Last night Josh and I watched The Family Man. I remembered watching it in the theaters back in December of 2000, and what I remember was that it had a nice story line, funny moments, and a sweet "moral of the story" so-to-speak.
What I didn't realize was that my perception of this movie as a college junior - who wasn't even married yet, who didn't have many life responsibilities, who didn't have children, and who hadn't started any kind of career or many thoughts of what life should be like as an adult - would be FAR different than my perspective of it now.
This very career driven, unmarried, no life beyond the next business deal man is given a glimpse into what life would be like if he would have chosen to marry the woman he loved 15 years prior.
They have a house, a minivan, a dog, and two small children. At first he is quite disgusted with it all. He hates the clothes in his closet, he hates walking the dog. He can't stand the thought of "only" working at a tire shop. He doesn't know how to change a dirty diaper and he barely knows how to make a chocolate milk.
As the movie progresses and he sees what he missed - the love of a family and the fact that he never actually stopped loving this woman AND how much he adores these two sweet children, he also realizes that he doesn't want to go back to his other life.
The night that he realizes that he will have to go back (even though he tries to fight it by not going to sleep) he walks into each of the children's bedrooms. He touches the face of his little 1-year-old, and softly strokes his hair. He gives a kiss to his sweet 5-year-old. As I watched each scene, I started to feel a lump in my throat (just like I am now) and tears streamed down my face. Maybe it's because I'm really sappy, but mostly it was because...
I've thought of what my life could have been like...
I've had times when I've wanted to wake up in 1995 and start half of my life over. If I could just go back and do some things different, work harder in school or at pitching. If I would have taken a different softball scholarship and gone to a different college. If I would have taken a different job after graduating from business school or if I decided to get my masters degree.
And even if that meant my children didn't come along, I wanted to know what a different life I would have had.
That is...until I watched that movie last night.
Strong (and I mean STRONG) feelings of guilt came over me. How on earth could I even think of wanting things differently? How could I even conceive the notion of not having these sweet, beautiful children in my life? Why would I give up living in a nice neighborhood and a sweet community?
And while the truth of the matter is...I've been struggling A LOT with hearing the voice of God and knowing what I'm supposed to be doing with many different situations, I felt like something as simple as a movie (a Nicolas Cage movie for goodness sake) spoke to me as if God was using it to show me how ridiculous I was being.
I didn't know why I grabbed this movie off of the $5 shelf at Wal-Mart, but I now realize that it gave me a very vivid image of what it would be like to kiss my children one night and then wake up in the world I "wish" I could have been in. It makes me cry just thinking about it.
So if you ever have those moments, I'd suggest this movie.
I'll loan you my copy.
This World Will Never Be Enough Again
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