This morning I was talking with some friends about the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”, with James Stewart and Donna Reed. I remembered how the main character, George Bailey, had these big plans to make tons of money and travel the world. His girlfriend, Mary Hatch, even made this little embroidered picture of him throwing a lasso around the moon. The story goes on to show how his dreams kept getting interrupted and stomped on until he absolutely lost hope. Then along came Clarence, his guardian angel, to show him that the life he had, from God’s point of view, was quite wonderful. “None of what he wanted came to pass,” someone pointed out, “But all that he did made a positive impact on others without his even knowing it.”
As my friends and I sat around talking about it, we realized that we just don’t know what kind of impact we make on people. Even our failures may somehow be an inspiration to someone else. Or our neediness may give another person a sense of purpose as they reach out to help us.
George Bailey might have had a happier life earlier if he had heard what one of my friend’s said during the discussion. He said, “We aren’t supposed to pray for what we want. We are supposed to pray for what we are supposed to have.” (You may have to read that twice to get it.) George had what he was supposed to have all along.
If you haven’t seen the movie, check it out. And watch Mary. She knew the secret all along.
3 thoughts on “It’s A Wonderful Life”
I love this idea! This reminds me of a short story I read once which depicted a hero who was enlisted by an angel to fight a particular battle against darkness in an epic face-off. At the end, the hero felt that he had failed because that particular danger was not destroyed, but the angel showed him that he had actually accomplished something bigger because unaware of the importance of his actions, he had saved a young child who had been in an abusive situation. The underlying message is that we often focus so much on what we consider the big things that we are unaware of how we are positively impacting the lives of others. It is a wonderful blessing to get the opportunity to see how we have affected other people through the little things of which we don’t think much of at the time.
Mom, did you know that we’ve made it a family tradition to watch that movie every Christmas season? Not sure if you knew that.
Dad and I watch it every year, too.
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