lester-siegel

#argo

Argo is a story about getting out escapees from the US Embassy out of Tehran. The best way is for the CIA to send an operative posing as a film producer and say that they are all a Canadian film crew doing location scouting for a sci fi film.

The first half of the movie sets up the premise, and gives a backstory to the film, including the days leading up to the coup and why it happened. It them goes to the CIA coming up with ideas, and finally with them setting up a film company for the sole purpose of getting the escapees out of Tehran, even buying office space, optioning a script, and doing a media table read for the film.

The final part is getting them out. This is where the film gets good. You find yourself involved in the script by this time, there is a real sense of danger, and you find even the most minor of scenes tense.

The film is about heroism and being a hero. The main guy goes against orders, and gets them out his way, because he promised them, and the escapee who is the most reluctant to do the plan is the one who steps up to the challenge when they are met with resistance.

But once again,Americais the hero, even if it is the unsung hero. 

Miners.

The other day I finally got a chance to sit down and watch last year’s movie hit Argo. It received a lot of praise in Hollywood after winning numerous Oscars, and I’ve heard from many people that it was a good movie. And it was, indeed. But it’s so funny how God uses the small lines in our movies, music, and TV to speak to us sometimes, even when man intends for those phrases to carry a completely different meaning. In the movie, there’s a scene where film producer Lester Siegel is talking to Tony Mendez about the ruthless business of movie-making. 

“it’s like coal mining; you come home and you can’t wash it off.”

Don’t you know those people? We see it most often with people who are completely infatuated and caught up in their occupation. Those guys and girls who only talk about their work; everything that happened that day, their thoughts on how tomorrow will be, the gossip of the workplace, and how good or bad they’re doing at their job. I know a lot of people like this, and sometimes I quite frankly want them to give it a rest already! But for others, maybe it’s something else, like music or television shows, our love-life or family, or anything from politics to a sports team. The point is we people have very addictive personalities, and when a culture like ours has so many different resources we can pour our affections and desires into, we’re going to get caught up in something that we want to tell everyone about. We all portray and carry the image of something we want to show the outside world.

Yet it’s so hard to get “caught up” and “infatuated” with Jesus to the point where all we want is to talk about Him. Sure, we’re very grateful for Him and we worship Him and pray to Him and read His word, but a lot of people frankly struggle with the idea of living a life so evident of Christ to the outside world. We really struggle with evangelism, and if we didn’t, our nation wouldn’t be one of the most unchurched and broken countries of the world. 

Maybe if we tried to be more like those coal miners Siegel was talking about, we could better get the job done. Oh, it’s easy to go to church twice a week. It’s easy to listen to Hillsong United and notify Twitter you’re doing so, and throw on a Christian T-Shirt. But are we really wearing God’s love; are we going about our day looking covered head to toe in faith, showing lost people that we are different? Most of the time we don’t make the effort. We assume that God will open up the opportunity, and we’ll be approached by someone asking questions and that will be our evangelism opportunity. The truth is, more often than not I feel that if we don’t display a life that looks like we “can’t wash off” the love of God, no one is going to ask us about it.

One interesting thing to keep in mind is if this idea of “wearing our religion” can be overdone. Some people might scoff at the thought that you could overdo living for Jesus (I would happen to be one of those people). The key to living for Jesus is exactly that - living for Him and Him alone. But sometimes I do feel like people can take it a degree further, and begin to display our love for Him because we want to promote ourselves. There’s a fine line between worshipping Christ and worshipping our worship of Christ. There’s a fine line between giving all glory to God and giving ourselves glory by giving God the glory. We mustn’t misplace where the glory should be going. As long as we are truly giving all glory to God, I don’t think we can overdo it as Christians. 

Because in the end, our entire life is owed to Him, for He is the very reason we walk and breathe every day. The most important thing for us to remember is that because God is due all of our glory, we need to make a commitment to wear that on our sleeve day in and day out. It’s not for ourselves, but for Him. Once we begin to wear the glory of God the way coal miners wear the dirt and grime of the mines, people are bound to see who God really is.