I have to say that I always wanted to know what all the chatter regarding “The Polar Express” was about. I had heard such wonderful things about the movie and just didn’t understand what all the fuss was about.
The first time I watched it, I thought that it was a cute movie but there was nothing too special about it, just another Christmas movie. I wanted to see it because Tom Hanks was in the movie. I couldn’t possibly resist a Tom Hanks movie. I was actually a little disappointed, I had expected something a little different.
The second time I tried watching it, a couple years later, I ended up watching only a portion of it until I got bored and switched it off. I know some may find this very disappointing and shocking.
The third time I attempted to watch it, a year later, I thought I’d give the movie another try. I don’t know why I thought I should try to watch it one more time. But I guess subconsciously I wanted to like it since the movie got amazing reviews from friends and family. Little did I know that this time, the movie would really speak to me. I began to see the reasons why this movie is one of the favorites with friends and family. I started to finally understand the great meaning within the movie.
The movie has a lot of symbolism within it. When I actually took the time to watch the movie without distractions; I was able to see how symbolic it is to God’s relationship with me. I love that a once strong believer, now doubter goes on a journey and learns how to believe again. The road is bumpy and there can be many obstacles along the way but when allowing the spirit of the holidays or when comparing it to faith, allowing the Spirit to talk to you it begins to strengthen the beliefs of the doubter.
Everyone struggles at one point or another with their faith. We question it and ask for signs to show us that faith actually still exists despite our questions and doubts.
In the movie, the boy has such doubt but as the movie progresses he begins to believe through the help of his new friends. At the beginning of the movie, the conductor punches holes into the individual tickets with a partial message for the children. At the end of the movie as the children board the train home, the conductor completes each message for the children. Each child has their own personal ticket especially for them with a personal message that applies only to them, such as “Lead” and “Believe”.
Like faith in religion, God gives us our own individual tickets for our own journey. He gives us our partial message through inspiration and dreams for our future but until we truly believe in Him and His plan we won’t know our complete message He has for us.
The boy did not hear the sound of the bells nor see Santa until he finally chose to believe in Santa. Once he finally believed, he was able to hear and see what he was so sure wasn’t real. And when he loses the bell from Santa’s sleigh on the train ride home; he was so disappointed but when he applied the power of believing he discovered the bell again on Christmas morning. It was a test to see if he truly believed in the power of believing and by passing the test he was rewarded.
God is a lot like this moment. When we finally choose to believe in our faith in God and His amazing gifts; we are finally able to see Him and hear Him. We will finally see the personal message He has for our lives and our journeys. He has given us a partial message at the beginning of our journey and when we commit to our belief in Him, His everlasting love, His plans for us and when we commit our lives to God Himself we will receive the entire message that He for us. He’ll test us to see if our trust and belief in Him are solid before rewarding us. He wants to know if we are fully committed to Him like He is to us.
It’s an amazing gift that I was given by giving this movie another chance. I truly believe that God kept calling me to watch the movie over the years because He was trying to convey a message to me. It wasn’t until I was finally prepared to hear it, that I was able to fully grip the message He is trying to send me. Over the last few years, I have been able to see my growth in my faith in God, His plan and His message for me. My feelings about this movie is just one illustration of that. It’s truly inspiring and uplifting. I feel as though every time that I watch The Polar Express from this day forward I’ll be touched in a new way by God.