Published on January 31st, 2014 | by Nathaniel


If Your Life Was a Biographical Film…


If you’re a film-lover like I am, you’ll recognize this 2013 as an exceptional year for storytelling. But not just any kind of storytelling, particularly biographical films. Scanning over this year’s Best Picture nominees, I can’t help but notice that nearly half of them (4 out of 9) are inspired by or based on true events. Great storytelling is great storytelling, but what is it about watching and knowing that a story is grounded in truth that allows us to empathize in a novel way?

Last night I watched Captain Phillips– I initially had some reservations…which I won’t go into detail about… but as every sequence unfolded, as every scene intensified, I couldn’t help but slip on the shoes of a cargo-ship captain, desperately trying to protect his crew and himself from Somali pirates. If you haven’t seen it, I don’t want to ruin the movie for you… BUT there’s a scene where Captain Phillips, played by Tom Hanks, asks his captors to let him relieve himself outside of the life raft. He uses this opportunity to knock over one of the pirates, plunging into the deep sea. Phillips vigorously swims toward a Navy ship, only to be once again captured by a Somali pirate. I couldn’t help but watch this scene with a sense of high alert, just knowing that it wasn’t a fictitious imagination, but rather an honest account of someone who lived to tell the story.

Have you ever thought of your life as a biographical film? Have you ever shifted your eyes to the digi-cam of your life rather than the lead of actor of it? We spend so much of our lives bound in the selfishness that often accompanies our existence. We think of our problems as OUR problems. We think of our trials as OUR trials. We think of our pain as OUR pain. When in reality, these experiences weren’t intended to see how miserable God could make our lives, but to help testify and build the faith of those who surreptitiously watch from the side-rails. When you’re going through a challenge, what is the first thing that pops into your head? Is it “Why me?” or is it “God, use me”?

Living your life in biographical form is seeing yourself as a sacrifice, knowing that if you maintain your faith and integrity, your story can and will inspire millions.

Matthew 5:16

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.




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