It was a bright weekend morning as we gathered with a crowd of people, smiling and laughing as we entered the building. The music was ‘boppy’, children and their parents gathered in the rows of seats provided. We listened and watched as a story unfolded and it was then that God spoke to me. But this was not church. This was the movies.
My daughter and I had come to see “Hannah Montana – The Movie” and I hadn’t been looking for God in it until His words ‘jumped out of the screen’ at me.
Let me fill you in on the plot. With a busy jet-set lifestyle starting to have a negative effect on Miley and her fictitious alter-ego Hannah Montana, Miley’s father insists she goes to her hometown of Crowley Corners, Tennessee to get some perspective on what matters in life the most. The film follows the twists and turns as Hannah/Miley juggles her two identities. As the story comes to a head, Hannah takes to the stage in her hometown and sings “Life’s a climb”. The theme of the song comes from Miley’s friend Travis who tells her that life’s a climb but the view is great.
Here’s an extract of the lyrics but if you’d like to hear it all, click on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NG2zyeVRcbs&feature=related
There’s always gonna be another mountain
We’re always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an up-hill battle
Sometimes we’re gonna have to lose
Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
Its The Climb
The struggles I am facing, the chances I am taking
Sometimes might knock me down
No, I ain’t breaking
I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I am gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep going
It’s all about, it’s all about, The Climb
Maybe it was the parent next to me with the hankie that gave it away, but somehow this potentially cheesy Disney number struck a chord. Maybe it was the common experience of struggles and pain that resonated with the audience. And it echoed in my heart, because circumstances in my life have felt like a pretty tough climb recently.
In the Bible, God often met with his people on mountains and Jesus preached the Sermon “on the mount.” I have often found that when I’m climbing the mountains in my life, God often seems somehow nearer than when things are easier. Of course, there are other times when our pain seems so overwhelming that we cry out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And yet God teaches me so much when I am climbing.
I have to disagree with Hannah that “it’s not about what’s waiting on the other side”, because we “…press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” (Philippians 3:14) And it’s not always all mountains. God gives us valleys of rest too as we look back at all the amazing works God has already done. Then we can look ahead at the challenges in front of us and trust Him for those; the same God who brought us through all the mountains before.
I have this hope, but the parent next to me with the hankie, does she have that hope? And there in the midst of the encouragement, came the challenge. I see her every day on the school playground. How will I share my hope and my climbing companion with her?
So, does God go to the movies? Yeah I think he does!