Over the last six weeks, The Greatest Showman, a film inspired by and loosely based on American showman P.T. Barnum and starring crowd-favourite Hugh Jackman has enjoyed longevity and popularity in box office sales since its premiere on Dec 28. From Feb 1, a sing-along version of the movie has also been made available.
Of course the critics are divided on the film’s historical accuracy, theatrics and scripting – it won’t please everyone – but the audience keep showing up.
I keep showing up.
I’ve seen the film three times in the last month and upon my third viewing, an abrupt sense of awareness made me lean further back into my seat when these lines were being sung:
“When the world becomes a fantasy
And you’re more than you could ever be
‘Cause you’re dreaming with your eyes wide open.”
Isn’t that life with God? Dreaming with our eyes wide open, now conscious of the world through God’s eyes? Our version of this “fantasy world” won’t all look the same, but it’d all constitute things that otherwise seem impossible or improbable in our current one.
“It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat.” (Ephesians 2:6)
With God, we are always more than we could ever be. He is the greatest showman – and He’s got a spectacular life waiting in the wings for all who give Him room to do His work.
If we would search deeper into the roots of our greatest pain and disappointments – it is that we are not enough. Or that we might never be.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” (Ephesians 3:20)
But as I think about my world, now that the living God has redeemed it, my world is indeed a fantasy: What I could only previously dream of is now my reality.
There is no dream bigger than to have our sins forgiven and lives redeemed. It cannot be done by our strength, intellect or ability.
A life that’s given back to the Creator opens the door to a future where our best days are always ahead.
Sin alone stands as the biggest hindrance to a life of “more than we could ever ask or imagine” and the forgiveness of sin is found only in God.
For those who run to God, His power is at work within us. With God there is forgiveness and kindness that alters the way we spend eternity. There is a palpable excitement that reverberates from within a life that’s given back to the Creator. It opens the door to a future where our best days are always ahead.
And it carries us through the unspectacular moments in our brief existence on earth, as we’re on our way to becoming “more than who we could ever be”.
The possibility of more lies in the hands of a God who can do more than all we even dare ask or imagine of ourselves – and all for our good.
Whether it’s at the movies, in honest conversations with a friend about faith and life, a random song you hear on the radio, or in the darkest hours of the night when you struggle the most – I hope you always keep a door open for God to reach you.
When the lights come back on at the end of a movie, or whenever you have to “face reality” again, remember that there is a God-reality for your life that is wilder and infinitely more satisfying than even your best dreams for yourself.
The lasting sense of peace that you are searching for is not found on the other side of “making it in life” by your own merits and efforts. Your true satisfaction is found in coming alive in Jesus Christ, by the mercy and grace of God. It’s a reality we can step into.
So whatever stage you’re at, would you let Him show you the greatest version of your life?
“And you know you can’t go back again
To the world that you were living in
‘Cause you’re dreaming with your eyes wide open
So, come alive!”