Tomorrowland is a movie about hope and putting that hope into action. It’s a movie about change, about what it takes to change the future of the world, actually, but if that seems a bit grandiose, know that its messages apply to change on any level. It’s full of good principles and self-help ideology—useful, practical things, things that are good in and of themselves, but all the more powerful when you add a spiritual dimension to them.
At the crux of the movie is a little fable-type question Casey’s dad used to tell her. “There are two wolves: One is darkness and despair, the other is light and hope,” he would say. Then he would ask her a question, “Which one lives?” The answer was both simple and profound. “Whichever you feed.” The entire movie is basically an elaborate illustration of this little fable.
While the Bible tells us that good wins in the end, that light overcomes the darkness, this statement is entirely true when it comes to our lives and minds. We need to be careful what wolf we are feeding in our minds. This is why Paul writes, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8). He is telling us to be sure to feed the right wolf, the wolf of light and hope.
We need to do that for our own minds, but we also need to do this for others. In the movie, there was a “bad” (or at least misdirected) guy who chose to send messages of darkness and despair to mankind, hoping that if he fed the dark wolf, people would be afraid enough to be willing to make changes in the way they took care of the earth. He wanted good things. He wanted people to care for the earth, but he was wrong in thinking he could bring positive change through fear and despair. The people who made a difference, who inspired people to make changes…they were the ones who fed the light wolf. They had a message of hope and light. Their attitude was like, “I get things are bad, but what are we doing to fix it?”
When you think about it, this is partly why Jesus had such an effect on the world. He IS light and He overcame darkness. He was spreading his message of light and hope to all He met. He told people they could change. They could go and sin no more. They could dine with him in Heaven… He told them that captives could be set free, ashes could be turned into beauty, sick could be healed, lame could walk, life could occur where there was death… with him, anything was possible. Hope is inspiring. One man, speaking a message of hope, changed the world and the people in it. When we begin to speak life and light and hope into the lives of the people around us, the light wolf in them grows…because we are feeding it. Sometimes people don’t have enough strength to do that for themselves, we have to do it for them, but the amazing thing is that, to a large degree, we can do it for them!
Questions for Discussion:
- In your own thought life, do you tend to feed the light wolf or the dark wolf?
- Which do you think is easier (in the short term)—motivating people with fear or motivating people with hope? Which do you think is better in the long term?
- Is it easier for you to be positive or negative? Do you think knowing Jesus makes it easier to be positive? Why or why not?
- How does Philippians 4:8 connect to this idea of which wolf you’re feeding? “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
- What thoughts might you have to stop thinking according to Philippians 4:8? (Because they aren’t true, or honorable, or pure, etc…).
- How might your life change if you only thought things that matched up with Philippians 4:8?
- Jesus, because he was (and is) the Light, changed the whole world. If we want to change the world, (or simply impact another person), do you think that it might be easier to do that if we brought Jesus into the picture?
- Do you know anyone who is struggling with the dark wolf? How might you feed the light wolf for them?