I saw this post the other day and it got me to thinking about The Godfather, one of my favorite movies. I like all of the movies in the trilogy, even the third one. Well parts of it anyway. It was necessary to tell the whole story, to show the sad conclusion to Michael’s life. But the first one stands alone. The conclusion with Michael now and the flashback to Michael at the beginning is one of the saddest moments in movies.
For me one of the most telling scenes in the movie happens on the steps of the hospital. The little baker is shaking so bad he can’t light his cigaret. So Michael lights it for him. Michael looks at the lighter and his hand. He’s not shaking. A simple scene. Almost subliminal. It doesn’t shout it’s message. But it’s here that Michael begins his journey to the dark side. Who can lead this family out of the criminal underworld they live in? Not Sonny. Too volatile. Not Fredo. Doesn’t have the nerve. It must be Michael.
So begins his journey. Reminds me a little of Conrad‘s Heart of Darkness. The protagonist sets out to lead the savages out of the wilderness and into civilization but finds himself instead becoming one of them. The Messiah complex.
Think about this in relation to what we like to call ‘the call of God upon our lives.’ I feel that God is asking us to step out in faith, to do something that seems impossible, to walk on the water. I have some success. I begin to think that God called me because He saw something in me that nobody else had. He called because of my superior speaking ability, my intelligence, my stunning good looks. He called because God needed me. Nobody can save this world but me. Like Michael. Nobody can save this family but me.
The truth is that God is looking for willingness much more than talent or ability.
I write this stuff, most of it nonsense, and every once in a while something clicks, something works. Somebody might say ‘Hey that’s cool. That’s real wisdom.’ and I want to say ‘Yeah I know’ because I’m as surprised as anybody. Because I know it didn’t come from me.
It came from God.