Tomorrowland: Creating a Better Future?

As someone who has Futuristic and Positivity as two of my top five strengths according to the Gallup’s StrengthsFinder, you can imagine that I would be intrigued by a film like Tomorrowland. (Even the website – and the novel e-book from Fandango have been enjoyable).

So many films and books paint a bleak and dystopian view of the future.

Tomorrowland makes the future seem better and brighter.

With so many films based on old stories (remakes, comic books, and sequels), an original story from a thought-provoking filmmaker like Brad Bird definitely got me to the IMAX version on the opening day.

Rather than reviewing the film (which has been loved by some and panned by others), I wanted to mention two important themes from the film in light of a life of faith.

Creating a Better Future

Quotes from the film:

“Do you ever wonder what would happen if all the great thinkers came together to actually change the world for the better…?”

“What if there was a place, a secret place, where nothing was impossible? A miraculous place where you could actually change the world. You want to go?”

Growing up in a community like Mosaic in Los Angeles, I loved the emphasis on creativity, diversity, courage, risk, innovation, and becoming the hero God intended us to be.

A favorite passage became Joel’s prophecy of dreamers and visionaries:

“And afterward,
    I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
    your old men will dream dreams,
    your young men will see visions.
29 Even on my servants, both men and women,
    I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
30 I will show wonders in the heavens
    and on the earth…
32 And everyone who calls
    on the name of the Lord will be saved….”
– Joel 2:28-32

What if we allowed God to work in us and did all we could to become the best version of ourselves and maximized our gifts for the good of the world around us?

Feeding the Good Wolf (And Starving the Evil Wolf)

In the film, one of the characters references an old Indian story where two wolves are fighting.

One wolf is evil and filled with anger, bitterness, pride and fear. The other wolf is good and filled with joy, peace, love, hope, and humility.

The Question: Which wolf will win?

The Answer: The one you feed.

Hope, positivity, and optimism have been proven to be better for us spiritually, physically, and emotionally (see my review of How Full Is Your Bucket? by Tom Rath).

The Scriptures tell us to take every thought captive  (2 Corinthians 10:5) and to think on only those things which are “true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy” (Philippians 4:8).

Even still, we seem to fill our mind with anxious and angry thoughts along with news about the worst of humanity. No wonder it is so easy to become cynical, jaded, or even just discouraged. Our world doesn’t seem to be getting better but worse!

As a person of faith, I believe we are called to create a better future.

Rather than condemn the world or give up on the world, we are to help “God’s Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.”

Your Next Step

Have you given up on our world or on a better future? If so, what do you need to eliminate in your life to start catching a more positive glimpse of your future?

In what ways are you making the world a better place?

How are you helping others become who God created them to become?

What do you need to do next?

Showing 3 comments
  • John Williford

    Hey Eric, Brad and Greg, hope all of you are doing well!

    I enjoyed spending some time in thought over the quote you provided about the two wolves. I have always been interested in this dynamic, and love when it comes out in film or any media. My favorite movies of all time would have to be the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and 2 of the characters stand out to me as going through a similar struggle.

    Gollum (or Smeagol) is an easy character to figure out. He has a good side that he buries for his survival, and an evil side that ensures that he will continue to live. His evil side is heard to say, “Where would you be without me? We survive because of me!” I think we all subconsciously recognize the idea that the evil side tries to use: it’s a dog-eat-dog world, and if you don’t get ahead you’ll die. And, the only way to get ahead is to step on your fellow man or woman.

    My favorite character, however, is Aragorn. Born of the fallen race of men, Aragorn is meant to be King, but is ashamed of his lineage. Men are viewed as weak and corruptible, and so Aragorn fears to wield power; that it may corrupt him as well. In the end he rises above and conquers the evil side of man that resides in him, but not without a long drawn-out internal struggle to choose the good.

    I think we must choose Aragorn’s path, and not Gollum’s. No, we are not perfect, and yes we’ll fail along the way, but choosing the good gives us the wherewithal to withstand the true challenges in life. It’s a slow burning energy, compared to the hot flash of vengeance or jealousy. Further, it takes it’s rest in the realization of a good future, which we can choose to have a hand in making.

  • Naomi Grether

    I want to be part of a group to serve and would be good with making the world a better place, by organizing a Hunger Awareness Dinner to help people understand ideas similar to Empty Bowls but heard about a different, but similar fundraiser, that I think is called Beans and Rice and would like to get more Lollies involved. Lollie was a made up college term, but fits a lot of ladies at North Austin who seem to care about shopping and are really pretty. As much as that may seem catty and a bit mean. Some Lollies become great in their own way. One of the college Lollies went on with her Masters in Social Work to work with an orphanage in East Africa. Another Lolly led a sorority Bible study the same year… so many years ago….I led an International student ministry….and she would talk with me as we shared ministries and Julie did after we both came back from our inner city projects. K is in another country helping women’s health. I am not actually up to date on the latest about the Lollie who was involved with International Student ministry. That was before the dark years. Before I needed to learn to walk again.

  • Matt

    I haven’t seen the movie yet, but am now curious to give it a shot. The analogy of the wolf make perfect sense. However, there are times in many of our lives when the bad wolf is more aggressive and makes it hard to feed the good wolf. It takes more intention, effort, and perhaps the help of another to get the food to the desired canine. 🙂 Awareness is everything, so making certain to have the intention and get the help needed during those times is often the difference.

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