Our family went on an outing to a movie theatre last weekend. It's something that's not usually worth doing, but given the heat outside and the exhaustion of my sons who had just returned from camping, it seemed like a fun option. My husband checked out the movie reviews on the Conference of Catholic Bishop's site and we settled on Evan Almighty.
I wasn't sure what to expect as, without television, I remain pretty ignorant of new movie releases. Evan Almighty, though, got me really thinking about how God works in the lives of his people. Strangely (must be hormones) I even got a little misty eyed thinking about it. The movie is about a somewhat self-obsessed and materialistic, but nice enough guy, "Evan," and his wife and three sons. The family moves to Virginia to be near Washington, DC, as Evan is a newly elected Senator. Then quite by surprise, God starts intervening in Evan's life and he undergoes a metamorphosis into a very different person -- a person very much resembling the Biblical, Noah.
Just like Noah, God calls Evan to build an ark. God causes Evan's beard and hair to grow long and white, and clothes him in Noah-like robes. Evan is to build an ark in his modern day, upscale suburban neighborhood. For a person obsessed with his image, this was an unwelcome and uncharacteristic change for Evan.
The movie had some important lessons. One lesson was that God is in control of all things. Another lesson was that he uses failed humans to do his work on earth. A third lesson was that God loves us and everything we are called to is ultimately for goodness. Forth, it is evident in the movie that doing God's will is not easy, but can challenge all of our preconceived notions about what we think is best. Last, the movie shows that to follow God we must swim against the tide, and though our culture may mock us or merely misunderstand us, God's will surpasses all the transient and insignificant things the world has to offer.
I don't really think God is going to call any of us to physically build an ark in our neighborhoods, or transform our appearance into an Old Testament hero, but he does have plan for each of us. God may not appear before us, but we can still hear his voice. God's plan for us is one born of love, the eternal love our Creator has for his creatures. What God calls us to is obedience, this obedience may not always be easy, but the blessings we receive in this life and the next, surpasses the weight of any earthly burden. Pray for discernment, humility and courage, as you carry out the work of God.