What is it that connects us? Our thoughts, perceptions, our dreams?
“Everything is awesome, everything is cool when were part of a team. Everything is awesome, when were living a dream… “
Rules are a funny thing. Wisdom has taught me that rules exist for the sake of people who break them. Rules protect us and give us boundaries. They provide a basis for conviction and a justification for punishment. Consequently, rules can induce fear or provide comfort, depending on how we perceive them.
We live in a fallen world so we need rules. It is in our nature to break them. When I take kids to camp, the first thing leaders tell the kids is how much fun they can have ~ within the boundaries. There are places they should not go and things they should not do to ensure the best experience at camp. God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, which cover every rule ever needed to live happily and peacefully. Unfortunately, leaders are never satisfied with just ten, so they add more and more rules, so that they have more power over their people than God.
Emmet knew the rules so well, it’s almost as if he is a living example of the instruction book. The first rule is to breathe! I love this rule, especially since the characters are Legos! It is our breath that gives us life! When we “remember” to breathe, we “remember” to be thankful for life. Thank goodness Emmet can still breathe after falling, permitting his personal feelings to reside rather than his instructions. As he is drawn to the door, he actually steps on the instructions that tell him “not to touch strange pieces.” His entire life passes before his eyes – even the prophecy that was spoken eight and a half years earlier is revealed to him. After touching the door, he is awakened by interrogators. He is called a liar. He is accused of being the Special one who holds the “piece of resistance” that can save the world from it’s impending doom. Emmet is in no position to deny this accusation, because he is “attached” to the piece of resistance. Despite his humility, he must learn to accept the fact that he is the Special and inspire others to follow him as he seeks to understand his newfound purpose and embrace the power of the resistance that he is carrying on his back.
Emmet‘s specialness is envied and desired by many. We all want to be special. We seek followers on Twitter and Instagram and gauge our significance on the number of “likes” for our self-professed accomplishments on social media. Emmet realizes that the rules of this new world are no longer what make it better; they are actually creating a world of fear and confusion. Happy faces are erased and changed into stern faces. People’s lives are absent of any personal character, hope and love as their leader seeks perfection through obedience and micromanagement.
More than two thousand years ago, a person entered our world who was the perfect “rule follower.” He resisted every temptation to break the rules that would prevent him from experiencing life to the full. He was interrogated and accused of lying to the people. He sought followers, not for his own sake, but for the sake of his fellow citizens. He did not know how “special” he was until he began to grasp his power and purpose for being in the world, which was “to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear.” Luke 1:74
The similarities between this man’s life recorded and prophesied in the Old and New Testament, and Emmet’s life are what make the LEGO movie so awesome. The depths of Emmet’s journey, his origin and his destiny, reveal a powerful message to the audience. Every aspect of our lives points us to a higher purpose, a higher power: a mystery waiting to unfold. Like rules, it all depends on how we perceive this mystery, whether a blessing or a curse.