My favorite movies are those that you can watch over and over again and each time learn something new. That’s how it was yesterday when I watch Titanic for probably the hundredth time with my roommate Emily. Only three movies have ever made me cry and Titanic is one of them. (The Notebook and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants are the other two.)
In Titanic, Rose is a beautiful young girl engaged to one of societies best. Growing up in a wealthy family, she had the right clothes, the right etiquette classes and the right social status. What more could a girl want? Aren’t those the exact same things we strive for in America…success, wealth, popularity, beauty? Rose thought she had it all, until she met Jack.
Jack is a social outcast with no job and no family. He travels from place to place painting pictures and by luck ended up on the Titanic. Unlike Rose, Jack has no money, only the clothes on his back and no social status whatsoever. Though Jack does have something more to offer. He has a lifestyle that is free of worry, baggage and fake expectations. The plans of his life are often unknown, but he moves when he sees fit and enjoys every moment to the fullest.
Rose is intrigued by his lifestyle and desire to join him. Here’s part of a conversation they have:
Though she had to leave all of her worldly treasures behind – her money, her status, her fiance – she knew it was worth it. By going with Jack, she was choosing to let go of her family, her safety and her security. For what? To embark on an unknown adventure with the one she loved. Through experience, she knew that the things of this world would not fill her.
As Christians, we also have to let go and run to Christ pursuing His plan for us. Sometimes this requires us to give up what we hold onto – our money, our families, our comfortable environment, our possessions. Matthew tells the story of a rich young man who approaches Jesus asking what he must do to receive eternal life. Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me” (Matthew 19:21).
The disciples were also called to leave their place of work and their families to follow after Christ. Even a woman named Mary was praised for leaving her ‘job’ to sit at the feet of Jesus.
Do we have courage like Rose? Like the disciples and like Mary? Or are we more like the wise man who “went away sad, for he had many possessions” (Matthew 19:22). Are our possessions, or popularity or relationships getting in the way of us stepping out to follow God wherever he is leading. Or are we willing to make a sacrifice?
Much like Rose, the pleasures of the world will only bog us down. They will not fulfill us. But Christ, His life is a full and abundant life. Just as Jack didn’t force Rose to come with him, neither will God force us to make sacrifices to follow Him. The choice is up to us.
Freely we’ve received
Now freely we will give
We must go live to feed the hungry
Stand beside the broken
We must go
Stepping forward keep us from just singing
Move us into action
We must go