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Reality Check . . . Confusing Real Life with Fiction

In our media-driven culture, the lines between reality and fiction are blurring. According to speaker and writer Phil Cooke, “. . . it’s growing more and more difficult to distinguish real life from our favorite characters in books, movies, and television programs.

“There’s growing evidence that younger viewers in particular have difficulty understanding the difference.”

One study showed that 40% of the students participating believed popular movie versions of historical events were more accurate than factual historical essays on the same subject (Andrew Butler).

And social media only intensifies the impact of the confusion.

Phil shares, “A recent survey discovered 32% of Millennials believe more people were killed under the Bush administration than under Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.”

So what about gaming? Phil cites Nottingham Trent University researchers who discovered that “gamers can become so immersed in fantasy that they become unable to distinguish that from the real world.”

Even C. S. Lewis recognized the importance of real life experience and the risks inherent with overindulging in fantasy. In the context of marriage, he says, Our experience is colored through and through by books and plays and the cinema, and it takes patience and skill to disentangle the things we have really learned from life for ourselves.” —Mere Christianity

Maybe it’s time for a reality check.

How many of our own personal values have been influenced by media’s 24/7 cultural conversations? Are we making decisions and choices based on truth or fiction . . . reality or the “reel” world?

Weigh in at feedback@mastermediaintl.org.

On-Screen Inspiration . . . in “Lord of the Rings”

In the second film of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, “The Two Towers,” after Frodo and Samwise Gamgee had been taken prisoner, sent to the ruined city of Osgiliath, then narrowly escaped being captured by Sauron’s minions, Frodo begins to lose hope. He is ready to give up, thinking he can never finish the quest of destroying the One Ring in Mordor.

Sam encourages his dear friend in this scene from the movie . . .

Frodo: I can’t do this Sam.

Sam: I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines, it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding onto something.

Frodo: What are we holding onto Sam?

Sam: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo . . . and it’s worth fighting for.

In the book of 1 Samuel, David is on the run, overcome with fear, knowing that King Saul is out to kill him. Jonathan goes to speak words of encouragement to his friend . . . .

“David saw that Saul had come out to seek his life. David was in the wilderness of Ziph at Horesh. And Jonathan, Saul’s son, rose and went to David at Horesh, and encouraged him in God. And he said to him, ‘Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you. You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you.’” (1 Sam. 23:15-17)

It’s the true friend who encourages us in the midst of the most difficult part of life’s journey.

Therefore encourage one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:18)

What’s your most inspiring film scene? Why? Let us know at: feedback@mastermediaintl.org.

 

On-Screen Inspiration

Toy Story

In the climactic scene of the inaugural Toy Story, Andy is riding in the back seat of the family car, followed closely behind by the moving van containing all of his treasured toys . . . all except two. Andy’s two favorite pals, Buzz Lightyear and Sheriff Woody, are thought to be lost, but—unknown to Andy—have just escaped their captor. Buzz, with a rocket strapped to his back, is carrying Woody as they soar through the air to rejoin the procession making its way to Andy’s new house.

Suddenly, the moving van is within striking distance . . . but Buzz passes right over the projected target!

Woody: Uh, Buzz, we missed the truck!

Buzz: We’re not aiming for the truck!

With this, Buzz closes his wings, and the two drop through the open roof of Andy’s car, safely landing in a box right next to Andy.

Do we ever settle for second best? Aiming for whatever is within our immediate reach, when perhaps God is calling us to trust Him for a bigger prize?

Are you like Woody, willing to settle for the first safe landing that appears? Or are you like Buzz, willing to proceed in faith for the ultimate prize?

Pray big . . . believe big . . . and trust a BIG God! We’d like to hear your story . . . how did you believe God when He called you to trust Him for a “bigger prize”?

Please share your experience at feedback@mastermediaintl.org.