“Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish;
Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal.” —Saint Thomas More
If you’re a movie buff and haven’t yet made it to the theater to see “Into the Storm,” please read on. This is not a spoiler.
Fans of disaster flicks will love this movie. When it comes to special effects, it’s Twister on steroids. Because of the awesome special effects, which include a trip into the “eye” of a monster F5 tornado, seeing Into the Storm on the big screen is a must.
The movie has several story lines and shifts frequently from one to another. A common thread is woven throughout several of them—people in dire circumstances who are overcome with sorrow because of bad personal relationships with loved ones. All are emotionally wounded to the core as they find themselves facing almost certain death.
A teenage son laments that his last words with his deceased mother were harsh. The deceased woman’s husband looks back on the way he has raised his sons after her death and wishes he could start over.
A teenage girl, buried in rubble, is sorry she lied to her parents about where she was going when she left home that morning.
A single mother caught in the midst of the storm, is sorry she has allowed her work to get in the way of spending more time with her small daughter.
The sorrow displayed by these storm victims goes beyond simple regrets over situations and relationships in their lives that went wrong. Regret is what many male politicians display when the media catches them having an extramarital affair. They aren’t truly sorry about their deplorable behavior. They’re sorry they were caught. Rather than being sorry for the damage they have inflicted on themselves and others, theirs is a self-centered, worldly response. It’s a sorrow stemming from knowing they will have to deal with the public and private consequences of their transgressions.
In contrast, the sorrow displayed by the characters of Into the Storm is the sorrow of repentance—selfless sorrow acknowledging that one’s transgressions have harmed others. It is a repentant sorrow that says, “I understand my actions were wrong; I am truly sorry for the pain and hurt I have inflicted myself and others; and I want to change my bad behavior and way of thinking forever.”
This selfless sorrow is what 2 Corinthians, chapter 7 calls godly sorrow. “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”(NIV) Godly sorrow brings healing and life.
The Parable of the Rich Fool in Luke 12:13-21 tells the story of a wealthy man who lives a life of plenty. He has all that he needs in this world—so much wealth and so many possessions that he believes he can simply “eat, drink and be merry,” for the rest of his days. But at the precise moment the man is gushing pride and personal satisfaction, God tells him he will die that very night.
What if you knew that today was the last day of your life? Would you regret that you haven’t done enough for yourself, or would you feel godly sorrow because of the way you have managed some of your personal relationships? More importantly, how would you feel about the way you’ve managed your relationship with God?
Today truly is the first day in the rest of your life. Seize the opportunity to start setting things right today and embrace the family members, loved ones, friends and acquaintances who really matter in your life. You’ll have no regrets!
“3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! —Philippians 2:3-8 (NIV)
Also see: Recalling Some Life Lessons.