what’s your MacGuffin?


So this morning I was checking out my ol’ Twitterfeed and noticed an article by one of my favorite magazines Paste, and everyday they post a List of the Day – basically “best ofs” on various topics. On this particular day they listed the best MacGuffins in cinematic history. For those who don’t know or are not planning on reading the article – a MacGuffin (a term coined by Alfred Hitchcock) is the element of the film around which all the characters are focused… As the list points out – the one ring in The Lord of the Rings trilogy for example. It is the driving force behind the plot, the reason the movie exists in the first place.

Well, it got me thinking about personal MacGuffins – please no jokes – as I tend to spiritualize things… Everyone has a reason for existing, everyone has something for which they are living. Everyone lives for one thing or another. The most successful people I know, or can think of are very conscious of that one thing, and so they intentionally center their lives around it… But the vast majority of people are living for an unconscious drive or an unrecognized desire. Their lives have no intentionality, and they can fool themselves into thinking their lives have no purpose – simply because they don’t see it.

These people are living to run from the demons of their past or failures in the present- struggles from childhood, mistakes they have made as adults, feelings of inadequacy. And so they live – whether they know it or not – to exorcise those demons. They can’t move forward because the MacGuffin of their lives has got them chained and they don’t even know it.

Jesus said to “seek first the kingdom of God…” and really the entire Bible is about this move toward that kingdom… But in order for any of us to make that the real focus of our personal lives we have to really recognize what we are actually seeking first. What are we actually living for? What defines us? And then we have to be willing to give those things up and place our trust in the Creator of the world, and the Giver of our lives. That’s easier said than done for sure. It takes a lot of work and personal responsibility and help from people who genuinely love you, but in the end it’s the difference between living a life without focus and meaning and centering yourself on that which matters most.

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