Last night Greg and I watched a 2 hour documentary about the making of the movie ‘Jaws’ – released in 1975. I remember going to see ‘Jaws’ that summer with some friends – in fact I’ll never forget it. It reinforced my very strong fear of the water and especially the ocean.
What looks easy to the observer, however, often is just the opposite. This movie was fraught with disasters, cast and crew problems and weather complications filming on the open sea. As I watched all of this – my appreciation for a great film increased as was my admiration for the film’s young director, Steven Spielberg who was just 27 years old at the time.
Spielberg, in a very candid interview about his memories of making this film said this, “Everyday I was worried I would get fired – I thought it would finish me as a director – but I keep pushing on anyway” And push on he did – way over budget and past the breaking point for cast and crew many times. He worked well under the stress – even Richard Dreyfess said, “All Steven did was bite his nails” Well you know the rest – ‘Jaws’ brought many records that year and was the first of what we would call ‘blockbuster’ films of that era. What could have been Spielberg’s worst disaster – turned out to be his greatest achievement and his shining moment. All because he did not give up and give in to the negative – worked with integrity and finished it. A true masterpiece.
How many times have I been through a ‘Jaws’ season? Too many. But I have also learned something. Even in my darkest times as a human being – my true self comes out in a way in which I cannot hide. It is my true nature – my default setting. And often times what feels like my most disastrous season – may also be my finest moment.
Every ‘saint’ of the Bible went through their own ‘Jaws’ period at one time or another. What separated them from other people – was that they were people of faith and they trusted God – kept their heart right – and didn’t compromise who they were even when hit with hard times. They kept believing – kept hoping and kept loving.
Have you ever had a ‘Jaws’ season? A time when trouble came to you – hung on and wouldn’t let go? An illness or family problem that you just couldn’t brush aside – but that went on and on – forever? A stress or heartbreak that threatens to swallow you? Hang on. Don’t lose hope. Help is on the way. And though you cannot see it – there is a reason. And someday you will have the answers to the questions. The real you is being formed and shaped. There is a purpose for the pain.
Here is a song by Amy Grant that has always helped me when I’m hit with a difficult season.