One of my favorite movies is “The Big Chill” (1983). It’s really hard to lose your audience when you mix good actors with great music all coming together around a very compelling plot. I don’t know if you could call it the moral of the story, but the take-away for me is pretty simple. All the success in the world can’t buy or replicate the magic and chemistry of true friendships. In fact, doesn’t it seem sometimes as though we live our lives trying to recapture what came so naturally…while moving ourselves further from “it”? Let’s go a little deeper…
I wrote of my struggles this past Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving was always my favorite holiday of the year because it was always about my family, my friends, and my favorite things…not the least of which were food and football. But, as in the “Big Chill”, stuff happens, the world turns, and things change. The Big Chill’s Alex couldn’t deal with the changes, so he took what he might have thought was the easy way out (suicide)…which paved the way for a great movie centered around the reuniting of old friends. Berenger’s, Klein’s, and Goldblum’s characters all seemed to ride life’s waves successfully…while Hurt’s character hurt. The only woman in the cast who seemed happy was Alex’s girlfriend Chloe (Meg Tilly) who was really a child in every sense of the word. Most of us experienced the “happy ending” in the host’s kitchen as Michael (Goldblum) threatens hosts Sarah (Close) and Harold (Klein) with “We’re not leaving” while Jeramiah was a bull frog cues up the credits to the end. But how many of us got the real happy ending cleverly hidden in Hurt’s (re)connection with the Child?
So where would our Big Chillians who first met each other at the University of Michigan in the 60’s, and then again in 1983 be today I wonder. Well, who can say really? Or…can we take a good look around us and know exactly where the University of Michigan’s children of the sixties are today, as I lamented in my Thanksgiving Day Tune-up? What gets lost in the nostalgic mist of romance and Motown hits, is the 20/20 clarity of hindsight in the context of the God-forsaken mess they’ve created! Not quite with me yet? Have patience…you will be.
I came across this TCT piece by David Warren; The Silence of the Lions. The point of his message is a great big WHAT IF the lions of the Church who stood up against the tyrant in the last century were the rule rather than the scant exception? His lament in the “silence” of today’s shepherds goes more than hand-in-hand with my Thanksgiving lament of who we’ve become. And it helped me to recall the Tytler Cycle of Freedom;
Spiritual Faith> Great Courage> Liberty> Abundance> Selfishness> Complacency> Apathy> Dependency> Bondage> Spiritual Faith…
Now think of the Tytler Cycle as an overlay on the map of American History;
Spiritual Faith ~ From Columbus to James Town to the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock
Great Courage ~ The American Revolution and our military heritage
Liberty ~ Our Founding as a Sovereign Nation, and the beacon of hope to others
Abundance ~ Our Rise to power through the Industrial Revolution and into the 1950’s
Selfishness ~ The 1960’s – 1970’s
Complacency ~ The 1980’s
Apathy ~ The 1990’s
Dependency ~ Today (94 million Americans are not working…45 million are on food stamps)
Bondage ~ Tomorrow?
I have a What If for David Warren. What if we were to skip the Bondage part and go straight to Spiritual Faith?
I don’t know about you Dear Friend, but today I will fast and pray.