“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15–16, NIV) Not long ago I took the family to watch Disney’s Tomorrowland. It was a fun movie based on an attraction at the Disneyland theme park. The story line was simple. The world is broken and needs help from forces in another dimension to make it right again. Of course the movie’s answer to the problem from another dimension came in the form of a modern technological utopia. Tomorrowland was a place where the best and brightest are summoned to make a better tomorrow. The problem? This new dimension was filled with an old dilemma.
The plot conflict that drives this movie has the hero on a journey to prevent the destruction of the earth and bring hope back for Tomorrowland. Along the way it is reveled that the technological utopia was actually guilty of hastening the world’s destruction. As the movie draws to an end, the plot finds resolution. The earth gets a second chance and Tomorrowland gets a new cast of characters. The final scene of the movie shows the recruitment of earth’s brightest and best. It ends with a return to the original dream to “make a difference in world,” and “create a better tomorrow.”
Walking away from this movie I couldn’t help but note the sort of worldview it promoted. The world is broken, we need something outside of this dimension to fix it, and apparently terrific people with helpful technology provide the answer. However, I also couldn’t help but think the movie totally misses the big picture. Creating a perfect place with all the resources one could possibly need–without redeeming the human heart–just creates a more sophisticated sinful society. If you need a fact-check, just consider the technological prowess of NAZI Germany. The plot to Tomorrowland is predictable and Paul’s words are poignant, “…be wise…the days are evil.”
Thankfully, the problem of a broken world has a real answer. That answer also comes in the form of a story of restoration, deals with a broken world, and promises a great tomorrow. However, it’s not the story of humanity leaving this world with some tools to try this thing called humanity all over again. Rather it’s the story of tomorrow entering today and preparing human hearts for a glorious future. The Gospel reveals that God in Christ has entered our dimension, bringing heaven to earth. He knows from experience the dilemma of a human heart in paradise. Consequently, God works even now to capture the human heart with a story of love that prepares man for life in the real world of tomorrow.
In the end, Disney has another great story on their hands. But remember, if you are a Christian, then you have an even better one! Be wise, the days are evil…
And share the story.