Sometimes I think my entire generation has A.D.D. We like to be entertained ... we grew up during the period when cable became a "necessary" household bill, when a night at the movies happened once or twice a weekend, and Atari was making the way for Nintendo, Segas, and Playstations ...
It makes me infinitely sad that there are people (no longer just the nerdy bachelor either - men with wives and families) who spend as much time in a fantasy world (made as realistic as possible thanks to pixels and other things I don't care to understand) as they do at work each week.
I'm not going to exclude myself from this. My mind has not always been a wholesome place, I'm admitting that right now. And no matter how you want to argue it - what you fill your mind with has a lot to do with types of thoughts grow there.
Tears spring to my eyes even as I write this - because I'm so in awe of the things God can do. Rather than growing more aware of worldly ways - God is working a miracle in the wiring of my brain - I feel more and more wholesome every day. Sometimes this means I end up turning away from what is popular, what movies have huge budgets, and has changed my definition of "good" acting.
I love rock-n-roll ... put another dime in the jukebox and all that! However, the closer I've been to God - the more I find I can't stomach the rock station. Their DJs spew filth between songs, and the ads run are for things like "gentleman's clubs" (was there ever a greater oxymoron?). More and more, I find myself drawn to music that speaks from the heart - and stations that aren't supporting a lifestyle I don't.
In the past couple of months - I find myself listening to more country - where they aren't afraid to mention faith and utter God's name (that is, other than in vain). I'm even listening to the dreaded "Christian" stations, which used to turn my stomach. Sure, sometimes things are a little sugar coated ... but I find what I fill my mind with in the car, while at work, and while cooking dinner have a greater influence on me than I ever could have imagined.
As God works on my thoughts and my heart - I find myself embarrassed by scenes in movies that in the past would not have phased me. I'm being drawn to movies that I don't expect to "shock" me. Sure - I still love a good thriller, a heart-pounding action movie, or a romantic love story that leaves you sighing. However, I find myself filtering things more and making excuses for things much less.
Which leads me to my point in writing this. I am seeing a new "trend" that I hope is more than a trend. You may or may not have heard of these production lines ... Fox Faith, Affirm Films ... but something within my heart started when I learned there were such companies.
Frankly - I don't care if the acting isn't so great. I rejoice in the fact that these movies are being made and released and distributed on DVDs that I would feel comfortable watching with Jesus. Movies that I think could bring God glory - despite their shortfalls. In all honesty - I find the shortfalls are something that draws me to them.
In the past few months, I've seen Fireproof (about 5 times), Flywheel (at least twice), The Ultimate Gift, and Amazing Grace (maybe not one of the same companies, but worth mentioning). I highly recommend all of them - not for the surprises, not for the special affects, not for the big names ... but because I think they will bring comfort and peace to countless hearts. Because I think there is something we can learn from them.
When I wrote about "PS I love you" I mentioned what I've started calling 'Don't settle for anything less' movies ... and right now I'd say The Notebook and Fireproof top the list. (Yes, the Notebook doesn't fit into the movies I'm writing about at the moment - at least, not in its entirety - but I think the story does).
So many times I said that I could listen to what I wanted, read what I wanted, etc. and remain unaffected. It simply isn't true. What we fill our minds and hearts with is very important. I hope to see more coming from these production studios ... despite what the connoisseurs may have to say.
Music is the language of the spirit. ~ Kahlil Gibran.
Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures. ~Jessamyn West
Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. ~Phillipians 4:8