Isn’t it just like God to show up in the place where you least expect Him? I did expect to feel a connection to God when I went to preview a movie that will be coming out on October 7 called The Way. I knew the basic plot of the movie—that it involved a grieving father and the well-known Christian pilgrimage across the country of Spain called “The St. James Way” (El Camino de Santiago). In fact, the pilgrimage has been on my list of dream trips.
What I least expected was to be so amazed by the real life faith expressed by the movie’s star Martin Sheen and to be impressed with the family connection and closeness experienced by Martin and his son Emilio Estevez (of Breakfast Club fame) the writer and director who also appears in the movie. This preview was arranged in Dallas where the Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez met with audiences after viewing the movie to discuss the story behind the movie. At the beginning of this conversation I was surprised that I would hear about real, vital faith and write down a spiritual quote from Martin Sheen, a Hollywood actor. Martin Sheen said: “The genius of God is that He shows up where we would least expect Him, in the darkness of men’s souls.” That is exactly what the movie portrays. You won’t get a three point sermon or a presentation of the plan of salvation if you go to this movie. You will hear a few choice words and view a casu
al use of drugs; moreover, you will see the genius of God meeting people who aren’t necessarily looking for Him, where they least expect Him in the darkness of their own souls. You will watch the miraculous take place. You will also be delighted by the wonder of God’s genius in creation and in the magnificence of some of the inspiring cathedrals along the pilgrimage. The reality of the pilgrimage is informational (for instance I have hoped to walk it, but didn’t realize that it takes over a month to make the full journey). In spite of this, I predict you will desire to walk The Way of St. James yourself.
My personal experience of viewing the movie has reminded me that my dark soul that casts judgment on others will always be trumped by the genius of God. Honestly, I didn’t expect that Martin Sheen, of all people, would share a spiritual insight that would enlighten my life. I’m humbled (another spiritual benefit from viewing this movie).
My experience this week reminds me that it is a good spiritual practice to check my expectations on a regular basis. Matthew 24:44 warns,
“Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
What I expect is important to being ready. It is a reality that I don’t know the day to expect Jesus’ return. It is important that I live my life expecting that it will happen. Consider what you expect. I expect Jesus’ return will take place in a way that I would have never expected. I expect that Jesus will be working on the dark realities of my soul until He comes, even when I’m not expecting Him. The genius of God is that He expects me to expect Him. I will do that this week. Because of the lesson I learned the place I most expect Him is in the darkness of my soul. That is what God is all about, brining light where it is needed most.
You can find out about the movie at: http://theway-themovie.com/bustour/