayal of a few true American Heroes that I had never heard of before. I was inspired by the sensational acting and also pained by the reality of prejudice in our world; a reality that continues today.

And I loved Moonlight for telling a story that was incredibly difficult to tell. The film was quite beautiful in its acting and cinematography.

Each of these movies impacted me in a big way. Assuredly, we all have opinions on what we thought was the best film of the year and which one should have won the Oscar. But these movies mean so much more than an award. They remind us of the beauty of story telling and the power of creativity.

My film experience is rather limited. The Oscars don’t have a category for youth ministry films yet, but here’s hoping! But even though I’m not making or writing or creating films, I value them because of what they reveal about us.

Films teach us about God. They shows us our humanity and our world. Stories reveal something deep down inside all of us that matters, and regardless of if you consider yourself a movie buff or not, we need movies.

In this way, the Oscars inspire all of us to create beautiful things. And that creation is up to us.

We have the power to create beautiful memories in our lives.

We have the opportunity to work at our jobs in a way that creates ripples of grace and joy for others.

And we can pour ourselves into our families and friends to help them be the best they can be.

I often try to imagine my life like a movie, being played on a screen for the world to see. The only thing is, it’s not acting, but living. And maybe it’s in the everyday living that the true magic unfolds. Because this life, whatever you think of it, is a gift, and it’s something to savor.

I want to do a few things based on the movies I’ve seen this year.

I want to dream with the beauty of La La Land.

I want to live with the courage of Lion.

I want to proclaim with the conviction of Hidden Figures.

And I want to exist with the honesty of Moonlight.

The Oscar’s also reminded me that people are people. Even famous people standing on the world’s biggest stage, still have the same issues we have. Isn’t it kind of comforting to watch actor’s give their acceptance speech?

They struggle with their words too. They feel the pressure as well. Some of them even seem to have…wait for it…stage fright. Crazy, right?

Perhaps another reason why I love the Oscar’s is because they normalize things for us. The rich and famous gather for an exclusive event and they are just like us.

In this crazy politicized time, let’s not forget that the world isn’t so easily divided between those who are right and those who are wrong. We are more alike than we’d often like to admit. Perhaps we can learn celebrate what unites us, and not what divides us.

And at the end of the day, all of us can celebrate the beauty of art and film and rejoice that we live in such a world where we are free and able to create things. If that doesn’t remind us of God’s goodness, I don’t know what will.

Our creator loved us so much that he enabled us to be creatives as well. We’re made in His image. And that is a tremendously awesome thing.

When it’s all said and done, I don’t know how many of us will remember the Oscar’s with such admiration or joy. But these films, the ones that were made and shown, will remain. They will stay with us and inspire us and challenge us to be different.

And that is my biggest take away from the show. I’m inspired to live deeper and fuller. For that, I’m grateful.

Any favorite films from the past year?

Grace and peace, my friends.


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