How Will You Finish Your Story?

“Saving Mr. Banks” is a delightful film about the story of Walt Disney trying to work with P.L. Travers, the author of “Mary Poppins” to put her story to film. The two clash in every way. Disney is flamboyant and bold and Travers is demanding and persnickety, seemingly without any humor and extremely difficult. The story reveals that “Mary Poppins” was written more about her father than anything else. As Disney seeks one last time to convince Mrs. Travers to cast her book into film, Walt Disney says these words to her: “I loved my dad. He was a wonderful man. But rare is the day when I don't think about that eight-year-old boy delivering newspapers in the snow and old Elias Disney with that strap in his fist. And I am just so tired, Mrs. Travers. I'm tired of remembering it that way. Aren't you tired, too, Mrs. Travers? Now we all have our sad tales, but don't you want to finish the story? Let it all go and have a life that isn't dictated by the past? It's not the children she (Mary Poppins) comes to save. It's their father. It's your father... Travers Goff.”

The wonderful thing about the Bible is that it is a true account of humanity. We have stories of Abraham, Moses, Elijah, David, Solomon, Jezebel; of Jesus’ disciples; of Saul of Tarsus, the persecutor of Christians (who became Paul, the Apostle); and so many more. These are all flawed and sinful, human beings just like you and I. The Bible doesn’t leave out their stories or “sugarcoat” them. It portrays them as they are—the good, the bad, and the ugly. Because we join them in sinful humanity, we have our good points and our sinful, bad points. I think what Walt Disney said to Travers is true. We all have our sad tales—and some more than others. We live in a fallen, sinful world where people do terrible and sometimes, horrific things. However, our life need not be dictated by our past. When we do this, we try to find someone to blame. Perhaps we even blame ourselves and it paralyzes us. We focus only on what is “fair” or “unfair.” Often, even these are subjective standards just to make ourselves feel less pain.

The problem is that all the money in the world, all the laws we make, all the ways we try to “control” our own environment around us will not give us the answer to what can truly save us. You see, there was one righteous and perfect One, Jesus who came to this earth. He was the only perfect one. He knows our sorrows, our pain, our suffering, our past, and He knows the injustice this world brings. He lived it in the flesh, He has experienced it all as we have, and yet He did not sin. He came to show love to us, to heal us, to forgive us completely. He also came to die in our place for the sin that we all have committed. He rose from the grave to conquer sin, to give us victory over sin, and to have peace in our heart and peace with one another. He has come to transform lives. He came to live in us so that we can “let it go.” Are you tired and weary? Are you stuck in a past of hurt, anger, and pain? Jesus has come to bring you new life and hope and lift your burden. How do you want to finish your story? Will you trust Jesus with your life today?

Rev Mark Anderson
Pastor of Evangelism & Outreach
Chisholm Baptist Church
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Mark Anderson