Saturday, July 09, 2005

Lemony Snicket's: A Series of Unfortunate Events

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:11)

My wife, Linda, made this Yellow cake with Lemon Custard filling and Lemon frosting the other day. She calls it the Lemony Snicket's: A Series of Unfortunate Events cake. It looks like a disaster, but MAN did it taste great!

That's exactly how we felt about the movie Lemony Snicket's: A Series of Unfortunate Events. The first time we watched it, we thought it was REALLY bizarre and off the wall, but in the end we felt something...a good something. All in all, it MovedMe (and Linda). This is what we got out of it. I hope after we describe how it tasted to us that you too will appreciate it and at the same time see something of the heart of God towards His children.

WHAT'S GOING ON HERE ANYWAY? - Klaus says it best. After the Baudelaire children's parents have been killed, and they get sent to that ogre of an uncle (Olaf), who locks them up in a dank room, Klaus says, "Didn't they [his parents] plan for us?" Isn't this the type of question we ask when life takes a turn for the worse? What is the first thing that runs through your head when tragedy strikes? What are your thoughts when you hear that a loved one is sick or dying, you've lost a job, or your safety-espousing aunt is consumed by leeches? Many times I start thinking, "Woe is me!" I hate that about myself. I begin doubting my Heavenly Father. I wonder... "Is God holding out on me?" or "Does He really know what He's doing?"

The answer is revealed toward the end of the movie. The Baudelaire children have been through seemingly horrific events, nobody is sure where Count Olaf is, and they are standing in the charred remains of their once majestic home. A letter, sent long ago by their parents, arrives, giving hope and clarity to the 3 weary offspring. It says, "At times the world can seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe us when we say there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough. And what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events, may, in-fact be the first steps of a journey." In other words, things aren't as bad as they seem. We, too, are called to open the eyes of our hearts (REALLY search), and to discover that God's not holding out on us... He's refining us. Big difference! It's a journey.

When things get tough and I question God's motives towards me, I have to remind myself that He has a purpose and a plan for me (Jeremiah 29:11).

WE NEED EACH OTHER - I really relate to the Baudelaire children, and not just cause they dress funny, but because something evil is trying to steal their inheritance from them. Remember John 10:10 (kill, steal, destroy)? Count Olaf embodies Satan's assault on believers. He wants nothing more than to have us miserable, in despair, the opposite of joyous. So he subtly attacks. What do we do?

We as Christians must band together as the Baudelaire children did. Just as each child's gifts and talents (Violet - inventing, Klaus - Encyclopedic knowledge, Sunny - biting) helped them out of quite a few binds, so we as the Body of Christ must bring our unique gifts to help each other in this battle against the flesh, the world, and the devil. We needn't worry about the fact that blood doesn't connect us. As Klaus said, "Have you noticed that none of our relatives are related to us?" And sometimes we hook up with peculiar people like Aunt Josephine. People like her seem totally off their rocker, but man, don't they sometimes have a good word for us? (Remember all the stuff that happens in the house during the storm that she somewhat predicted?)

Again, back to the letter the parents (and God) writes, "take care of each other with kindness, and bravery, and selflessness" also "as long as you have each other, you have family, and you are home." Acts 2:42 says "They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." Amen.

SANCTUARY - Just one more quick insight and then it's your turn, Ok? Sanctuary. Throughout even the toughest trials the Baudelaire children face, they are able to find sanctuary. Snicket's narrates, "Sanctuary... Is a word which here means a small, safe place in a troubling world. Like an oasis in a vast desert or an island in a stormy sea." I don't know about you but I need me some of that stuff! I find it wave watching at my favorite spot in Shell Beach, CA. I sometimes find it listening to the lyrics of a song on my way to work alone in my car. I find it wherever and whenever I have the clarity to ask God to meet me. I need Him, because bombs are going off in the UK, my first son will be starting kindergarten in the fall, my wife needs a leader in our home, etc. Sanctuary...Not to escape, but to recharge and fight on! God is my refuge and my strength... He takes me under His wings.

FINAL THOUGHTS - Again, Klaus says it best (does he have the best lines or what?) over and over again, "Nothing happens by coincidence" and "These things just don't happen." He's right. Whatever I, you, or we are going through, it's happening for a reason. God, who loves us deeply, has an awesome plan! I can't wait to find out what it is! Let's journey together. I think we'll find He has an amazing way of making sweet lemonade out of seemingly sour events.

9 comments:

Rerun said...

Pat man, I'll never call you by your first name, I promise! Love the words brother and your passion for God and His will... write on!

CoachZ said...

rerun I'm more and more ok with it actually! Ari is cool for short. Glad you liked the site. Come back again. I'm thinking of one for the Village right now.

Anonymous said...

Hey Pat:
When I saw you at church this morning I had not read what you had posted about this movie, we just saw it on you list. Although I still think it was a very strange movie I am pleased you were able to find some redeeming value to it and by the way I still think you have a very strange mind but that is what makes you Pat.
Love ya bro John

CoachZ said...

Hey papa thanx!! I was afraid you didn't like the site or what I was trying to do...sorry you didn't like the movie! Hope you like the next one I do...
Luv you to man! Thanks for the 4th it was a kick!!

Anonymous said...

I loved your review of Lemony... I was so touched by the definition of sanctuary and realized we can choose to stop and put our hearts in a sanctuary with God amongst even a stormy trial.
I loved the movie and the endless painting it was. Dark at times but yet captivating.
Cole

CoachZ said...

Hey Cole,
Thanks for coming on and blogging...Dark yet captivating is right on! I hope to get me some sactuary today!

Take care...

Sean B said...

Cool bro....how do I become a blogger??? do I have to spell and tell people a lot of stuff about my self? can I buy fire arms on this website? You are the coolest!!! I need to make it back to fridays but I have become lazy and backsliddin' but I really like sleeping in!!! Love ya bro see ya soon...

CoachZ said...

Seanie B!! Glad you like the blog...hope to see you Fridays...you just advertised to the world that you are a lover of sleep...a little sleep a little slumber a little folding of the hands....hehe

Laura said...

Sean Brennan cracks me up!