What is your favorite movie? That’s always a tough question for me, because I tend to have favorite scenes rather than favorite movies. I love movie scenes.
Scenes are great because they often represent turning points in films. Like our lives, we remember turning points much more than the daily steps that got us there. Most of life is gaps.
Although I have many scenes I love, here are 4 of my favorite movie scenes (and why I like them so much).
Les Miserables – The Transforming Power of God’s Grace
My favorite screen adaptation of Victor Hugo’s novel, Les Misérables, is the 1998 film starring Liam Neeson—mostly because of this scene.
Here’s a brief set-up: Jean Valjean is a ex-convict living in pre-revolutionary France. Just released from prison, he wanders the streets because no one will take him in. Finally, a kindly old bishop feeds him and lets him sleep overnight.
Behold the transforming power of the grace of God.
The bishop had the right to have to Valjean imprisoned. Justice demanded it. But when the Bishop went against every human instinct for revenge, it transformed Jean Valjean’s life forever.
Being offered such grace—when he had never even sought it—tore down all his defenses. He dedicated his life from that point to serving God and serving others.
Rocky II – The Support of a Spouse
I know, I know . . . really? Rocky? Hang on.
To set the scene, Rocky’s wife Adrian has resisted his rematch bout with the champion for fear than Rocky will get badly hurt. This scene begins with them seeing their newborn baby for the first time.
The support of a spouse plays a huge role in the success of a person. (I also like that Rocky was willing to walk away from his dream if necessary.)
The takeaway from this isn’t to get our spouse to support us more—but for you and I to support our spouse in their passions, gifts, interests, and spiritual growth.
That takes sacrifice.
Lonesome Dove – A Dream Come True is Still Just Life
Okay, so it’s not exactly a feature film. But my favorite scene from the miniseries, “Lonesome Dove,” occurs between Augustus McCrae and Lorena—a young woman whose primary aspiration in life is to live in San Francisco.
Gus’ words to her in this scene are distilled wisdom.
If you want only one thing too much, it’s likely to turn out a disappointment. —Augustus McCrae
So true. A new situation may offer new perks, but it also offers new challenges. It’s still just life. Finding contentment in God is the only solution. “Life in San Fransisco is still just life.”
Solomon revealed this principle:
He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is vanity. —Ecclesiastes 5:10
Chariots of Fire – Always Get Back Up When Knocked Down
The famous scene in this Oscar-winning movie is based on a true story.
Whether we get shoved down or whether we stumble on our own, we must always get back up and keep running.
A righteous man falls seven times, and rises again. —Proverbs 24:16
Sometimes it’s helpful to start over. To realize that in spite of our failings, God still has a purpose for us in life. We should never quit.
One Common Theme
I suppose the one common theme in all these scenes is a willingness to sacrifice one’s self for the benefit of others. This example comes from Jesus, who laid down His life for us all.
Just as any movie is composed of scenes, our lives are made up of choices that require selfless decisions made for God’s glory.
Tell me what you think: What is your favorite movie scene—and why? To leave a comment, just click here.