'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty' & The Choice To Change

The New Year always comes with an expectation of change. The stroke of midnight welcomes this with cheers, hugs, a kiss and a prayer. Somewhere in our human construct of time, we have decided that this one moment heralds in a lifetime of opportunity. And it does; yet how often do we find ourselves ignoring those resolutions or falling short of our goals? We are two weeks into 2014, do you feel any different? Has anything really changed in your life?

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”
Isaiah 43:18-19

Every moment brings the opportunity for change, and it is inevitable we will be impacted by it; but there is a difference between being impacted by change or being a catalyst for it. When I read these words, I feel as if God is saying to me, "I'm about to do something big. Are you in? Are you going to be a part of something bigger than yourself?" I see glimpses of this bigger thing in the fireworks on New Years eve, the first time a person chooses to ask for help, the choice to listen to a stranger and the grace extended where it is not deserved.

The Secret life of Walter Mitty tells the story of a 42-year-old man (Ben Stiller) stuck in the mundane of life. His saving grace is his ability to zone out and imagine a reality where he is able to do extraordinary things. Walter is not happy, he is far from it- he is a victim of change rather than a victor. Watching this movie, I was struck by a particular phrase. It appeared in Walter Mitty as the fictional motto for Life magazine and was instrumental in motivating the protagonist to seek change, rather than just be affected but it.

“To see the world, things dangerous to come to; to see behind walls; to draw closer; to find each other; and to feel. That is the purpose of Life.”

Life happens, change happens, yet even beyond this there is the opportunity for you to live a life of abundance; to seek out love, to extend grace, to allow room for the healing of old wounds, to forgive, to change cities and nations, to tell another person that they matter. God is doing a new thing and he is inviting you to be a part of it. How will you respond?

For Walter Mitty, the instigation of change was to climb the Himalayas and jump into a helicopter off the coast of Greenland. Our call to change may not be as extravagant as this, but it is just as significant. This year, this week, maybe even today, hear the sounds of this new thing calling to you. Choose to believe that you are worthy of something more and jump into that helicopter of change.

Personally, my helicopter is the decision to re enter counseling and allow someone to help me heal- not because I am a victim, but because I want to live without the constraints that have held me back for the past 23 years.

Today, like Walter Mitty, I choose to be a victor, an instigator of change and a herald of the new things God is doing on my life. What will you be?