Gone Girl Filming 008

I just read an account of two friends discussing a sunset. The differences in their perspectives is worth thinking about, so I am going to share a  quote of their conversation with you:

 After dinner Saturday night, Lisa suggested we go out on her balcony overlooking the inlet waters. “Don’t you love sunsets?” she asked. “I watch them every night.” Sure, the colors were gorgeous— violet and flaming orange surrounded by a coppery glow. “It’s pretty, but I’ve always preferred sunrises. Sunsets mean the day is done, no more time to accomplish everything I should have handled today. Don’t you ever feel that way?” “No, never.” Lisa looked at me with ocean-blue eyes. “I see sunsets as God smiling at me at the end of the day. Whatever I didn’t get done, He’s big enough to hold on to for me.”

Editors, Guideposts (2012-10-01). Daily Guideposts 2013 (Kindle Locations 3360-3366). Guideposts Books. Kindle Edition.

This one paragraph of dialogue conveys, for me, how different my life can be when I stop trying to control things, stop basing my self-esteem on what I am able to accomplish, and  surrender, relax, and trust God. Doing so opens up a whole new way of seeing things; what was once viewed as a problem or an obstacle can now be viewed as an opportunity to learn and to grow—or to just relax and enjoy the moment. Now I can let God guide me through difficult times rather than “drag me kicking and screaming.” What a difference changing my perspective can make!

For example, yesterday I was frustrated by the uproar and chaos created by a Hollywood filming crew as they worked on one of Ben Affleck’s scenes. The scene they were shooting was right outside my church, and they filmed it while I was supposed to be teaching a crafts class to neighborhood women in the church parish hall. I had to park blocks away from our own church, walk to the church, and  “discuss/argue” with four police/ security officers before they allowed me to go around to the back of the church and let people in through the back door.

I still don’t know why the scene of the actor parking his car and getting out of it had to be repeated so many times. If I ever see this movie, it definitely won’t be déjà vu when I see first a navy car and then a silver car driving south just before Ben Affleck drives a black vehicle from the other direction,  enters the  “North Carthage Police Department” parking lot, parks, and climbs out of his vehicle. The most exciting part of the whole thing was seeing how skilled Mr. Affleck was at quickly backing out of the parking lot and driving backwards back down the street. Getting to see a movie star accelerating through a 4-way stop intersection in reverse is not something you see every day in Cape Girardeau. Wonder what would happen if I tried it?

I am making a joke out of it now, but all those movie people were in my way yesterday, and they just irritated me. My “plan” for the afternoon was being threatened by these “outsiders.” When I finally got in the church, most of the people who had already gotten there had pulled up the church blinds and were frantically taking pictures of what was going on outside. That added to my irritation. When I finally surrendered my need to control the situation, my need to lead a therapeutic group, and started trying to see what was happening with the “surrender, relax, let God” perspective I calmed down immediately.

We got those who wanted to work on crafts set up working on their projects, served coffee, and just let people do what they wanted. Some watched the movie chaos the entire time. Once I relaxed, I was able to get a cup of coffee, find a small, private window in a cupboard in the parish hall kitchen, and take some “church photos” for our church Facebook site. We may now be the only church with a Facebook Cover featuring a filming crew breaking down a set, Ben Affleck, and Ben Affleck’s double walking in front of our church, fake news trucks, etc. —all surrounding our church.

So, instead of seeing all this movie “hoopla” as a major inconvenience to my church and the people who live near where they are filming, I started working on tryint to see things differently. Making a major movie like this brings money into our small town’s challenged economy. If this major film company has a positive experience, my small town  may establish a positive reputation with Hollywood  as a friendly, nice place to film a movie with little expense. It provides entertainment for us locals. It is like being part of a parade whether I want to or not. Perhaps what happened yesterday was God’s way of telling me to relax and enjoy what was happening. I am lucky I was able to smile, say a quick “thank you”  to God, and finally start enjoying the parade in spite of myself.

Please comment and share your stories of how things have gone better for you when you stopped trying to control things. May God bless and keep you.