Neill and I watched the new Pixar movie Soul on Disney+ and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. So I’m going to tell you what I’ve been thinking about without spoiling the movie in case you haven’t seen it yet and would like to. Soul tells the story of a jazz pianist named Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx is the voice of Joe). Joe teaches band at a middle school in Queens and dreams of one day catching a big break in the jazz world. By some good luck and because of the positive influence he had in a former student’s life, Joe lands an amazing gig that could change everything. But that very day he has an accident and winds up in the hospital.
Joe’s soul is separated from his body and we see that his soul is on its way to some sort of transformation in the Great Beyond. Joe attempts to change his fate and find his way back to his body on earth. In so doing, he gets mistaken for a mentor and paired up with another soul (Soul 22 voiced by Tina Fey) in the Great Before to help her find her spark. Without her spark, she won’t have the chance to be born on earth. Joe and 22 make a deal—Joe will help 22 find her spark and 22 will give Joe her activated earth badge so he can return to his body.
Okay, so if I tell you too much more I might spoil the movie. But to me the most moving scenes took place when 22 and Joe spend some time on earth together. Do they stay? Not gonna tell you. 22 experiences some of the simple pleasures of life—eating a good piece of pizza, chatting with new friends in a barber shop, seeing light shine through trees, hearing beautiful music. It ends up that life on earth can be magical not just in the big moments, but in the every day small moments.
Soul is a story about our purpose in life. It begs the question—are we so focused on achieving some great purpose or goal that we’re missing out on living life now?
Is the spark we have while doing something we love the whole purpose of life?
Do we focus too much on what our lives “should” be and not appreciate what our lives are, finding joy in the lives we are actually living day in and day out?
Jesus told his disciples to consider the lilies, in effect telling the disciples to pay attention to the present moment. Pay attention to their lives as they were living them right then and there. When we do this, we may end up surprised by what we discover.
Just some thoughts for this week. Did you happen to see Soul? I would love to hear what you thought about the movie.
(This Week’s Thoughts 1.28.21)