Dr. Jules Hilbert: Hell Harold, you could just eat nothing but pancakes if you wanted.
Harold Crick: What is wrong with you? Hey, I don’t want to eat nothing but pancakes, I want to live! I mean, who in their right mind in a choice between pancakes and living chooses pancakes?
Dr. Jules Hilbert: Harold, if you pause to think, you’d realize that that answer is inextricably contingent upon the type of life being led… and, of course, the quality of the pancakes.
Anybody who knows me well likely knows my love for the movie Stranger than Fiction. One of my favorite flicks of all time, Fiction tells the story of Harold Crick, both an IRS auditor and subject of a famous novelist.
Without giving too much of the movie away, (because you simply MUST see it if you haven’t yet) Harold’s life is being narrated by Karen Eiffel, the author of a new novel, who tells him that he is going to die. What follows is a humorous and heart-breaking tale of Harold’s attempt to discover both what is happening and how to stop it.
The thing that I love about this movie is its emphasis on living life and living it to the full. The quote at the beginning of the post is taken from a conversation between Harold and a local English professor after Harold has discovered that he has to die. In the beginning of the film we discover Harold has lived a life of little risk and no excitement. His days are structured, planned and identical. Harold isn’t actually living; he’s going through robotic, automatic motions with no personal connections or sense of purpose.
Do you know people who are living life the same way? There is a high chance you do, even if they don’t look or act like our friend Harold. Perhaps they bounce from one relationship to another searching for love and connection. Or maybe they try to acquire the newest best things to validate their existence. Maybe they support a new cause every two months to give them a sense of purpose or identity. But underneath all their activities there lies a broken, sad, angry soul longing for true intimacy, true validation and true purpose – a soul longing for God.
As followers of God we have an opportunity to make life worth living for these individuals. We have an opportunity to help them experience the love and grace of God right now, while they’re alive, so that they will have a reason to choose life over pancakes, so to speak.
But before we can do that, we must be living. Before we can share the gift of life, we must have accepted it.
So let me ask you, what does living look like for you? When people look at you, how will they be able to tell you’re alive? I’m asking the question, so it’s not boasting for you to share here. I truly want to know.
Have a good rest of your Monday, unless you read this on another day. In that case, have a good that day.