We watch films to learn.
To learn about ourselves.
And this one brings me back to a very special time in my life.
With the people I cherish most.
Today, I graduated with my MBA degree.
It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.
Because I had no business knowledge when I started.
But here I am.
I worked and worked…and I made the best grades that any student could make.
For two years.
And now it is a blessing to relax and enjoy a film like this.
Near the end of my degree, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it.
I had to have my appendix removed three weeks before the end.
And when I left the hospital, I worked and worked…even harder than before…because I was behind.
It was difficult just to get out of bed.
But I stuck it out.
I wanted to do the best.
Once you get used to giving it your all, it’s hard to settle for mediocrity.
But I tell you…
It was a lot of stress.
I went into the hospital just two days after our election.
I was in the hospital for two days.
And that election was stressful.
But now we come to a time when simplicity should rule.
We can think of Forrest Gump on that bus bench in Savannah, Georgia.
Imagine those hot summers.
Remember the times we passed through there.
Both literally and mentally.
This film almost starts off too simple.
It disarms us with its sparse trappings.
And though I can’t really get behind Alan Silvestri’s little “feather” melody, the feather is an effective motif which sublimely sums up the story as a whole.
Forrest starts awkward.
He’s always awkward.
The Internet seems to be in consensus (not always a good sign) that Andy Warhol had an 86 IQ.
Forrest Gump has a 75 IQ in our film.
But he’s a wonderful person.
As Howard Gardner has written, there are “multiple intelligences”.
But God sends Forrest a gift…on that first day on the school bus: Jenny.
We find out what love and encouragement can do.
It can bring out the hidden potential in all of us.
But God sends Forrest another gift…on the army bus: Bubba.
And so Forrest has someone to lean on in Vietnam.
And Bubba has a friend too.
They get each other through hell on earth.
It’s funny how Forrest endears himself to even the most bitter people…like Lieutenant Dan, who has lost both of his legs below the knees as a result of injuries sustained in battle.
Forrest just keeps on being himself.
Because he knows he literally can’t be any other person.
Most striking are all the adventures Forrest has.
Things that just wouldn’t have made sense–wouldn’t have sounded possible, if they’d been written down beforehand.
And that rings very true for me.
I’ve held many positions.
Been in many situations.
And to look back on it all is to fathom a collection of events which are truly surreal (especially when taken collectively).
Perhaps we all live on the bayou for some period of time.
But there’s something about this movie which compels me to thank God for His blessings upon me.
Many times (but especially, recently) when I thought I couldn’t keep going, I would pray.
And I would receive comfort knowing that God was listening.
I am thankful for my life.
So thankful for the blessings I have!
To be here with my parents.
But Forrest Gump is about more than all this.
It’s also about love. And loneliness.
We see true love. Dedication.
And we see the sadness which comes when we are left alone to think of our love far from us.
Highs and lows.
It may be a saccharine movie, but it’s accurate in that life keeps giving us surprises.
Each of us could fill a book with all we’ve seen and felt and heard.
Each of our stories is worthy of a movie.
So I must thank director Robert Zemeckis for having the guts to be simple.
And I have so many things to thank Tom Hanks for (above and beyond his wonderful performance in this movie).
But this film, for me, hinges on Robin Wright’s role. And she does not disappoint.
Love is everywhere in the movies.
But not always around when we need it most.
And yet, we know that Forrest would give us good advice on the matter.
To just keep going.
See what the next day brings.
And do the best you can.