A couple years ago when the last Die Hard movie came out, my husband and I went to the theater to see it. Not because I particularly wanted to watch it, but because my husband is a full-blown Die Hard fan and I went to keep him company. So we watched this big, long, action-packed movie that involved Bruce Willis helping his son. So, after watching about two hours of shooting and dodging and fighting and racing cars and explosions and everything else you would expect in a Die Hard movie, we walked out. I can’t remember which one of us said it for sure, but I think it was my husband, he says, “So, basically, it was just a movie about relationships.” Yeah. That about sums it up. After you skim out all the explosions, it’s just about a father and son.
“It’s just all about relationships.” This has become our catch-phrase for any movie we watch, whether it be a chick-flick or race-car stealing movie, “It’s just all about relationships.” Because it’s true, even the lamest movie plots, they still throw in some kind of relationship to somehow give the movie some worth or meaning.
So, Friday night my college-going daughter, who happens to be working backstage at the Clarence Brown Theater, arranged for me and my husband and my parents to get tickets to see “King Charles III”, a play, at the Clarence Brown Theater. It was very well done. Well-acted. Great sets. Intellectually stimulating. The kind of plot where there is no definable bad and good guy, instead, a bunch of decent people making hard decisions and you can understand their motivation, but at the same time see how their decisions are creating big problems. If you enjoy theater and thinking about issues, I highly recommend it.
We walked out of the theater, each of us giving our opinions about the choices made in the play, and we paused, and I thought about it a bit more and had to say it, “You know, It was just all about relationships.” Spoiler Alert I’m going to talk about the plot now…. So, King Charles makes a decision based on his conscience. His son goes against his decision because his wife is pressuring him to do so. In the end Charles abdicates his throne because he doesn’t want to be estranged from his sons and grandchildren. Prince Harry gives up his low-birth girlfriend because he values his relationship with his brother more. (Sadly, the play was written pre-Meghan Markle.) Yeah. It was all about relationships.
If you think about your life, it too is all about relationships. Think about your job. It is very probable that you like or dislike your job based on the people you are working with. Think about the difficult things you’ve done in your life. It’s very likely that you did them because of a relationship in your life. I remember when I had my first child. I was twenty-two. I did not have my driver’s license because, frankly, I was terrified of driving. Then I had this baby. I needed to take her to her doctor’s appointments. I needed to get to the grocery store at random times because she needed things. I wanted to be able to take her places. So, I got my driver’s license. Because of relationships.
Someone asked Jesus,
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Matthew 22:36-40 New International Version (NIV)
Relationships. Relationship with God. Relationship with people. That’s what it’s all about. Think about it. What do we consider having the most worth here on earth? Our spouses, parents, siblings, extended family, children, grandchildren, best friends, coworkers, companions…It is these people that give our life meaning. I love the fact that Jesus says yes, the most important thing is to love God and then love people. It’s simple, it’s not a giant list of requirements and hurdles to jump over. It’s a two-step process. Loving God, being in relationship with him…and then he’s the one who gives us the grace and power to love the people around us. It’s hard to do one without the other. This is the reality I live in, the questions I have to ask myself to gauge how I’m doing in life…Am I loving God with everything that I am? Am I loving the people around me? Because, after all, It’s all about relationships.