[Editor’s Note: We want to thoughtfully explore what is worth discussing in movies and shows. Spiritual and gospel themes are often embedded in what we’re already watching. By talking about something, Power to Change – Students is not giving an official endorsement, nor are we giving a ranking or judgment of overall quality. We simply desire to join the conversations that people are already having about #movies+shows.]
If you were guaranteed you wouldn’t fail, what would you do? What holds you back from attempting great things? Do you fear screwing up?
In this blog we will be looking at the movie “Away We Go,” starring John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph. Which is enough reason to watch the movie already IMO, but I digress.
The major theme I want to talk about through this movie is: “Am I a screw up?”
I think for most of us, if we’re honest with ourselves, there are times when we look at our lives and the choices we are making, and wonder…if we are screw ups. Am I taking the right classes? Am I in the right program? Is my life headed where I want it to go?
It’s hard to tease out whether my love of a movie stems from the story or the characters. When I look at “Away We Go,” even though I love the quirky, funny characters, it’s the story that grabs me most.
Not wanting to screw up is primal…basic…it’s the feeling of wanting to succeed in life, being surrounded by supportive relationships, of being grounded. There’s one scene in the movie that, for me, binds all of the other scenes together. The main characters, Verona and Burt, have just been given serious news and they are scared (btw, they use more colourful language in the movie):
Verona: Are we screw ups?
I mean, we don’t even have this basic stuff figured out.
Basic…like how to live.
I think we might be screw ups.
We’re completely untethered, Burt.
Burt: This is an ideal scenario!
Verona: Everything’s already so broken.
Burt: So let’s keep breaking it again and again!
Verona: What are we gonna do? What are we gonna do? No one’s in love like us, right?
What are we gonna do?
Burt: We just gotta ride it out.
The beautiful thing about this story is: even being gripped with doubt and fear that they are screwing up their lives, they aren’t paralyzed by this fear. They boldly cast off and venture into the unknown, knowing that they will make mistakes, and they will get back up and do it all over again.
Life is scary at times and you can screw up big time, but leaving your life in park for fear of it is not the answer. “Away we go” tackles the theme of continuing to risk and keep venturing forth. And this is something that is challenging for me too.
In the film, it is their love for each other that ends up being the catalyst to push them forward. Which maps to my life pretty well, but I also have a massive advantage, in the person of the Holy Spirit to guide me, protect me, help me as I journey through life. The presence and person of the Holy Spirit is my catalyst to keep pushing forward in life, even when I fear making mistakes. Jesus even said, “I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you” (John 16:7).
This isn’t a “Get Out of Worry Free” card. Life isn’t simply all rosy because we have access to the Holy Spirit. Jesus also tells us, “In this life you will have trouble.” Which doesn’t sound very fun. But he goes on to say, “But take heart, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Hardship, trials, perseverance don’t sound like too much fun, but with the help of the Holy Spirit, I feel inspired to continue taking risks in order to grow and move forward.
What gives you the courage to take risks?