Wednesday, November 14, 2012

When Our Nature Takes FLIGHT

Saw the film Flight over the weekend. It was definitely something I did not expect, especially from glancing at the trailer. I was all, "say whaaaat? You see that PLANE!?" which is what going me interested. If you've seen it or have no intention of seeing it, read on, otherwise be warned that I might be entering into some spoiler territory.

The story circles around a veteran airline pilot named Whip. During a routine flight his aircraft undergoes an uncontrollable nose-dive and he successfully manages to land the plane resulting in only the death of 6 people. A crash like this would naturally have resulted in the deaths of all passengers, so this is very much a win.

Unfortunately, another routine of his is drinking before and during his shift, but the crash triggers an investigation to determine of his consumption has anything to do with the crash. It's at this point we learn what we hoped wasn't the case: Whip is a drunk, addicted to his alcohol.

To me the movie turned from a fun action thriller about a plane going down into a serious commentary about addiction. In the film we are also introduced to a woman with an addiction to drugs, who is given cocaine as a "much lighter" drug. When cocaine is your soft drug, those are some serious red flags.

The turning point in the story is at the investigation hearing, which is by no means a trial but Whip is called to testify about the events of the crash and the days leading up to it (particularly his condition). This is spoiler air-space, you can eject from your seat now if you wish....

Now on the day of his testimony hearing, Whip hasn't had a drink in nine days. His hotel room is clean from any drink other than soda and water, and he has only 12 hours left to go until he is a "free man". His addiction is calling to him though, keeping him from falling asleep. He wakes up in the middle of the night and discovers that the room next to his is not closed off, and what he finds when he opens the refrigerator door is any man's drinking dream. He pulls out a small bottle from the fridge and twists it open.

At this point the audience is calling out, "Don't do it!", "Noooo", "Stop!". Everyone is rooting for this guy to put the bottle down and go to sleep. My mind is racing, what's wrong with this guy, he's sooo close to the hearing, why would he throw it all away?! It appears that he made a moral call and puts the drink on the fridge and walks away. We all sigh a sigh of relief and although the room is dark I know we're all smiling. BUT he turns right back around and takes the bottle.


Because sin is that powerful. I could watch Whip and judge him for not having more self-control. Why can't he just say no? Why can't he just stop when he says he will stop? Because he's addicted. I may not know what addiction to alcohol feels like, but everyone knows what addiction to something feels like. And maybe for most it wouldn't be classified as addiction, but certainly a strong dependence, an idol. We could look down on Whip, but Whip is like all of us.

It humbled me to me more aware to not look down on others' failings, because we all fail.

For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. - Romans 8:13
Putting sin to death is a daily response. The ending to this story was a happy one; we saw Whip give in to the weight of his sin and admit his faults, and was given justice to better his life. We all want to live better lives, and this movie is a great reminder to Christians that Jesus makes a way to not fall into temptations.

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