Not many of us dare say "everything is awesome" when asked about the state of affairs these days. However, if you watch The LEGO movie, the song "Everything is Awesome" will echo through your mind. Maybe that is what stuck with me after watching it the first time, causing me to base my entire special-needs youth ministry theme on the movie's message. I'll admit that I often stood alone in my assessment of the movie's profound and prophetic message, but that did not stop me from creating characters, activities and talks based on specific scenes from the movie and share them with ordinary kids who are secretly extraordinary.What brings me the most joy and satisfaction in life is inspiring others to be the best that they can be by helping them understand their purpose in life, as I seek to understand my own. I can never remember a time that I did not believe in God or ever question His existence. I am still not certain whether that instinctive confidence in a higher power is by nature or nurture. In my case, I believe it was both. I am a visual person. I have found that what I read and take to heart allows me to more easily identify what is felt in my heart. Over the last five decades, the Bible and other impressionable writers, such as Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (The Yearling), Ann Rand (Atlas Shrugged), Corrie Ten Boom (The Hiding Place) and Deitrich Bonhoeffer (Radical Integrity), formed the framework for my character. Heroes like King David, Joan of Ark and Winston Churchill recently captured my imagination and admiration as I learned more about their lives by traveling to their homelands. The common thread in all of these literary luminaries is that they wrote what they knew from their own personal experiences, convictions and revelations to enlighten their readers minds but more so to identify with their feelings. I discovered that I am drawn to rescue missions and love stories that entail truth and sacrifice to save innocent souls.
The LEGO movie encompasses all of these virtues through a very simplistic illustration, yet complex plot, touching on both the spiritual and physical realms. The story spans the history of the world, beginning with creation, revealing the greatest problem we face and finds the solution to the problem. It begins with a vision of a floating door. Through the eyes of the main character, trying to open after a significant fall, the viewer is immediately faced with a choice: whether to approach the door and enter through it, or let fear of the unknown keep him away. Twenty years ago my daughter memorized a poem for her kindergarten graduation called On the Other Side of the Door … It was a perfect analogy to finishing kindergarten. She and her five-year old peers understood that on the other side of the door they could be who they were meant to be, but they had to walk through it first. As young Emmet is lying in his bed he sees the red, somewhat obscure, door floating up above him. What he does next takes him on the journey of a lifetime, ultimately changing the world because he dared to enter the door.
I am asking you to follow me as I take you on this fascinating journey of this ordinary, rules-following, perfectly average citizen named Emmet who is drafted into a fellowship of strangers with an unexpected quest to stop an evil tyrant. It is a journey for which he is hopelessly and hilariously underprepared. Oh how I can relate to Emmet! Can’t we all?