Yesterday, I discovered that I could read the novelization of the movie Old Fashioned by Rene Gutteridge on my phone by checking it out from the library. So, I began reading.
I realized one of the reasons I like it, but don't like A Courtship. A Courtship is a documentary, something I usually don't gravitate to. Because there were real people in it, I found myself concerned for those people, caring about how their opinions affected their lives and the fear that was directing it. Old Fashioned, on the other hand, is fictional, so I am able to focus on the ideas, questions, and thoughts that the story provokes in my mind, rather than focusing on the people.
There are many aspects of Old Fashioned that raise alarms in me, but what I like is that the story shows the processing through of the characters' emotional baggage. How does healing take place when you have damaged ideas of love? Can healing take place? Is there hope? Where does God fit into the picture? Old Fashioned tries to give a few answers by juxtaposing three male friends who all view love and relationships differently. During college, they were frat brothers who lived the typical "frat" life.
The first man is still single and is basically living as an adult "frat" boy. He's cynical love, lambasts women on his radio talk show, and won't engage emotionally with a woman. To him, they're seemingly only good for one thing, sex. The second man has been living with his girlfriend for several years and has a little girl with her. Early into the story, they get engaged--not because he feels they need to because of societal expectations, but simply because he wants to. He wants to have the party. The final man, Clay, is at the center of Old Fashioned's story. He is the former frat boy who has turned away from that life and run to the opposite extreme, living like a monk without a monastery. He is trying to be perfect, living by a strict set of rules, trying to make up for how he feels he damaged the people in his life during his college days. He knows God, but became disillusioned by the sin he found in the church.
Clay's character represents so many flaws people experience as they try to walk with the Lord in this complicated world we live in. We struggle with our faith and how to best live that out. It seems inborn in every human being that they want to be "right" because being "right" will somehow make them of more valuable. Clay embodies this, trying to continually be a "good" person. Being a "good" person is the idol at the center of his life. He's missing the mark. We live in a world where people are trying to constantly be "good", but as Christians being "good" isn't the point. We're here to love God and glorify Him in our lives. That looks like loving God--putting Him at the center of our lives-- and loving others as ourselves.
I wish I could write more and give this post what I'd like to, but I can't. My family is all sick. I am sick. As much as I like to write, I need to go and think more on this another day...