Thursday, 23 January 2014

The Adjustment Bureau

Some reflections on the film...

It's an odd film - a sort of meditation on Free Will and the meaning of life. There's a Chairman who is 'known by many names' - by which I assume we are meant to infer it could be God or Allah or Yahweh. I wondered if everyone would 'get' this? I wonder if anyone else thinks it is meant to mean this?

Matt Damon plays a character who is struggling against those who 'adjust' the world we live in. We are led to wonder if they might be angels, or maybe not. They adjust the world, they adjust the way we think...

There is an interesting commentary suggested as to what happens when God (or the one who goes by any of the names given above) lets humanity get on with it on our own: the Middle Ages, World War One, the Holocaust, ruination of the world... Is this really what it is about? Is this the God that I believe in? Is this really how God lets the world be?

As I have mulled things over since seeing the film, there is a sense that this film is about 'getting the better' of God because, if we try hard enough and disobey enough and prove we want something else enough, God will give it to us anyway. How interesting that we are turned into petulant children and how God becomes a sort of fickle being who acts on a whim.

I don't believe that this is how it really is. I don't believe that this is how God really is. For sure, it is sometimes hard to know it to be so, when the world is hard place in which to be, and things happen like earthquakes and tsunami. These are not caused by God though. This is creation at work and, to our shame, we sometimes add to the horror of it all by a complete lack of care for the environment and for one another.

This life isn't about getting it all our own way - it is about helping others to have life. This is what God does for us. God gives us the intellect, skill - and grace if we accept it - God gives us all these gifts so that all people can live, so that all people can grow, so that all people can be saved and live at peace - with themselves and with others.

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