Thursday, February 2, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday--Life Lessons from Mosquito Coast

Mom picked up a movie from the library the other day (I'm so glad they've gone back to loaning them for free) and we watched it night before last. We had seen it before, but that was a long time ago, and I felt like I hadn't really liked it, but couldn't remember why. It all came back to me when I started watching it.

It wasn't bad language, it wasn't violence, it wasn't inappropriate scenes. 
It was the insanity of the main character.

The movie is 'Mosquito Coast' and it's the story of this inventor who is supposedly a genius (he dropped out of Harvard because he was 'bored'). He becomes fed up with the commercialization of America; the corruption he sees in his country (I guess kind of like the whole 'occupy' movement; his reasons and explanations weren't quite rational).

So, in order to 'do something about it', he packs up his wife and four children and moves them to some rural part of Puerto Rico. He buys a large plot of land (thinking it's a small town) and on it builds his major invention: an ice machine. (he says, 'Ice is civilization'. I thought he wanted to get away from civilization?) That explodes, spewing ammonia everywhere and contaminating the river. They have to move somewhere else and end up stranded and starving on their boat.

Anyways, the whole point of this is not to review the movie, but to share something my mom said during the movie: "A man is the leader of his family for good or ill." So true! And this man was ill.

He idealized living simply, yet he ridiculed the local people, calling them savages.
He was fed up with civilization in America, but he wanted to bring it to the jungle.
He was an 'involved' father, but he influence was a very negative one.
He didn't realize that all that made him hate America was inside himself as well.

I don't know how many times I said, "He's just crazy!"

If a man marries, he is the leader of a woman. What he does or doesn't do not only influences his life, it now influences her life as well. (Very much an incentive to choose carefully, ladies) If that man and woman have children, he is the leader of all those souls that will live for all eternity. What he does or does not do will have it's effect on where those souls will spend eternity. (I realize God is sovereign, but our choices do have repercussions, and I don't have time to get into that)

Ha! I just realized something funny. Last week, my Thoughtful Thursday was sharing a movie about good fathers, or fathers seeking to follow God's design for them, and this week it's about a movie with an example of a bad father.

Maybe fathers have thought to themselves, or even said out loud, "Well, I'm not a bad father. I'm doing better than my dad did." That's good. You don't do bad things or hurt your children, you're not a bad father. But are you a good one? Are you engaged in the lives of your children? Do you invest in them? Yeah, maybe you don't take, but do you give?

It's so sad what has happened to fatherhood. The perception of it is so different from what the reality should be. Men don't understand what their role is supposed to be. They don't understand the responsibility and value of their position. For that matter, women don't either.

There has been a 'movement' in the past decade or so, it seems, where women have been rediscovering the beauty and the value of their God-given role as women and mothers. And now it seems that there is a 'movement' reminding men of their role as men and fathers. (My father and the men in our church included)

(And when I say 'movement' I mean a move of the Holy Spirit amongst His people. And when I say 'roles of men and women', I mean according to God's design according to scripture.)

It's so exciting to see!

Men, I'm sure it's a challenge (frankly, I'm really glad I'm a woman), but the rewards are eternal!

As Paul Washer likes to say, "Man up!"

1 Corinthians 16:13
"Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong."

1 comment:

  1. I wouldn't want to be the one leading a family. There is so much pressure from so many angles: the world, extended family, friends, parents, co-workers, church people, movies, tv, news, etc. It would be hard to filter out without just throwing up my hands and screaming!

    My dad preached a sermon one time about "making the right decisions for all the wrong reasons." The point was that any decision not based on scripture was for the wrong reason. I thought at the time that he was pretty narrow in his thinking. (HA! I must have been a teenager at the time, and known everything. Those were the days.) But now I see he was right. All of life can be guided by scripture.

    Thanks for sharing, Sunny.