Written by cycleguy on December 10th, 2012

Polar Express. 

This past weekend I had some down time so I watched  White Christmas and Polar Express.  Last year I did a blog post about Polar Express but with new readers and some revisions I thought I would share my thoughts again.   Here goes:

Polar Express, based on a  book by Chris Van Allsburg, tells the story of one boy’s journey from doubt to faith. He lies in bed on Christmas Eve, hoping to hear sleigh bells, but his doubt grows. Later, he is awakened not by sleigh bells but by a train in his front yard.  He walks out front and the conductor greets him with a question: “Well, are you coming?”  Boarding the Polar Express soon turns out to be the smartest decision he makes.

The train is an adventure as he meets other children-a sensitive black girl;  an obnoxious, know-it-all;  a lost little boy who appears to believe all the things people have whispered in his ear- as well as the mysterious man on the roof, and others.  He travels to the North Pole, where Santa will give away the first gift of Christmas.  During the trip, the young boy continues struggling with doubt.  Two messages stand out in the movie (among others).

Lesson #1: “It doesn’t matter where you’re going; what matters is deciding to get on.”

How many times have you allowed fear or hesitancy or the whispers of others in your ear, stop you from getting on the train?  We run away instead of run to.  When that happens we often grow cynical and bitter and “curse”  our lot in life.

Lesson #2: “The most real things in the world are the things we can’t see.”

Talk about a lesson in faith!!  Does that not remind you of Hebrews 11:1?  I daresay that probably all of us, at one time or another, have questioned what we believe in..even though we cannot see Him.

Those two statements sum up the reality of the Christian life.  I choose to get on “the train.”  He has drawn me to Himself but the choice is mine to get on board or not.  Truthfully we have no clue whatsoever what getting on board holds for us.   Faith and hope cannot be seen in tangible ways.   It is a great time to hang on and let go.  :)   He won’t let go of you…that is a promise!!  Let go of your doubt.  Let go of your pride.  Let go of your cynicism.  Let go of your ego.  Let go of your fears.  Let go of your (you fill in the blank).  Try riding the Polar Express.

Have you ever seen the movie?  What are your thoughts and do you have any others you would like to add to mine?  Feel free to do so. If you haven’t seen it, I think you should.  Just try not to groan when the singer at the great event looks and sounds like Stephen Tyler from Aerosmith.  :P

Also check out Sele and Ed.


24 Comments so far ↓

  1. Daniel says:

    I’m certainly familiar with the movie. My daughter saw it years ago on a school field trip. She said the eyes and mouths of the characters creeped her out. I then read about how the movie was actually made using probes/sensors mounted on the real actors. They obviously could not put these gizmos inside the mouth or the eyes, so those parts of us that display and carry emotion and important nuances came across as kind of zombie-ish to many folks. O.K., this was your fun fact of the day.

    Note that even though I mentioned a technical point above, I did not miss you message today. I would say that I am not afraid to jump on the train, it’s just that I haven’t heard the whistle even a blowin’ in some time. My eyes are still looking out along the tracks though.

    • cycleguy says:

      Thanks for that fact Daniel. I wonder if it is in the “extras” that come with the other disk. Gonna have to check it out. Keep looking down that track. You won’t be disappointed.

  2. Jon Stolpe says:

    This movie made my top 5 list for Christmas movies. I think I like most the statement about faith made in this movie. Sometimes, you just have to believe!

  3. I have seen this movie several times. I like the message, even though I’m not crazy about some of the pacing of it. My favorite character is the guy on the roof.

  4. Susan says:

    I like what I’ve seen of it so far. I don’t have my own copy, though, and every time I sit down to watch it with my 3-year-old granddaughter, who has a copy, I end up getting partway through and having to go home. It’s one of her favorite movies. She calls it the train movie. One of these days, though…

  5. This is one of the few movies my kids have seen several times, but I never have. I might have to change that soon.

  6. The most real things are the things we can’t see.
    That really echoes some things I’ve been reading lately, talking about how our modern empirical mindset is responsible for so many woes. It leads us to forget this truth!

  7. Betty Draper says:

    Hummmmm… I like the anolgoies about just believing. This time of the year as well as Easter brings out the realist in me. Santa Land is not real, the manager was real. The only affects I see from believing Santa is over spending this time of the year. The affects from believing in the Kind of all Kings born of a virgin brings changed lives. It matter greatly who we believe in. Well written post, caused me to think about who I believe is the reason for the season.

  8. floyd says:

    I haven’t seen it. I do like the analogies of our free will. I think fear does rest in our fallen nature and causes us to freeze in fear (pun slightly intended…). It is the ride with God that allows our minds, hearts, and souls to soar above the fallen nature and even the boundaries of this dimension. It is freedom promised by God and it is the magical lives that we dream of having as a child.

    The lost crouch in fear of the world and flesh. We soar with our Father. Christmas is a great reminder of these spiritual gifts.

    • cycleguy says:

      It may take you a time or two but you ought to at least take a gander at it. 🙂 I actually wanted it for myself several years ago. Yeah, I’m just a big kid sometimes. I totally agree with you about the ride with God. Only in Him….

  9. Desert Jim says:

    I don’t think Santa’s house band would be Aerosmith! I think Santa would choose U2!

    That is a good movie. The scenery and the characters are amazingly real and beautiful.

  10. Jan says:

    LOVE this Bill! I really love this movie, it’s just so sweet and I love the 2 lessons you wrote. Thank you for being able to take something like a Christmas movie & apply it to our walk with Jesus. Excellent. 🙂

  11. Debbie says:

    At first, it creeped out my daughter too, like Daniel’s. But, then she tried it and got a copy of her own and we like it a lot! Thanks for your lessons from it. 🙂 We keep wondering about the guy on the roof too and she asks me if he’s a bad guy. God bless you as you bless us throughout this Christmas time!

  12. Dan Black says:

    This is my wife’s favorite movie and we watch if a few times each year. I really like your #2 point, “The most real things in the world are the things we can’t see.” So true and powerful. It takes faith to believe what can’t be seen.

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