Up – Adventures, Dreams and Life

A silhouette of a bird flying above my head

I finally saw Disney’s movie Up for my first time this past weekend. It was such a great movie; so colorful, creative, and funny. Not very many movies leave an impression on me to point where I’m still thinking about them a few days later.

This movie was so creatively made, and it distinctly showed some great truths about life and people’s definition of it. The movie starts out with a boy and girl, Carl & Ellie, that grow up, get married, and grow old while holding on to their “dream” of “adventure” in South America. Eventually the woman dies without them ever getting to go on their adventure. Then there is the character Charles Muntz, a man and an adventurer the couple idealized from their childhood. He was man on a mission to prove himself to the world.
So many of us, myself included, have dreams of big adventures that we feel will complete our lives. My big adventure dream is to work on a big ship as it sails the circumference of the earth stopping in ports all over the world with my camera in one hand and a journal in the other. Dreams like that are not very likely or accessible to most people, I’m sure if I truly focused on it and made it my mission in life I could make it happen like Muntz did, but at what cost? He ended up losing himself, and was even willing to commit murder to fulfill his life’s dream. Like Jesus asked in Matthew 16:26 “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”

At the end of the movie Carl looks at a photo album that Ellie had started making when she was a girl. That album remained mostly empty throughout the years waiting to be filled with photos of their adventure in South America. As he flipped through the pages, to his amazement and joy, he saw that she had filled it with photos of their years together as a couple and signed it, “Thanks for the adventure — now go have a new one! Love Ellie.”
In that very moment, Carl in his old age learned that life and adventure isn’t just about following your big dreams and ambitions. It’s about enjoying everyday, loving your wife, having fun with your kids, and being present in lives of those who love you.

Wolverines Team Portrait
Wolverines Team Portrait

Now that I’m married I’ve let go of that big dream, I don’t want to leave my wife and kids for a year or however long it takes to sail the world. I’ve been having the photography adventure of my life photographing the boys’ baseball games, all of us playing together in the snow, and our all of our other little “adventures” we go on as we share life together.

I’ve been learning to see everyday of my life as an adventure, I challenge you to do the same as well.

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