Friday, June 20, 2008

Ancient Questions

My poor husband. He just doesn’t have a chance.

This dear, saint-of-a-guy lives with one wife, three daughters, and a female dog.

So you can imagine how hard it is to find a movie we all like. He’s actually gotten pretty used to the chick flick thing. I can’t count how many of those he’s watched. And I’ve pretty much put my foot down on the violent-guy-flick genre, so he doesn’t watch too many of those, I’m not sorry to say.

But last night we found a compromise: we watched The Bucket List. A movie starring two man’s men—Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. So B could yuck it up with a couple of real guys, and we girls could cry along with the sentimental story.

Pass the Kleenex, I’m feeling verklempt.

One part of the movie has stayed with me all day, and I kind of hope it stays with me for a while because it’s important to think about. It happened during the scene on the top of the pyramid. The two guys are talking about life and death, you know, the things they talked a lot about in that movie. Morgan Freeman’s character, Carter, is explaining to Nicholson’s character, Edward, what the ancient Egyptians believed about Heaven. He said that they believed that when you got to heaven you were asked two questions that would determine your fate. The first question was “Has your life brought you joy?” and the second question was, “How has your life brought joy to others?”

Mind you, I don’t think the ancient Egyptians held the key to salvation in those two questions, but nevertheless, I think these are two important questions to ponder.

“Has my life brought me joy?” If it hasn’t, I’m probably doing something wrong. Life is to be enjoyed, I don’t care what the Puritans believed.

“Has my life brought joy to others?” This is probably a much more important question than the first. My interactions with others should never be solely of benefit to me; my focus should be on the other person. I truly believe that by being focused outwardly, we will bring joy to others, and thus bring joy to our own lives. Which brings us back to question number 1.

Hmmm. I think those old folks were on to something. When we take our eyes off of ourselves, we find true joy. And somehow that gives us just a glimpse into what heaven will be like.

True joy.

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