Saving Mr. Banks…The name of a movie, that until I saw it, I couldn’t understand it. I mean, for months as we saw the advertisements I would consider the name and wonder why. As we sat in the theater yesterday and watched the story of the making of the movie Mary Poppins, emotions stirred within that changed my view of the movie I’ve loved since childhood. I understood the title and also understood as I never have before, everyone has a Mary Poppins in their life and also a Mr. Banks.
Let me explain the best I can. As a child looking around at the world one fantasizes about the unknown, dreaming about what the world is like beyond the front yard, and considering what is yet to come as one grows older. Dreams of homes, spouses, education, and careers.
There are adults in our younger years that help to fuel those fantasies and they are admired for their enthusiasm. There are also those in life that teach about looking beyond the rose colored glasses, to see that in life, there is joy and laughter combined with responsibility…contentment. As an adult, grasping the fact that responsibility out weighs fantasy is not always looked upon favorably. What sometimes is not as transparent, is that through those responsibilities come laughter and blessings that cannot compare to fantasy.
If, as an adult, one sets aside responsibilities and attempts to live out unrealistic fantasies, illness and loneliness can and usually do end up taking the vibrant life that was once admired. Money and time doing the meaningless in hopes of catching a glimpse of that which was dreamt about as a child seems to be what our western culture strives for, bringing forth death and destruction.
Another year older, I looked at the movie as an opportunity to understand my own childhood dreams and fantasies. An opportunity to also understand adulthood. Considering the difference in my own life of fantasy vs. reality and where I am truly content and joyful. I saw my own childhood, my own Mr. Banks, and my own Mary Poppins. I thought about where I’d be today if I had followed fantasy rather than reality. As I looked at my husband, my children and my mom, I realized that my childhood fantasies could not compare to the blessings that the Lord has bestowed.
Saving Mr. Banks could be the story of many families in our western culture. With the New Year, it is with great hope and prayer that families will walk out of theaters after seeing the beloved story of Mary Poppins, critiquing their own lives, their own blessings, and learn how to balance joy, happiness, contentment and responsibility. I also pray for those who try to spend their lives living out fantasy, that they will look around at what they have accomplished, the admiration that once was directed toward them and that they will be able to seek healing for their cultural illness. As we see in the movie, healing not only for the ill, yet also for those that have felt the effects of loved ones that prefer fantasy rather than reality.
Did I forget to mention that unlike P.L. Traverse, we love as adults, the playfulness of everything Disney!