One thing I do have is faith. Whether it’s strong or weak, good or bad, blue or green, it’s there.Maybe it’s always been there, possibly hiding like some invisible ink etched on my heart and dreams which you can only seen under special light…
It’s funny, we remember some random things from childhood. Some bizarre things we thought, ideas we had, and the way someone slurped their soup once when you were five can often just stick in your mind. For no particular reason that you know, or understand why.
I remember being at my grandparents’ house and I would have been about six or seven. Sonic the Hedgehog was on the Sega, there were snacks afield and this was probably when my deepest and pure motivation in life was to attain the salty MSG found in Lays’ (remember that brand!) barbeque chips. And bounce around, morphed into a blue hedgehog, with tapping feet and a stride in his step, called Sonic.
This may have been before I commenced my playing Sonic, or possibly after. Actually, I think it may have been on a kind of six year old’s version of a smoko, just sitting around and taking a break between passing levels.
And then something came to me. It felt like it was actually placed in my head: an idea, a vision, something that would happen one day. It felt surreal but true.
In my mind, it was at the end of my life. It felt like a hundred years away but then it felt like it could have happened just then, too.
I saw myself sitting down with God (in my six year old mind, he was wearing a white robe) and for some reason, there was just God and I. We were sitting down to begin watching a movie.
This was the early 90s and still the days when ‘Video Killed The Radio Star.’ Unplugged only because of the need to plug in my beloved Sega was a VCR player, which played beautiful (and now almost nostalgically redundant) VHS tapes.
Back to the scene. There was God and I, just hanging together. We sat down to watch a movie but the movie screen was dauntingly large. And seemed even bigger because there was just the two of us.
If I could take a step back and relay the scene to you with a wider lens, it looked like this. A little girl (me) and God sitting together in a room, staring at the screen and waiting for it to begin.
The movie began to play and I watched, feeling a bit funny. It wasn’t a movie I had seen before but it was one which I had a vested, uncanny interest in.
It was a movie where, even if I wanted to look away, I couldn’t. There was no way to change the channel and it felt like, even though if didn’t want to, I had no other choice but to sit with God (God?!) to watch this very important film.
Strangely, there felt like no opportunity to “raincheck” the flick. Or to say what I would say to my sister when we were surrounded by movies and had a night free.
“Just pause it for a sec, can you? I’m getting some chippies! Can I get you anything?” (Notice the last line sounds unrealistically polite. And fake. Good pick-up, I’m sure I didn’t ask my sister such courteous things back then!)
It felt nice to be in God’s presence but it felt like I couldn’t just act the way I could with my sister either. Careless, you know. So, I sat with God and began to watch this movie, the movie of my life.
I saw myself when I was a baby, and me in kinder. I saw myself and it was bittersweet to see. Then I noticed – as the movie progressed and I got older – bits which I didn’t like. A lot of it I wanted no-one to see. Deleted scenes which no-one knew about but me and even then I had forgotten. I saw reels and reels of footage, on and on the footage went. Peter Jackson had nothing on me!
As the movie progressed and I continued to watch it, it dawned on me – the me that was seeing this vision – that I was watching it in ‘Real Time.’
The surreal thing about this was: it had taken me a lifetime to complete The Movie. And then it took a lifetime to watch The Movie. If I lived 80 years then eighty years I spent – God sitting by my side – watching it.
But the funny thing about that was, although I realised it with surprise, this probably wasn’t entirely surprising in the context because I guess I was in eternity, where time was a whole different ball game altogether.
Revelations I remember my six year old self having about this experience. Or in other terms, my ‘film review’ of The Movie. There were times when I wanted to look away. When watching it made me feel ashamed and I cringed. But the bits of love made it all seem worthwhile, in some way I knew nothing about.
There was this sense of this Movie really being a movie. Like, I was an actress and seemingly unaware of the fact that my life was being recorded the whole time. Either I was an exceptionally talented at drama – a method actor who forget the camera was there baby – or was oblivious. Oblivious of perhaps life, perhaps my actions. Possibly the fact that God was always there for me even when the movie showed me thinking I was alone.
It’s now, now that I muse on how precious our Faith is (at the age of 26 years old) that I remembered this experience I had when I was a child. In a way, the contents of the experience felt like a dream, even though I was wide awake. It felt like something external and significant which juxtaposed against my (then current) world view which revolved around attaining junk food, getting at least to level seven of Sonic the Hedgehog and patting cats.
Twenty years later, thinking of this experience makes me happy. Back then (and still now) it felt a bit strange and confusing but very lucid. And significant.
Whatever there may be from it that I can take, I believe this is something.
Our lives are a story, a movie. And where there is a story, there is always an author. Where there is a film, always a director. Sometimes, just sometimes, we can judge our own acting. Our own actions.