I recently watched the movie Hugo, and I can say with certainty that it is the most wonderful film I’ve seen in ages. The cinematography was incredible, and the acting excellent. But most of all, the story was told with such beautiful, childlike innocence that it captured and communicated profound truths which normally would have fallen on callous, cynical, time-hardened hearts.
My favorite moment of the movie (and judging by the number of times this quote was posted on various sites I’m not alone) comes when the main character, Hugo, and his unlikely-yet-destined-to-be friend Isabelle are winding the clock at the Gare Du Nord and Hugo is talking about why he likes machines: because they accomplish their purposes. Clocks tell time and trains take people places. Then he muses:
“I’d imagine the whole world [is] one big machine. Machines never come with any extra parts, you know. They always come with the exact amount they need. So I figured if the entire world was one big machine, I couldn’t be an extra part. I had to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason too.”
That alone is a sage observation for an eleven-year-old boy. But what really grabbed my attention was what Isabelle said right before, which Hugo is responding to:
“I wonder what my purpose is? I don’t know. Maybe of I’d known my parents, I would know.”
Maybe if I’d known my parents, I would know.
I promise you, the stirring in my heart at those words was almost an audible sigh. The kind of sigh that escapes unbidden from a place of deep, hidden longing. Longing that has suddenly been given a voice.
I often struggle to know my Father. Like all of us, I have wounds that shape the way I view and interact with God. My hurts make it hard for me to trust him.
But I realized something. If God is truly angry, disgusted, and perpetually disappointed with me as I sometimes imagine him to be, then why would he make me?
He wouldn’t. The truth is, God loves me, and what’s more, he likes me. He looked at me, his creation, and said that it was good. He created me–and all of us–because he wanted children to love. He created us to be carriers of the joy and delight and love that he feels for his son Jesus. He made each of us uniquely in his image. No one else on earth reflects the same piece of God’s character and personality that I do. We all have irreplaceable roles to play. As Hugo so aptly put it, “I couldn’t be an extra part. I had to be here for a reason.”
God made me for adventure. I love this. This adventure for which I was created is still quite nebulous is only just beginning to take shape, but I know I was made for it. And the more I see the Father for who he truly is, the more I know him, the more his dreams for me take form and become living realities.
I wonder what my purpose is? I don’t know. Maybe if I’d known my parents, I would know.