I love Christmas movies. I’ve learned some good lessons from my favorites that have entertained our family for years. I think one of the reasons I’ve always liked them is that I can relate to so many of the dad characters in these great films. There always seems to be a part of me in every dad character, sometimes good, sometimes bad. Can you relate to some of these dads in Christmas movies?
George Bailey – It’s a Wonderful Life
I’ve worked at Family First now for over 30 years. Yet I don’t always see firsthand the impact that it’s having. I would love to be able to see like George does in the movie, all the lives transformed and helped through the years by the work we’re doing.
But instead, just like George, I sometimes look back on my life, in weak moments of self-pity and doubt, wondering if I’ve really had that much of an impact in our world.
But I also relate to having those occasional moments of clarity in my life where, like George, I really see how wonderful and blessed I am even in the hard times; and, I get to see the impact we are having through the calls and emails we receive from people sharing how Family First has been such a great encouragement and a help to them.
Bob Cratchit – A Christmas Carol
Bob seems to have a heart of gold. I try to be and want to be positive and upbeat, but as I look around me and I see the way people struggle, marriages are hurting, spouses are tearing each other down, the world is ripping at our kids to take them out…it can seem overwhelming.
Bob is trying to hang on to the Christmas spirit when everything around him beats it down: Tiny Tim’s illness, Ebenezer’s mistreatment, and his wife’s understandable frustration with it all. He tries to look out for others but you can see in the best movie versions that he’s ready to crack below the surface.
Ultimately, like Bob, I don’t lose my faith that God is always good, God is all powerful, and that He loves us no matter what. In spite of it all, Bob never fully loses his trust that people can change. It’s a subtle acknowledgment of God’s grace, and Bob exemplifies for me what I long to have too for myself and others…hope. Hope for the future because of God’s amazing love.
Walter Hobbs. – Elf
Buddy the Elf has a cantankerous, reluctant father who is hyper-focused on getting the work done. Walter is a workaholic who has convinced himself he’s doing the right things, in the right ways, for the right reasons…and he’s not. He struggles to understand that Christmas is more than just a business cycle, and he’s lost a sense of what his children’s publishing company is all about.
I can relate to Walter when I’m cranking out Family First content. With blogs to write, podcasts and radio shows to record, it gets easy to get lost in the mechanics of getting the job done and lose sight of the fact that each word spoken or written can impact a life. God can use these words. I’m blessed to reach millions of people by radio every day. Just writing this reminds me that I’m writing for real people with real struggles and stories. I write for you!
With blogs to write, podcasts and radio shows to record, it gets easy to get lost in the mechanics of getting the job done and lose sight of the fact that each word spoken or written can impact a life.
Do you see yourself in these, or other, Christmas movie dads? Share your comments below.