Lessons Learned from The Santa Clause

In my opinion, next to Galaxy Quest, The Santa Clause is one of Tim Allen's best movies. It is a family friendly film, that both young and old can enjoy. The basic premise of the movie finds toy maker Scott Calvin (Allen), suddenly taking on the job of being Santa Claus. The fact that their initials are the same is only one of the fun little details in this movie. 

Pixabay

Pixabay

Calvin is divorced and like so many dads in that situation has his son certain days and times. This particular Christmas, Scott has his son, Charlie, Christmas Eve over night. Being a good dad, although a bit jaded from the divorce, Scott reads Twas the Night Before Christmas, before Charlie goes to sleep. After, Scott turns off the light, strange things begin to happen that lead to a life altering event for this father and his son.

There are lessons we can glean from this comedy. These are a few of the things that I learned.

1. We Can Always Approach our Heavenly Father. Charlie knew when he started to hear strange noises on the roof that he could go wake up his dad and his dad would know what to do. This is a perfect example of child like faith. Children trust their parents to take care of them and provide for them. This is one of the reasons it is so devastating for a child when there is abuse or neglect involved. The very nature that God instilled in a child to trust their parents is the same nature that He instilled in each one of us to come to Him when we are troubled or afraid. 

Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?
— Matthew 6:26 (NASB)

A father or mother who love their children will always be looking out for them. Even when our children become adults we still want what is best for them and quite often it is hard to watch them make choices we know are not good. Letting them flounder is part of letting God care for them and bring them into a right relationship with Him. He always cares for them and always knows what is best. 

Life becomes much more complicated for Scott Calvin. When he put on the Santa suit to appease Charlie, he didn't realize he was about to have a dramatic career change. 

2. Think Through Your Actions. Scott didn't give a second thought to putting on the suit, other than shuddering that he didn't know where the suit had been. It was warm and comfy, sort of like a heavy pair of pj's. After the sleigh, lead by the famous eight is done delivering toys for the night, it heads back to the North Pole. Scott and Charlie suddenly find themselves in the middle of Santa's workshop.

While our decisions won't necessarily lead us to the North Pole, they can have long term, life changing consequences. Not only do our actions have ramifications, but our words and our thoughts. 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your body
And refreshment to your bones.
— Proverbs 3:5-8 (NASB)

God knows that we will often be tempted to make poor decisions, whether it is that second piece of pie at a Christmas gathering, or going out with a guy that is into drugs, He encouraged us to lean on Him, not on our own understanding. 

Scott Calvin, clearly believes he is wise in this movie. He thinks he has life all figured out, including how to deal with his ex-wife, her new husband and Charlie. As time goes along, and his job changes from that of toy maker to the being known as Santa, he realizes he really doesn't have it all figured out and he is willing to accept help to really see and understand.

3. Seeing Isn't Believing. Believing is Seeing. This is probably the most important message this movie makes. In a walk of faith, that is precisely what it is, faith. We don't see God, yet our belief in Him, enables us to see. Just like Judy the elf says, children don't have to see the North Pole to know that it is there, they just know. So too, in our lives as Christ followers, when we take that step to believe in Jesus, all of a sudden so many things that were hidden become perfectly clear.  We can't see God, but we just know that He is. His choice to reinforce our belief with the written Word, is a gift to us, that makes our faith even more solid. 

for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
— Romans 10:10 (NASB)

As Scott begins the journey from unbelief to belief he changes. He suddenly becomes aware of things that were unknown to him before, like the ideas of selflessness, love and sharing. He realizes that his life is changed and once he embraces that he is able to see that there is so much more to life than being the man on top. There is forgiveness, and the ability to adapt.

I hope you enjoyed hearing about the lessons I have learned from The Santa Clause. If you haven't see the movie, I hope you will give it a try. It is a fun view for the whole family. (Note: there is some language and mild suggestive elements so you may want to read a full review on IBMD.)

Vapor

Here I am. Another week, come and gone. Another month come and gone. Truly there is something appropriate in these words penned by James in the New Testament:

Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.
— James 4:14 (NASB)

Sometimes, I feel just like that, a vapor...a puff of water turning into air and then gone. It is in thoughts like that I begin to understand the vastness of the being I have come to know as God. In all honesty it can be intimidating. Knowing that I am nothing more than a vapor, that one minute has a purpose and the next vanishes, is cause enough to make me tremble. 

Photo Credit  Ravi Pinisetti  on StockSnap

Photo Credit Ravi Pinisetti on StockSnap

Let's face it, we all want to have a purpose. Most of us would like to be remembered as an individual who made a difference, even if it was only in the lives of our families. We want to feel as though our life and all the struggle that came with it counted, for something. But James didn't see it that way. He said, we are just a vapor. How does that make you feel? Are you all encouraged now?

Of course, I am not going to leave us there. That would be very depressing and the point of my blog is to encourage, not make you want to run and jump off a cliff. James had a point for what he said. He was addressing people who were all about their own business. They made plans, but never thought to consult with God about what it was they were planning. The fact of the matter is, we do not know what tomorrow brings. Tomorrow may bring illness or injury. Tomorrow may bring a market crash or a job loss. Tomorrow may bring a miscarriage or a death of a spouse. We do not control tomorrow. We only have control over ourselves.

I have learned to live in the moment. I don't claim that I never think ahead, or that I am free of worry for the future, but hey, I am a vapor, why not just enjoy this moment that I have right here, right now. That doesn't mean I shouldn't plan, but I do need to let God be in the loop. That doesn't mean I just let go and eat everything I want or do things that would hurt my future. But it does mean learning to see God in the little things....even in the vapors that appear for a moment and then vanish.

Photo Credit  Lucy Chian  on StockSnap

Photo Credit Lucy Chian on StockSnap

Where did you see God today? I saw Him bring in the storm clouds that dumped rain. I saw Him chase the clouds away with  the wind to expose the sun. I saw Him provide in my flower garden a place for a toad to spend the afternoon. I felt His breath caress my face as I sat outside. I heard the birds sing songs to Him, praising Him for His provision and care. I heard a wise man telling me to, "Be still and know He is God."

Am I a vapor? Oh yes, but God knows this bundle of cells and DNA and He loves me. Do I know what tomorrow holds? No, but it is enough to know that He is.