Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Second Chance

I like Michael W. Smith. I've been a fan for probably 17 years. Go West Young Man was the album I listened to on my first CD player. I went to one of his concerts and his piano came up through the floor on a platform that spun around! So when someone handed us his movie, "The Second Chance" I felt as if I'd fallen off the Smitty bandwagon because I had never heard of it.

So, we popped it in one night for family movie night. (It is PG-13 but they are portraying and inner-city mission so it is part of the reality. There are a few mild swear words and some gang violence.) I'd tell you it was good because I cried at the end, but then you would have to believe that Cheaper by the Dozen and Homeward Bound deserve Oscars too. But it was good and I think it's worth seeing if you can get your hands on a copy.

It really contrasts the suburban mega-church with an inner city mission. The glitz and glamour of the big church with pastor (Smith) who wears gucci shoes and drives a fancy car. As opposed to the inner city pastor who is painting bridges and helping ex-gang members find jobs.

It is an interesting commentary on churches in America and it really made me think. I tend to long for the big fancy suburban church full of well dressed people with a program for everything because that's how I grew up. Mike grew up in a little church in Nebraska 30 miles from a paved road. He had a totally different experience and he loved it there. So, which is better? I think the answer is neither. God is bigger than all that. He can't be boxed in by the way we do church. He used both of these extremes to disciple us.

The other issue that hit me was materialism, which is something I'm realizing is a huge struggle living and raising kids in this culture. Michael W. Smith's character has all this nice stuff: car, house, clothes. But as he is forced to work in the inner city he starts to see the emptiness in all of it especially in contrast to the devastation and poverty of the people at the mission. I'm being challenged to think through what we have, what we buy, what we need. I don't think I've given my heart completely over to God in this area.

Check it out and let me know what you think!


Anonymous said...

Can't decide which is better? Get off the fence.

Ok, mayber you're right? Definitely the challenge is if we're really living the challenge to die to ourselves and live for Christ. Can we die to our luxuries to help the poor and destitute - isn't that what Jesus did?

Mommy of Four said...

I too stuggle with materialism and didn't really realize how it affects me until I read a book called, "Too Much Stuff" by Kathryn Porter. I highly recommend it. It changed my perspective on my stuff and on what I buy and why I buy it. (I like a good deal even if I don't need it!) Anyway she also talks about how our possessions can own us and how freeing it can be to get rid of the clutter. I never thought it would be so fun to declutter, but my husband and are very much on board now and are loving it. Well, there's my plug! Keep up the good work Michelle. Thanks for all the encouragement!