My family watched the classic Disney film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang last weekend. It’s amazing to me that a film made before I was born can keep the interests of my kids. My wife and I remember seeing it as children.
I finally noticed the license plate on our fine four-fendered friend. It reads “Gen 11”. Could it be a hidden Bible message by Ian Flemming, the author of the book the movie is created from (yep, the same guy who is responsible for creating the James Bond character)?
So, I looked up Genesis 11 to uncover this little nugget of trivia. It consists of the story of the Tower of Babel and the lineage from Shem to Abram. Lineages are pretty boring, so I assumed it was the tower. Hmmmm, a tower built by people who caused God to create different languages. A castle is in the movie . . . they were in the fictional country of Vulgaria where the people have an accent . . . that’s about speaking differently . . . It must be a statement on the evils of desiring too many things! After all, things started happening because the king of Vulgaria wanted Chitty Chitty for his own. Bam!
Turns out it’s nothing to do with the Bible. On the license plate, the ones are meant to be “i”s, So Flemming wasn’t putting in a Biblical commentary based on Genesis 11, he was spelling the word Genii because of the magical powers of the car.
Believe it or not, just because you assign godly significance to something, that doesn’t mean you’re right. For instance, some people claim that God made the Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy happen because of the evil of the people in those places. Maybe he did. Maybe he didn’t. But, wouldn’t it be better to put the same effort into helping those people? And if you’re wrong in that estimation of the cause of events, I’m pretty sure God wouldn’t be happy with your misrepresentation of him. Or, like a past blog of mine, people do things like claim a vision of Jesus in a grilled cheese sandwich.
Sometimes we want so badly to make our Christian experience more interesting that we fabricate a heavenly message – as if God’s version of abundant life isn’t fascinating enough. If your spiritual journey is boring, avoid the danger of infusing your own version of excitement. It will be short-lived, and it won’t be real.