The film is 2007’s The Bucket List, about two terminally ill men (Edward Cole, played by Jack Nicholson and Carter Chambers, portrayed by Morgan Freeman) who go on a round-the-world trip with a wish list of things to do before they “kick the bucket”.
The scene that grabbed me with pitbull intensity was during a evening plane flight over the North Pole. Freeman’s Chambers is gazing out the window and commenting on the stunning starry sky. He finishes by declaring what he’s seeing is “really one of God’s good ones.” This spurs a fascinating conversation with Nicholson’s Cole:
Cole: So you think a being of some sort did all this?
Chambers: You don’t?
Cole: You mean, do I believe if I look up in the sky and promise this or that, the ‘Biggie’ will make all this [both have lung cancer] go away? No.
Chambers: Then 95 percent of the people on earth are wrong.
Cole: If life has taught me anything, it’s that 95 per cent of the people are always wrong.
Chambers: It’s called faith.
Cole: I honestly envy people who have faith. I just can’t get my head around it.
Chambers: Maybe your head’s in the way.
Chambers’ suggestion at the end of this exchange truly connects with me. For many years, Cole and I had the same thought about faith. Part of that comes from ego; we humans think we’re so smart, so developed, so sophisticated that we can get answers to everything. Whatever we can’t – well, we just kick it to the side of the road and pretend it doesn’t exist.
The other part comes from the battle between heart and mind. While intellect definitely matters in a big way, when all is said and done, faith is a heart matter. That means it’s primarily not scientific and it’s not quantifiable. It’s “fuzzy”. And in our culture, fuzzy is bad.
But maybe fuzzy is good. Fuzzy allows room for mystery and God (along with Jesus, whom serious Christians – and many others – believe is His son) definitely comes gift-wrapped in mystery.
Mystery takes us out of our comfort zones and that’s another good thing because it makes us open to new ideas. Such as the concept of a creator who actually loves us and offered the gift of His son to live, die and be resurrected for anyone who accepts that gift.
Does this make any sense? Post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.