*Special Note: If you haven't seen this movie yet, this post contain spoilers.*
Is anyone else as obsessed with the movie soundtrack from The Greatest Showman as I am? If you haven't listened yet or seen the movie, I highly recommend it! While it's not a Christian movie, there are still so many underlying things we can learn from this movie. The church I attend always does a series each year called At the Movies and I love it because they take movies with redemptive messages and pull out the lessons that we can learn from them.
The Greatest Showman is a story of P.T. Barnum who started the circus that we all remember going to as a kid. It's a tale of a dreamer who used his passions to make his dreams come alive (cue the song). It's a tale of using what you have to make your dreams happen. It's a story of acceptance and the battles we face for being different. Lastly, it's a story of humility and pride and what both can do to you.
Here are 3 things I think we can learn from the movie:
1. Chase your dreams and make them happen
We all have dreams whether you realize it or not. It's those little or big ideas that pop into your head and get your excited about life. It's the passion inside of you to do something more and the gifts that God put inside of you. Take time to realize your gifts and dreams then set goals and steps to take toward achieving those dreams. God has a purpose for each of us and he created us a certain way so that we can use our gifts to make a difference in others lives. The whole movie is around P.T. Barnum discovering his dreams, achieving his dreams and inspiring others to do the same. In the movie, he was able to help those who never realized they could do more with their life become something they were excited about.
This is my goal with The Trailblazer Journals as well. I hope to help each of you discover your God-dreams and passions then begin to live them out. In order to do that we have to get out of our comfort zones. One of my favorite quotes in the movie is, "Comfort is the enemy of progress." If we live a comfortable life, we will never achieve more, we'll never reach those who are in the uncomfortable places or live out our full potential. So dare to dream greatly and get outside your comfort zone.
2. Love people. All people.
We are called to two things in life. Love God and love others (Mark 12:30-31). It's that simple. If we first love God, we will find fulfillment in him and our purpose in life. We will understand our uniqueness and our gifts. Then we can love others better by using our uniqueness to help them discover their purpose. This movie covers a wide range of uniqueness and addresses the tension we've all seen in society. It's a huge topic in society and has been for quite some time. As Christians, we are called to love others, not judge them and not have biased against them. Today we face so much pain with racial tension and cultural tension. It's time as Christians we rise up and set the example of love. We have to be different to make a difference.
My favorite song is "This is Me" because it's such a powerful moment when the people in the circus decide to throw off the tension and break off the lies. They walk forward comfortable in who they were made to be. The song lyrics say, "When the sharpest words wanna cut me down. I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out. I am brave, I am bruised, I am who I'm meant to be, this is me. Look out 'cause here I come. And I'm marching on to the beat I drum. I'm not scared to be seen. I make no apologies, this is me." What a beautiful moment when we can throw off the lies the enemy has tried for so long to label us with and walk forward in truth! Today choose to love others the way Jesus loves them and don't give into the lies of the enemy. Declare truth over your life!
3. Pride comes before the fall
Another theme we see in the movie is that pride in our dreams can cause us to fall fast. P.T. Barnum experiences great success with his wild dream idea. He achieves so much success that the Queen of England requests a visit where he meets an opera singer. He was insecure about his success because of the critiques of his show so he thought he could have more success with an opera tour. He begins to allow pride to drive and loses sight of what he had in the beginning. He loses sight of the purpose of it all. After a mishap, he falls quickly with everything crumbling underneath him. Marriage trouble, financial trouble, business trouble- you name it. When he's left with seemingly nothing, he remembers his purpose and makes amends. We then see a triumph ending of him humbling himself and restoring the circus. My favorite quote from this part of the movie is, "You don't need everyone to love you, just a few good people." When we focus on loving God and loving others and being loved by those closest to us, we don't have to have everyone love us. Striving for everyone to love us only creates pride and discouragement.
When chasing our dreams it's easy to get caught up in the follows, the likes, the money and any success we may achieve. As Christine Caine puts it, "If the light that is on you is greater than the light that's within you, the light that's on you will crush you." The light of Jesus inside of us has to be so much brighter and has to be our foundation. We also have to operate out of humility and gratefulness to God. Lastly, we can't operate out of a place of entitlement, ever. None of us are entitled to success, fame or fortune. At the end of the day that's not what it's about. It's about making His name known, not ours. If we're in this to make our name known then we have to do a serious heart check (Proverbs 16:18). We have to pursue our dreams with the heart of changing the world for God's kingdom.
I hope this encourages you today and inspires your dreams. I hope you'll choose to be different and be a trailblazer in the world for God. If you haven't seen the movie yet, it's a good one! Look for these takeaways as you watch the movie and see how you can make a difference through your own dreams!