Below is one in a series of weekly non-religious articles that I write and email to my Army unit as their Chaplain. I offer these non-religious reads to them praying that they will want more and might view the hyperlinked Christian Resilience videos that I also send to them.
As you read the article, ask yourself how the Lord Jesus provides real joy, “success” and love for your life. Search the Scriptures to see what Christ’s purpose and pleasure is for us (Romans 12:1-2, Ephesians 5:15-21, 1 Peter 3:13-17, James 4:13-17, etc.). Discuss it with your friends. But watch out. Even professing Christians sometimes pursue dreams of “La La Land” that aren’t God’s good will at all.
It’s crucial that we seek God’s goals for our lives, not simply our personal desires.
The 2017 Golden Globe Awards
“What the people want”, by Chaplain Jeff Dillard (9 January 2017)
As you may know, the Golden Globes and the Oscars recognize professionals in film (the Globes do the same for TV). But the Oscars are determined by industry professionals, specifically the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The Golden Globe Awards reflect the votes of the 93 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA). Even if you didn’t see this past Sunday’s annual show, you might also assume there was a great variety of categories in film and television: drama, musicals, comedy, foreign film, etc. And you’d be right. But as usual, there were a few productions that took multiple awards. One of which was the film “La La Land”. It won best musical or comedy motion picture and best original score; its director, Damien Chazelle, won best director and best screenplay; one of its stars, Ryan Gosling, won best actor in musical or comedy; and “City of Stars” won best original song. It hasn’t done as well at the box office, but it was only released in December. (http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/tv/golden-globes-2017-host-jimmy-fallon-winners-big-moments-more-1.12891837). Whatever the people want (or at least what the HFPA wants) seems to be in “La La Land.” What is that, and why does it matter? Let’s see.
Without giving any spoilers, “La La Land” is a romantic comedy/musical about two musicians struggling for their own dreams. But not everyone believes in their dream. Gosling is an exceptional jazz pianist who is the only one wanting to restore a famous bar for classical jazz, a dated genre. Emma Stone is an aspiring singer still working in a coffee shop. When they meet each other and fall in love, they soon discover that their ideas of the perfect life may be just…well…La La Land.
Although I’ve not seen the movie, I hear that the great music, engaging actors, and excellent direction make this a very popular movie with critics and fans. But the most compelling piece is probably the plot. And there’s nothing new, just a reminder that we want a few standard basics: joy, success, and the love of someone special to help us realize the first two. And we should want these things. But how and why we pursue them and what they do to our relationships may be very different matters.
Despite the old saying, “you can’t buy happiness”, many of us still try. We pursue more and more gadgets, food, beauty, alcohol, friends (or at least a lot of acquaintances), etc. And when the return on our investment diminishes, rather than try something different we often just go for more of the same. And most of us also work, work, work to succeed at work. But, ironically, we tend to work less at love after we think we finally have that special person. Our jobs will give us the boot when we reach retirement (or earlier), no matter how good we are. But our loved ones are supposed to be here for life. Right? So how are we to know if our dreams are a la la land fantasy or the real deal?
Again, the purpose of this series of articles is not to tell you what you should believer or do but simply to prompt your greater self-awareness for greater self-management in relationships. And good answers start with good questions. I won’t tell you exactly how “La La Land” ends, but you can easily read it in a review like I did. The musicians find measures of their dream, not complete fulfillment. But is that even possible, or is such a search just a la la land fantasy? That’s a good question.
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