As a child, each stage of life is tied to a movie. Rather than invest in a new movie, you would cycle through an old one. Over and over. Until the VHS tape was worn.
One such movie from one such stage: The Neverending Story.
I can’t quite nail down the stage of life nor my age, but I do remember the young boy skipping school to read this special book. And I could relate to the young boy as reading made words come alive (not literally, like the movie) And to this day, words, in all formats, still hold a special place with me.
However, other than this young boy, I don’t recall much else about the movie.
Except for two scenes: the scene that made me cry and the scene that made me shout for joy.
The making me cry scene:
A young boy (different from the reader) is riding his horse when they encounter quicksand. The horse begins to drown while the young boy attempts to save him. The boy tries everything in his power to save the horse, but no luck. The horse drowns. The young boy cries. I cry.
The shouting for joy scene:
At the end of the movie, the boy who skipped school gets a chance to ride this giant magic dog/dragon and chase some bullies into trash cans. The world is saved and the boy gets his revenge. I shout for joy.
As I’m living these memories again, the stark contrast between the two scenes causes me to think of the two main parts of the Gospel. The sad and the glad.
The truth of the Gospel brings sadness. For the first time, we realize we’ve screwed up. Made mistakes. And we can’t fix it. And it doesn’t fix itself.
The Gospel causes us to compare ourselves to Christ.
And we’ll never win. We don’t measure up. None of us. Ever.
But the Gospel also brings good news. There is a solution. There is a rescuer. There is a way out.
The Neverending Story doesn’t end with the horse dying. It ends in victory. With the world being rescued. Rights being wronged. And the main character soaring on the wings of Falcor.
Similarly, the Gospel doesn’t end with us feeling inadequate. Or sad. Or a failure.
No, it too ends in victory. With a rescuer. With rights being wronged. And the main character soaring on the wings of eagles.
So the next time you’re watching a random 80’s movie with flying dogs and tragic scenes, remember the Gospel. Remember you are a new creation. And remember you were sought out and rescued.
And that will make you shout for joy!