Living in a Movie

The movie Sleepless in Seattle has many great scenes. My favorite is when Meg Ryan and Rosie O’Donnell are watching An Affair to Remember. Meg is crying as she expresses her desire to experience this in her life. Rosie looks at her and says; “You don’t want to be in love. You want to be in love in a movie.”

We do, don’t we? We want the romance, the sunsets, the flowers, chocolates and poetry. We want the magic. I’ve realized that most of us not only want to be in love in a movie, we want our lives to be movies; magical moments, fields of dreams and rainbows ends.

I’m sitting in the waiting room awaiting the arrival of our sixth grandchild. There is tension, uncertainty as our daughter was only 26 weeks into the pregnancy. Her water broke and there was nothing else to do but deliver the baby. There are many times I wish this was a movie. Cut, make-up, where’s the magic?

I find myself wanting to play out each scene in my mind; What if…. What will we say if…? How will we react? There is great drama in each scene. I’ve imagined my daughter and I as we embrace in sorrow and in celebration, trying to be prepared for either. Some of these scenes bring tears to my eyes. All of them make me very anxious.

A movie has a script. It has a person, or several, that spend time writing and rewriting the screenplay. The actors rehearse. The director chooses the exact angle to shoot each scene and if need be, each scene can be redone as many times as possible.

Life is not a movie. Life is full of moments, if we allow ourselves to experience them live, they bring all the magic one will ever need. If we dwell on what our reaction will be in a certain situation, we miss the live performance. In fact, as we waist precious time trying to imagine the script for the future, we are missing what is currently being acted out around us.

There is a great level of stress and anxiety in thinking about the future. I heard one person say that the future is God’s territory and He never invited us there. He asks us only to live for today.  It’s much more exciting to live in the moment.  Perhaps that is why such great comedy comes out of improv. Rarely is improv dramatic. Drama comes from well scripted work.

The next minutes, hours and days come with a ton of what ifs? But I’m not writing the script. Someone much bigger than I is in charge of that. With all my might I refuse to live in a movie, I’m going to simply live life.

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