God’s Compass

God's compass

God’s Compass: Finding the North of a Life’s Purpose

For faithful workers of God, there’s always a burning desire to help others. This inspirational film depicts a walk of faith among the characters who explored God’s direction in their lives.

One night changed them. Suzanne celebrated her retirement as a school principal. Meanwhile, her surgeon son David was too busy with patients at the hospital that he neglects to care for his pregnant wife Jessica. She was with Suzanne that night but decided to go home earlier, leaving her mother-in-law at the party. Jessica was about to start the car when she felt labor pains. At that moment, a juvenile delinquent named Eli was trying to break into her car. Aghast to see her in pain, Eli’s only resolve was to drive her to the hospital. Shortly after their arrival, Eli got arrested by a cop who saw him there. These scenes showed us how one decision or act can alter our life and those we touch. Adding up to David’s stress was that the newborn is a blue baby and would need to undergo open-heart surgery to survive.

The story turned when Jessica asked Suzanne to act on Eli’s predicament. She appealed for Eli’s temporary custody even as David was against it. Following God’s calling, she puts her house up to pay his bail. Shortly after she brought him to her house, Eli took off with her car. He went back to the make-shift shelter but his sister Naomi was gone. Sometimes, we thought we have judged a person fairly as far as we know how. Actually, there’s more to a man’s story than what is plain to see. And that is where we begin to understand situations from a compassionate Christian perspective.

Each character fights a personal battle. Flashback scenes showed us snippets of their memory. Suzanne still feels the longing for her departed husband. The way she touched his clothes showed how much she missed him. She opened an old shoebox and found an old picture of her husband’s kidney donor which turned out as Eli’s father. The realization pressed her further to help out Eli. Meanwhile, Eli remembers his pain for losing both parents. Life has been hard for him since then. These scenes tell us that a wounded soul needs healing.

This film was filled with lessons. Suzanne and David’s relationship taught us mutual respect between mother and son. He may have opposed her decision about Eli but respected her actions nonetheless. David and Jessica’s relationship taught us openness and acceptance between husband and wife. He expressed his shortcomings to her. Jessica remained by his side to love and support him while they face their problems together.

The ending scenes reflect the real sense of God’s love for us. David found his life’s purpose through circumstances that he has faced. Their search for Naomi led him to see Eli’s make-shift shelter. That’s when he knew he could make a difference in their lives too.

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New Hope: Facing Transitions in Life with God’s Guidance

New Hope

The film New Hope released in 2012 deals with the aftermath of teen suicide. It boldly tells a story about the depths of guilt and hurt in the lives of those affected by this tragedy.

Main character Michael and his family moved to a small town called New Hope. Being the son of a preacher, he is already accustomed to moving from place to place. What bothers him this time is adjusting to his new school in his senior year. Throughout the film, Michael showed us what it is like being a preacher’s son. Like any other teen, he confronts a dilemma of fitting in. The difference is that he valued his parents’ upbringing. He didn’t fight back his antagonist Lucas when he could. He didn’t take advantage of his liking for Jasmine when she was still feeling broken after losing her long-time boyfriend Chase who committed suicide a year ago.

This film has drawn its power to a commendable script. There were several noteworthy scenes. The preacher’s counseling session with Chase’s parents showed us grieving from their perspective. They showed how a mother’s love clings to guilt for as long as she could and a father who contains his hurt so he could keep his sanity day by day. These scenes reflect how each parent wants to get involved in our lives. The same goes with our heavenly Father God who can take our anguish so we don’t wallow in our sorrow for too long. We need to only ask and pray that He guides our way.

Lucas’ character is also powerful in this story. He used his ego to cover up his deep hurt for losing his brother Chase. Lucas pushed himself to become the star player in his school’s basketball team. He bullied Michael as a façade because he couldn’t admit to anyone he is feeling empty inside, not even his parents.

Another noteworthy scene was when he released his anger on a tree. He bought a handful of baseball bats and used each one to hit the tree. We get to feel the hurt he has and releasing it alone than hurting other people. Later on, Lucas admitted to Michael he feels he didn’t amount to anything. Michael reminded him about winning the championship game. He also mentioned not giving up on Lucas.

There were several nuggets of lessons in this film. It is suitable for teens as well as parents. It teaches us about bullying and where it is coming from. By having the right mindset to care for a bully and parental guidance to teens. We can also do it by reaching out to other people. And encouraging one another that God will guide us through no matter how difficult the trials that we encounter in our personal lives. Filling our hearts with God’s love will set us free from past hurts so we can move forward to a hopeful tomorrow.

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Soul Surfer: A Girl’s Determination to Beat Her Odds

Soul Surfer

The film Soul Surfer tells an inspirational story about Bethany, a 13-year-old surfer who enjoys the waves of Kauai Island in Hawaii. Her parents Tom and Cheri were both surfers and equally supportive of her passion. She and her best friend Alana vie for a regional surfing competition, and that is all that mattered to her at that time.

The opening scenes showed us how idyllic life is by the waves and by the shore. Young as she is, Bethany valued her passion for surfing and knew that it was her source of joy. Her character reminds us to identify our God-given talent and make good use of it as it gives pleasure to our soul.

The turning point of the story was when Bethany chose to practice surfing at a far off beach with Alana’s family then join the youth fellowship mission to Mexico. She sends a box of goods instead. She aimed to become the best surfer in the competition. All of a sudden, a shark attacked Bethany and bit her arm away. They met the ambulance halfway en route to the hospital.

In the scenes that followed, we see that Bethany’s parents never blamed Alana’s dad or God for what happened. Alana even had a nightmare about the shark, felt sorry to see Bethany with a missing arm and was by her side until she was able to surf again. The close-knit relationship between the two families showed sincerity and concern over one another well-being.

Several scenes were uplifting in this film. The Islanders called for Tom to see that the shark they killed was the one that attacked Bethany.No one mocked or teased her when she fails to surf in her comeback. Instead, there’s a speedboat waiting for her if she needs to get back to shore. Such is an ideal human relationship where compassion and genuine care prevails.

There’s a brief scene where Bethany questioned why having one arm be part of God’s plan for her. The fellowship teen minister Sara replied that terrible things happen sometimes, but something good will come out of it. True to Sara’s words, she joined the mission to Thailand. She saw the aftermath of a tsunami that hit the town. Bethany was able to share her courage with the kids there and encourages them to swim and surf again. Upon her return to Hawaii, fan mails came stating how her act inspired kids from other places.

The letters encouraged her to join a national surfing competition once more. Her family helped her train to become a strong contender. She almost got first place if not for the biggest wave to come after time ran out, so her final score did not count. Nonetheless, the self-fulfillment was enough for her.  She knew the value of life like surfing, and that is to get right up every time she hits an impact zone, and with faith, anything is possible.

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