Friday, June 9, 2017

Flashback Friday: Phenomenon Revisited

"Everything is on its way to somewhere." --George Malley

I recently watched the movie Phenomenon again. For those who haven't seen it, John Travolta plays George, the central character, a somewhat slow-witted nice guy who has a strange experience that awakens his consciousness and begins to hyperactivate his mind. In short, he becomes a phenomenon.

The movie does a wonderful job of presenting George's struggle as he seeks to understand what is happening to him. His friends, however, are equally befuddled and the unanswered questions that arise from their own insecurities cause misunderstanding, pain and rejection. It's almost as scary to know a phenomenon as to be one.

In my opinion it was a good story well told. Like all good stories, it unearthed regions of my own soul, areas I have mined before and will mine again because I believe their are still some precious stones to uncover there.

It is a life theme to which I often return. Are we not each a phenomenon in our own way? What is the meaning of my life? What are my unique gifts? Where has my power come from from? And how much of it is unused, undeveloped, unactivated.

We use so little of our strength, our psychic powers, our capabilities. We choose, instead, to live in a dark, dull, ill-lit corridor called 'life', a cramped hallway with narrow walls, yellowed, peeling wallpaper, moldy and stifling. Windowless and without wind. No unpredictable weather. And we wonder why it bores us, why we've lost our passion.

John Updike made the observation that there are Four Life Forces: Love, Habit, Time and Boredom. Love and Habit are powerful, giving short term energy and stability to our lives. Time has a more long term grinding influence. But Boredom, the great leveler, is a prison that captures us subtly. When boredom becomes a habit, apathy sets in and life passes us by.

For you, may it never be so.

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