January 31, 2012

So I just watched the movie Real Steel, with a friend. The movie is futuristic about robots boxing instead of people. The main characters are a father- son duo, named Charlie and Max, respectively. Charlie is the no account father who left Max with his mom, 11 years ago, and has been coaching bots ever since. Max is the typical abandoned child with the “I need you to fight for me to show me you love me” sort of issues.  Max is actually a really great kid, he just needs his dad to grow up and realize responsibility.

Anyway, so I realized some of my own issues during the movie. This was one of those movies where the no account father begrudgingly takes care of his son/daughter, realizing by the end of the movie that he in fact, not only loves his son or daughter, but could not bear to live without them any longer. And the child is always this really cool, or sweet, or sarcastically funny kid that melts your heart, and obviously the father’s heart too.

So, here is what I discovered about myself.

First, it is really hard to sit through those types of movies. That is simply because my dad sucks at being a father, and I see no transformation anytime soon. I get so jealous of these kids who can cause such transformation, simply by being themselves, and making their need of a father known. This leads me to my second point: that at some point during my life thus far, I expected my father to change. In the back of my mind, I kept hoping that I was smart enough, industrious enough, pretty enough, loving enough, adventurous enough, just enough to cause a radical, lasting transformation in my father.

But, as much as I think it is, causing transformation in my father is not my job. It is God’s.

We assume too much when we expect to change another person. I am not negating the fact that each of us has influence over another person- great influence, in fact. I am thinking about those thoughts which inevitably meander through our minds, such as If he were with me, I could change him…If she were my sister, I would have nipped that in the bud…If we were married, he wouldn’t act that like… anyway,  you get the picture. These thoughts are really lies. Yes, we have influence over the next person. Yes, we are all a role model for someone. But no, unfortunately, we alone cannot make change happen in another person. We may spark a thought, a longing, a wish the other person takes to the bank, but the responsibility and burden is not ours alone.

God sparks change. God initiates change. God empowers a person to change. He creates the longing, the disgust for a previous way, the initiate, and the empowerment in order to succeed. HE alone can change a person.

So, you may be asking, what can we do? We can pray. We can be an army without legs, only knees.  We can also inspire, and be the best reflective image of Christ, the true change-instigator.


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