I was watching "Cars" with my preschoolers last night (one of our favorites) and noticed a very strong message of God's economy. Lightning McQueen is a self-important upstart rookie in the beginning of the movie who is transformed by the reality of his own mortality as he builds relationships in an all-but-forgotten, by-passed town on old Route 66. The fading blossom of former Glory is held together by the hope of town residents who believe that if only their road is improved "they will come" (the travelers up old Route 66) and their town will become vital once again. To make a long story short, McQueen grumbles through fixing up the road and learns some valuable lessons on looking behind the grill before dismissing the value of another automobile. His new friends join him in the "BIG" race as his pit crew and cheer him to a vict..almost, on the last lap the aging "King", a racer that is finishing his last big race before retirement, is maliciously run off the track and suffers a roll-over but lands upright in the infield. McQueen notices just before he crosses the finish line and gives up his victory to heroically push "The King" over the finish line to the astonishment and heralding of the mass of excited fans. It was a vision of what heaven must be like when a Christian finally understands God's economy. Lightning was offered the big sponsorship because of his altruism and the winner was shunned in his selfish victory. It was an awesome opportunity to explain how when we are weak we are strong to my children. It was equally cool to relate the reaction of the fans to the fan fair in heaven when we do the right thing and worry less about our own fame than the glory that God is given by a child exhibiting a humble spirit and a sacrificial love for others.
Start your engines!