Last night the Greenbeans settled in to watch a family film after a long but satisfying day of ministry through our church. We seriously pondered watching Elf. Even though I’m not a big Will Ferrell fan Elf is still one of the funniest movies around. I like to give all the credit for that to Bob Newhart. We decided to save Elf for later in the holiday season. We might get desperate if we get snowed in again during the 2 week Christmas break like we did a couple of years ago. In the end we settled on an On-Demand film and we picked the reboot of The Karate Kid.
Overall it is very good film. It is nowhere near as good as the original and I missed Pat Morita. Nevertheless, I was won over by Jackie Chan’s Mr. Han. Jaden Smith also turned in a very strong performance. He was truly born for Hollywood and he has an ease and comfort on film that is apparent (or should I say, a couple of parents.) The choice to move the film to China was brilliant, although I would have liked a few more cultural insertions rather than the obligatory Great Wall scene or the Forbidden City. I don’t know what else, but having never been to China I suspect there is more going on there. It would be like filming a movie in America and making sure a shot was filmed at the Grand Canyon and the White House, as if Americans go there everyday.
For some reason I think the movie would have been a bit funnier had there been a cameo of Owen Wilson somewhere.
I digress. What I really want to address is the greatest line I’ve heard in anything in a long time. The main character, Dre, is having a hard time staying in the moment with his Kung Fu lessons. Mr. Han says “focus” and the kid says “I am focused.” Then Mr. Miyagi, oops, I mean Mr. Han (played by Jackie Chan) says to the kid, “Your focus needs more focus.”
Your FOCUS needs more focus.
Your focus needs more FOCUS.
Immediately my mind leapt to Christmas. This is the time of year where we tend to build everything around the season. In a very real and measurable way we, as a culture and as individuals, are very focused on Christmas. Christmas gifts, Christmas cards, Christmas trees, Christmas cookies, Christmas decorations, Christmas carols, Christmas books, Christmas movies, Christmas parties and the list goes on and on. We are clearly focused.
But, sadly, our focus needs more focus.
In our age of digital cameras which automatically focus for us (and poorly I might say) many people don’t remember real cameras. On those old cameras the photographer had to make adjustments to the lens in order to focus. With those old cameras the whole image might be in the frame, but it might be blurry and indistinct. Only when the lens was adjusted, when it was focused, did the shot become crystal clear with distinct lines and images.
If we could tweak it just a bit I think our Christmas focus could be focused a little bit more. If we turn the right knob we just might see Jesus and what he means in our still frame called Christmas.
Jackie Chan was right.
My focus needs more focus.