It’s that time of year again.  Every time you turn on the TV, there’s another Christmas special, move, or classic playing.  “It’s a Wonderful Life” is one of those heartwarming classics that’s been around for over 50 years, inspiring generations. The less popular, but equally as heartwarming Veggie Tales re-creation “It’s a Meaningful Life” puts this story into perspective for both children and believers.

In the Veggie Tales version, the main character Stewart (think Jimmy Stewart Winking smile ) lost his dreams of fame and riches after missing a winning catch in a football game.  That dream was realized by another one of his vegetable teammates, while Stewart stays and lives a seemingly mundane life in their little town with a simple job, wife, and 3 kids.  When his now rich and famous teammate returns to town 15 years later, Stewart begins to reflect back on all he thinks he had lost from that one game. 

Right before Christmas, a mysterious train called the What-If Express takes Stewart on a journey to see what his life would have been like had he caught that game-winning ball. He gets a glimpse into what his rich and yet unfulfilling life would have been like.  He sees that he never married his love or had their 2 sons.  He asks about his daughter, who he knew would be alive since she was adopted.  The train conductor takes Stewart to her orphanage window where she sits alone and still without a family.  Stewart cries and finally insists that his dream life is not better than the life he had with his family.  Compassionately, the train conductor reminds Stewart that God loves Stewart and has directed every step he has ever taken.  Although it seemed mundane, God has great meaning in all his life and has a plan for it all, even when he can’t see it. 

This movie reminds me to 2 great purposes God has – For me, us as believers, host & adoptive  families especially; and for the orphan. 

My life, our lives, may seem simple and insignificant in the grand scheme of the world. But God’s plan is so much greater!  He has ordained every step of our lives, no matter where we find ourselves or how mundane it may seem.  

And in this portrayal, I see so many orphans.  Who, without the love, commitment, and obedience of families, could still be living in that land of “what if”.  They could be alone this Christmas, in an orphanage or foster home.  Instead, God has ordained a special family to host them for this Christmas season or even to adopt them at home forever.  A beautiful portrayal of God’s grace and mercy. Despite their difficult pasts, God can deliver them into the hands of a loving family, resounding their significance in His Kingdom. 

I must conclude with one of my absolute favorite songs, made just for this Veggie Tales movie.  No matter who you are or where you find yourself… you were meant to be!

 

And Steven Curtis Chapman’s story behind the song… about his connection to Stewart as an adoptive dad.

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