Every year we take to watching a series of Christmas movies, and one we rarely miss is “It’s a Wonderful Life.” I’m sure you’re familiar with the story. For his whole life George Bailey has had to do without, and at this Christmas he finds that he may end up in jail because his Uncle has misplaced the money he was supposed to deposit in the bank.
George, believing that he’d be worth more dead than alive, decides to jump off a bridge and commit suicide, but before he can, his guardian angel jumps into the water making George save him. After that, he is granted the wish of seeing what the world would be like if he were never born.
His Altered Past
In George’s altered past, he sees every key of his life effected every other life to the point that everything changes. One wonders if not having George Bailey present in the world caused the Germans to win World War II. And that’s exactly the point.
While every individual is important and contributes to every other life, every life is not necessarily indispensible. Even within the context of the movie, it’s amusing if not downright absurd that the Creator of the world needs to have George Bailey around otherwise all sorts of things fall apart.
One individual is not that important.
This isn’t to say that there is no value in individuals. On the contrary, each one is loved by God, each one is loved by their family and friends, and each is on this Earth for a purpose.
I’m just opposed to the lesson that’s taught because I think it’s a bit backwards.
I believe that there are opportunities all around us for us to do something—to be a part of God’s work if you will. And when we are not present, when we do not make ourselves available, rather than it thwarting God’s plan, it’s just an opportunity that we have missed that someone else may get or that God may do Himself.
If Noah had not been ready to build the ark, perhaps only one of his sons would have made it. If not Abraham, God would have found another.
The point is that we cannot be so consumed with ourselves to believe that whatever it is—be it work, a project, or a game—would fall apart if we were not there. We’re just not that important.
We may do important things, but in and of ourselves we need to remain humble and have a proper perspective.
Realize how important you are to those around you this Christmastime as you celebrate the greatest Gift that ever came. Realize how much He loves you and base your worth in that.