Watching for Signs in “2012”

I had brunch with my webpastor today. She was down in BC for a few days for her uncle’s funeral. She explained to me that she had never talked to him about “what happens after you die”, despite twice feeling strong urges from the Lord. The first time she got one of these urges, he was very ill in the hospital. The second time, he had just improved vastly and seemed on his way to health and recovery. Because of this she ignored the urging, thinking to herself, “I have lots of time”. Well, her uncle passed away two weeks after this “recovery”. My paster explained to me that after talking to her cousin, who had also felt the “urge” to talk to this man but ignored it, she came to the realization that those two weeks had been a special gift from God… a final opportunity from Him to reach this uncle.

Later today, my roommate and I went to see a matinee of “2012”, the global cataclysm film by Roland Emmerich. I was excited for this film as I knew it would have some sort of “message for the people”, since I firmly believe that God speaks through movies (if you are willing to sift through all the other messages clamouring for your mind). I was not disappointed in that hope! So maybe the movie as pure entertainment fell a bit short of my usual standards; nevertheless, several lines from the film jumped out from the speakers and settled on me with weight, and I know they are potent words of warning for believers and non-believers alike.

The main character is John Cusack, as Jackson Curtis, brilliant but under-appreciated author whose life is in a state of shamble. In one scene Jackson’s son Noah (hint, hint) declares, “watch for the signs!” That line echoed to me as more than just a line in a movie, but a timely reminder from the God who cares, to the people he cares about. If we don’t watch for the signs, we won’t realize what is happening until it is too late. [Some side-notes: The movie’s tagline is “We Were Warned.” Crazy Charlie Frost (Woody Harrelson) plays a John-the-Baptist figure living in the “wilderness” (a trailer full of pickles in Yellowstone park). Here he stays, watching for the signs and broadcasting his revelations over his radio network… a voice crying out in the desert!]

One of the main characters, a young black scientist named Dr. Adrien Helmsley, turns to the camera with concern in his eyes – just like my webpastor… “I thought we’d have more time.” The urgency of his message is underlined when another secondary character – a friend of Adrien’s father in another subplot of the film – attempts to contact his son, with whom he has become estranged. He makes initial contact with his long-ignored granddaughter, who rushes to get her father to the phone, but just as the son realizes who is on the other end of the line, the connection is lost as an earthquake rips through their home. The man never gets the chance to say goodbye to his son… he waited too long, thought he had all the time in the world, and ignored the signs.

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