The Joy of the Perfect Summer Blockbuster
Every year I have a 4th of July tradition. I grab a soda, some popcorn (properly popped on the stove), and, if I’m thinking ahead some candy (preferably peanut M&M’s or sour gummy bears). Then I settle in and watch a cinematic classic, Independence Day.
I humbly submit Independence Day as an ideal example of what a summer blockbuster should be. An action-packed, romp that invites you to suspend your disbelief that even the great Will Smith could punch an alien unconscious, and enjoy the ride to a fluffy, improbable heroic conclusion. Independence Day, is the pattern card of a summer blockbuster. It knows itself and what is should be and embraces that, giving us just the right balance of humor, action, and of course President Whitmore’s climatic speech to inspire us.
Knowing who you are and what your purpose is are things we are all searching to more fully understand. It is our constant seeking to better understand our vocations. Vocation is just a fancy way of saying that space where your gifts, passion, and the world’s needs align and bring joy.
The problem is, sometimes we think that alignment has to lead to something earth shattering – a grand purpose, a great achievement, perfect holiness, a world changing act. The reality is, that alignment of gifts, passion, needs, and joy often is found in the smaller, the normal, even the mundane. So we try to force the dramatic or feel we are not fulfilling our purpose when our name isn’t in spotlight or we don’t change the world.
Independence Day is a great blockbuster because it is true to what it should be, what it is. It didn’t try to be an art house indie or a period drama. It is great because it is what it is. When we are true to that alignment of our vocations we are great. The scale of greatness doesn’t matter.
Enjoy this holiday weekend. Rest, recover, celebrate. I invite you on the other side to keep seeking the alignment of your gifts and passions meet the world’s need, great or small, and bring joy. When you find that space, dig deep. Plant your roots. Then grow wide and strong, reaching out, transforming whatever corner, on whatever scale, the world around you.
This is a journey we take together. As we each seek our space, each seek to know our gifts & talents, we can walk with one another. When you see gifts and passion in your circle of friends and family, name those to that person. When you see someone joyful, name and celebrate that joy. It is far easier to remember the hurts and hurdles than the moments where our hearts and souls are light and free.
Dig deep. Reach wide. Lift up and name. Together we can discover our own individual alignments, our own vocations, and collectively build our common one – the reign of God.