• Bathroom Book Scene

    This weekend I watched The Adjustment Bureau. And in a small way, I experienced it in real life.

    I had planned to backpack to Fullers Rocks Friday night (the eve of this month’s full moon).   According to friends who had been there, Fuller Rocks would have made for an amazing place to fall asleep to moonlight.  Dramatically warmer weather and clear skies Friday afternoon, powered me through a tough work day with the potential reward of sleeping under the stars.
    I left a family gathering a few minutes later than planned Friday night and scrambled to pack my gear. I checked the hour-by-hour weather one more time—just in case it had changed from the promising forecast.

    Rain.

    So, I wrapped my tent Dusk Waiting for Moonriseand sleeping pad in plastic and stuffed rain gear into my pack.  I steeled myself for the cool, wet night counting the ensuing man points and considering it preparation for next year’s backpacking trip on rainy Vancouver Island. I compiled all my gear by the door then realized I had forgotten to dim the basement lights.  When I got down there, I found that I had left my maps on my desk.

    For some reason, I checked the weather again.  Rain—and now chances of lightning.  Just in case you didn’t know, an electrical storm is not an ideal situation for setting up a tent on an exposed cliff roughly 1,500 feet above the valley floor.

    Change of plans.  Map.  Rain might draw animals into AT shelters—not doin’ that. Scramble.  iPhone!  Fandango.  Scroll…no…nope…definitely not.  Yes!  Timmy loved that one.  But it’s at the expensive theater. I told Crystal I only go to the expensive theater for her.

    I knew I could make it to the 10:20 movie before the previews finished.  Standing in line, my recent sleep deprivation and potential hypocrisy pushed me out of the line.  I scrolled through Red Box rental options on my phone and through this week’s lower-than-typical biplane numbers in my head.

    Screw it. The $10 taken from my debit card led me to a center chair close to the front of theater 12—no other person in my peripheral vision.

    I absorbed The Adjustment Bureau somewhat like I absorbed the first few hours of my honeymoon, my first few days of college, my first few months in a non-denominational church.  Challenged by a new and seemingly different reality, I bought into it so as to extract the most benefit from it.Explanation SceneI’m still trying to decode the spiritual implications and compare them to a worldview crafted by my lifetime around the Bible.  I’m hoping that being overwhelmed by the film’s details, nuances, and superb execution didn’t blind me to a blasphemous endorsement.  Entertainment often makes insidious inroads by sliding the carnal in with the applaudable.  So, it’s not surprising that in The Adjustment Bureau, you have a display of self-sacrificing, abiding love where extramarital sex seems to fit and a portrayal of angels, laced with expletives.  That said, the departures from an evangelical perspective proved nowhere near as blatantly inappropriate as in similar-topic flicks like The Invention of Lying and Hancock.

    The Adjustment Bureau combined aspects of The Illusionist and Stranger than Fiction, two of the movies on my Mount Rushmore of film.

    A romantic movie that chick flicks can’t equal, an action adventure that didn’t require explosions, this was a thinking person’s plot that you could watch with your buddies or your chica.   John Slattery, who played one of the antagonists in the film, may have evaluated it best with his summation: “It’s an original story in a time when there aren’t many of those.”
    Fullers Rocks PerspectiveI left the theater, like Matt Damon’s character left New York’s underground, wearing a hat into the evidence of rain.  My fate for that night had been changed from spending it alone in a tent to alone with a movie.  My plans were altered for the better, though, as my trip to Fullers Rocks came the very next night at the uninhibited rising of the perigee moon—this time a hike with a friend.  The Adjustment Bureau reminded me of a truth that I’ve found throughout my spiritual walk: the omniscient Chairman (of my worldview) had better plans for me than I had for myself.

    This entry was posted on Monday, March 21st, 2011 at 2:36 am and is filed under Random Acts of Ryan. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
  • 1 Comment

    Take a look at some of the responses we have had to this article.

    1. Amazingly, this story was written in 1954. (So, one of the elements of this film was not copying Monsters, Inc.) Its writer died in 1982. I’m so glad someone found it, adapted it, and made it come alive so beautifully.

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