Yesterday I decided to re-watch Titanic. Yes, I do mean the 1997 sensation with young Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet and a phenomenal score. I’ve always loved the movie. Well, I loved it ever since I was allowed to watch it. I was only 7 or 8 when the movie came out and I remember my Dad being completely obsessed with it. Because of him, I’m now fascinated with all things Titanic too. He’d get, and I’d read, all books on the history of the ship and my favorites were the ones with pictures of the artifacts later recovered still resting at the bottom of the sea. I’d love reading about the uncovered stories that went with the artifacts because it made the event feel so much more human.
So many lives were lost before they could ever have the chance to truly live.
That night, in the early hours of April 15th, 1912, so many stories came to an end. So many lives were lost before they could ever have the chance to truly live. And that sad fact brings me to why I’m writing today. At the end of the movie (albeit fictional), Jack makes Rose promise that she’ll survive. He says she’ll go on to live her life and make lots of babies and die an old woman in her bed at night, but not this night. Rose, of course, agrees and promises him that she will. What I don’t know if she knew at the time, is that she was promising to live a life so full it could be counted for both of them.
What I don’t know if she knew at the time, is that she was promising to live a life so full it could be counted for both of them.
It’s later revealed in a series of photographs that Rose took Jacks last name to start a new life for herself. She went on to do all the things they’d talked about doing in life together. She became an actress, went fishing, rode an elephant, flew a plane, rode a horse not side-saddle, and ultimately raised a loving family. Rose didn’t just “survive” – she truly lived.
Isn’t that what we should all do? But instead, how many of us make life about merely surviving? How many go one day at a time just to “get through it?” I know I’ve done that more often than I’ve lived.
There have certainly been seasons of my life when I’ve considered it a “win” to just get through one day at a time. And honestly, in some cases, that’s all I was capable of doing and there’s nothing wrong with that. The issue lies in falling into that pattern when you are capable of so much more!
For Rose, all she wanted was to stop putting on a show for all the rich folks and her mother just for the sake of money. It doesn’t seem like money ever mattered to her. If it did, through meeting Jack, she came to realize that the void she was feeling could never be satisfied by fancy clothes and rare diamond necklaces. That void needed to be filled with truly living her life by doing all that she couldn’t when others were watching her every move. She realized that she wanted to go ice fishing and she wanted to learn to ride a horse without needing to be “proper” and she wanted to raise a “normal” family outside of needing money and things. By the time she was 101 years of age, she is shown to be contentedly making pottery with her hands – literally getting down and dirty simply for the joy of creating art.
“I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of” – John 10:10b (MSG)
We are meant to enjoy life!! “I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of” – John 10:10b (MSG). We are fully and wholly capable of having fun and living life to the fullest. When we promise to survive this world, we can choose to do just that – simply survive, or we can live. We can create art in any form we want (personally, I love to color). We can make new friends. We can go skydiving or backpacking through Thailand! We can simply choose to love and cherish every moment we have with family, laughing as much as possible. No matter what, you can choose life.
How will you choose to fully live today? Next week? Next year? Will you just survive life, or will you live it?