Updated: Sep 13, 2019
In Brad Pitt's zombie apocalypse movie World War Z, his character utters a short phrase towards the beginning of the film that struck me when I first watched it. The film itself is ok, not great, but I have reflected on that small phrase numerous times since it came out. Pitt's character, Gerry Lane, speaks with a migrant family hiding from zombies in their apartment, and he tells them in Spanish, "Movimiento es vida." Or in English, "Movement is life."
In crisis, and in ordinary life, I think that statement is true. In a zombie-apocalypse scenario it means that one remains alive by moving, not by remaining. We see the power of this truth in the current real-world refugee crisis. Movement, to the refugee, i.e. leaving their home, leaving their country, is life. HOPE for something better drives that movement. Because to remain where they are is almost certain death.
In non-crisis life, I believe we experience this same phenomenon. Not to the degree that refugees do, but the idea remains true. Movement is life and hope fuels that movement. Most of us move through each day by small hopes. Hope in small things, like eating. Have you ever noticed how many times throughout the day you look forward to the next meal? If you're at work, you may look forward to going home. If you're at home, you may look forward to completing a project. Or, perhaps we look forward to an upcoming vacation. These hopes give our lives forward movement, giving us a sense of anticipation, a sense of purpose.
The point is, we live our lives everyday by hope, and most of us aren't aware of it. We simply move from one thing to the next, trying to fulfill our plans as best we know how and feel a small sense of accomplishment when we do so. But I am convinced that hope is the driving force behind all human life. If movement is life and hope is the thing that drives movement, then hope is necessary for human life. By contrast, despair is death. When we have nothing to look forward to, no sense of purpose, despair sets in and death creeps close.
Now, the wise person will take a step back, look at their own life, realize how much hope is involved on a daily basis, and begin searching for ultimate hope. Because some day, those small hopes that give movement to our lives, the things we look forward to will run out.
Is there any hope beyond the small every day things that move us through each day? The scriptures have one resounding answer to that question: YES. Our hope is in God's strength to rescue us from death through the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. If Jesus rose from the dead, and we are in Him, then we will rise from the dead, never to die again. That is our hope. Without that ultimate hope, we are relegated to the small every day hopes that will eventually end. Even a mildly observant person will be able to see that and despair, because any sense of overall purpose and meaning is lost. This is what makes our message so unbelievably relevant. This is why we must share the Gospel of God's victory over death. For, how will someone believe if they do not hear and how will they hear unless someone speaks to them. That privilege belongs to us.