One of the most critically acclaimed films of 2009 was the animated feature Up, a Disney Pixar film. The theme of the story is finding meaning in life through adventure. The main character, Carl, is an elderly widower who sets out on an exotic adventure that he had promised his wife but never fulfilled, hoping to justify himself and atone for his shortcomings. Through this journey he discovers what true adventure is all about and finds peace and rest. This film touched me deeply when I saw it with my 4-year old son and Dad. I wrote this response at the time:
“Real adventure is not about a treasure quest that leads you to exotic, faraway places, but a quest for righteousness and the realization of the kingdom of God in the mundane, day-to-day minutiae of life together with the people we love. The most emotionally stirring part was when Carl, after arriving at the end of his quest, landing his house next to Paradise Falls, looks for the first time through his deceased wife’s “Adventure Journal,” started when she was a child, under the section entitled “Stuff I’m Going to Do.” Expecting it to be empty because he believed their lives lacked adventure, he finds ordinary pictures of their lives together, concluding with the admonition, “Thanks for the adventure – go begin a new one!” As Christians, the best is always yet to come. Therefore we should be future-minded and hopeful, not chained by a need to redeem our past mistakes.”
We can satisfy our thirst for meaning by looking up to the heavens to the ulimate reality of God and looking around us for opportunities in the mundane to serve Him, believing that we can honor Him even in the little things of life.