Philosophers have for centuries pondered life’s biggest questions: Where did we come from? Why are we here? What will make me happy? What happens when we die? How we answer those questions will to a great extent shape how we choose to live our lives.
The folks behind Veggie Tales have tackled the twin questions of life’s purpose and the pursuit of happiness in their newest DVD called It’s a Meaningful Life. And the conclusion at which Larry the Cucumber arrives in this story is roughly the same conclusion to which Jimmy Stewart’s George Bailey came in the 1946 Frank Capra Christmas classic with a similar title.
It’s A Meaningful Life pays tribute not only to that film, but also tips its hat along the way to A Christmas Carol and The Polar Express. There is even a nod to the classic candy-making conveyor belt episode of I Love Lucy.
But this story stands on its own. When high school football star Larry misses the catch that would have won the big game for the home team, his life winds up playing out very differently than he had dreamed it would. Instead of the fame and riches of a pro football career, Larry takes over the town toy factory from his father and settles into what comes to feel like a routine and bland existence.
When he gets a chance to see what his life would have been like if his football dreams had come true, Larry ultimately comes to understand that there are more important things in life than money and notoriety. He sees that the plan God had for his life is far greater and more meaningful than his hollow hopes of sports stardom.
In a culture that is dominated by the relentless pursuit of significance and stuff, It’s a Meaningful Life points us in a different direction for what really matters—following God’s plan for your life, serving Him, and serving others. In the end, the enduring value of your faith, your family, and how you invest in the lives of others will determine how meaningful your life has been.
A lot of grown-ups have in recent years been rethinking their own purpose in life. Sales of books like Crazy Love and Radical demonstrate a growing hunger to live life with an eternal perspective in view, rather than living life focused on the vapor that is our earthly existence.
It’s A Meaningful Life gives moms and dads and grandparents an opportunity to plant the seeds of real purpose and meaning in life deep in the hearts of their children and grandchildren. And it opens the door for what could be some very profitable conversations with our children about what really matters in life.
And what could be more meaningful than that?
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