Wouldn’t it be nice to have a wonderful life? Just what does it take to have this “wonderful life”? The Christmas classic, It’s A Wonderful Life, was made in 1946. Frank Capra produced and directed assembling an amazing cast including Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed and Lionel Barrymore. This movie came in 26th among the 400 features released that year, finishing one spot ahead of another Christmas classic – Miracle on 34th Street. In the 1970s, when its copyright protection slipped and it fell into the public domain, TV stations could air it for free and it became even more popular. This film has been recognized by the American Film Institute as one of the 100 best American films ever made, and placed number one on their list of the most inspirational American films of all time. Jimmy Stewart, in an interview years after the release of the movie stated, “Today, after some 50 years, I’ve heard the film called ‘an American cultural phenomenon.’ Well, maybe so, but it seems to me there is nothing phenomenal about the movie itself. It’s simply about an ordinary man who discovers that living each ordinary day honorably, with faith in God and a selfless concern for others, can make for a truly wonderful life.” Did you catch that? You might want to read that quote from Mr. Stewart again: “…an ordinary man who discovers that living each ordinary day honorably, with faith in God and a selfless concern for others, can make for a truly wonderful life.” Sounds so simple. Sounds so freeing. Sounds so real. Sounds so much like something we need.
You see, having a wonderful life has nothing to do with the stuff you have, the things you want, the easy life, etc. Having a wonderful life…quite simply…has to do with being the good your personal world needs. Shining brightly for those around you to see hoping they too will catch hold of this lifestyle and enjoy life by being the good needed in THEIR world. Jesus challenges our life saying, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves, treasures in heaven. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21). Producer and director, Frank Capra had this to say, “The importance of the individual is the theme – and no man is a failure. If he’s born, he’s born to do something, he’s born not to fail.” Christmas is only one week away. The season of giving doesn’t have to end next Wednesday. Let’s live this wonderful life with a giving heart all year round. #bethegood
Rev. J. Cameron Bailey is pastor of Kenbridge Christian Church. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org