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May 19, 2020
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May 20, 2020

Sometimes we’re ‘Bruce Almighty’

By Juliana Valdez

It is very common when situations occur for us to find fault with the steps taken to resolve them, especially when we are not directly involved in the decision making, and it becomes a case of ‘If was me, I woulda; he/she coulda; they shoulda…’

Yes, we are a people like that! This attitude manifests itself daily in situations big and small where we are not satisfied with the ways things are being handled and always find that if we were to do it, it would be different or better.

The current COVID-19 situation is a case in point. To many, it matters not that the steps being taken by the authorities are those needed to facilitate the diminishing spread of the virus, thus saving lives. For every decision taken by the authorities, there is a ‘Why they didn’t do it this or that way?’.

Even Almighty God is not exempt from our fault finding. It is either He is taking too long to answer our prayers or He is not answering them in the way we want!

This was brought forcefully home as I sat viewing the movie Bruce Almighty recently. Now I have viewed this movie once or twice before but just focused on the humorous antics of Bruce Nolan, the main character, played by Jim Carrey.

When my daughter who was viewing with me, pointed out the movie was a reflection of what goes on in our world; fault finding, dissatisfaction with everything, if it isn’t what or how we find it should be, then it isn’t good! Even God’s role in our lives is questioned!

So I decided to research the plot of the movie and boy, what an eye-opener it was when I read the outline. The character of Bruce Nolan was truly a mirror image of many of us!

He was a reporter at a television station who was dissatisfied with his position and yearned to be a news anchorman. When someone else got the position, he reacted badly, lost his job, got beaten up on the street, and endured other difficulties. In the end, he rages against God, blaming Him for his misfortunes.

God, played by Morgan Freeman, decides to take a holiday, leaving Bruce in charge to see if he can do a better job of taking on the responsibilities of running the world for one week, pointing out to him that although endowed with powers, he cannot mess with people’s free will!

Pretty soon, Bruce’s selfishness takes precedence over all else, and havoc is wreaked worldwide. His girlfriend leaves him and even his powers cannot get her back because she has free will and he ends up crying out to God, who says to him, “Welcome to my world!”.

After a series of unfortunate events and bad decisions, Bruce surrenders to God who gives him a chance to live again as he acknowledges that he needed to be the change he wished to see in his life, in his interaction with others and in situations he faced.

Just a movie? Yes, but the resemblance to our real-life situations was amazing. What stayed with me is the issue of our free will. Truly, we have been endowed with it in the hope that we will make the right choices which will be selfless, benefitting all those with whom we interact, and by extension, our families, our society, our environment, and so much more.

Let us trust that the decisions made to keep us safe and alive during these uncertain times are in our best interest, so that we will emerge safe and alive!