Imagine Will Ferrells clock ticking down. Definitely he'd find a unique way to turn his impending demise into high drama, right? Add a little humor (after all, this is Will Ferrell). Throw in multiple twists and turns - and you get something that truly is Stranger Than Fiction.
Ferrells character in the movie Stranger Than Fiction, Harold Crick, is the being written off - literally, 'killed off' - by a fiction author who is under deadline to wrap up the story she's written him into. (I know, it sounds strange, but remember the title...) When Crick learns from the 'narrator' voice he hears inside his head that his days are numbered, he is at first confused, then scared, and finally desperate to find the author and change the end of the story. And in the process he actually begins to start living his life, rather than just going through the motions.
Stranger Than Fiction brushes up against several questions that provide great openings for talking about God with your friends. After all, the Bible offers insights on many of the issues raised by this movie - like...
Our purpose in life:
o "...whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." 1 Cor. 10:31 (NIV)
o "For everything comes from God alone. Everything lives by his power, and everything is for his glory." Rom. 11:36 (LB)
Whether a caring God is really there and involved in our lives:
o "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." Roms. 1:20. (NIV)
o "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Rom. 8:28 (NIV)
How to view death:
o "Alive, I'm Christ's messenger; dead, I'm his bounty. Life versus even more life! I can't lose. As long as I'm alive in this body, there is good work for me to do. If I had to choose right now, I hardly know which I'd choose. Hard choice! The desire to break camp here and be with Christ is powerful. Some days I can think of nothing better. But most days, because of what you are going through, I am sure that it's better for me to stick it out here." Phil 1:21-24 (The Message)
So look for ways to use this movie to turn the conversation in a spiritual direction. Try asking your friends some of these questions:
How much control do you think we actually have over our lives?
Do you believe there's a Higher Power - God - who has our best interests in mind? Share what you believe!
What would you do if you found out you were going to die soon? Would you live your life differently?
Do you know for sure that you'll go to heaven when you die? Share what the Bible has to say about this. Talk about 1 John 5:13, "My purpose in writing is simply this: that you who believe in God's Son will know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have eternal life, the reality and not the illusion." (The Message)
If you realized your days were numbered - as in 2 weeks to live - would you live differently? Whether we're willing to admit it or not, the reality is that most of us would probably make some adjustments to our lives if we knew we would be face to face with Jesus soon! Maybe one of those changes needs to be talking to our earthly friends about our eternal friend - Jesus!
Jane Dratz works for Dare 2 Share Ministries in Arvada, Colo., a ministry committed to energizing and equipping teens to know, live, share and own their faith in Jesus. For more information on Dare 2 Share Ministries, please visit www.dare2share.org. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.