YOU’LL MAKE IT HOME: “Gravity” as a metaphor for life coaching & spiritual direction



I was struck by yet another Alfonso Cuarón movie this week (previous was “Children of Men” which blew me away / changed my life by causing me to hope again – but that’s another story detailed here). I was at a retreat center this week, weary & recuping from the labors of ministry, along with a group of pastors from the Midsouth area. I managed to get away with one of them, a friend from back at Regent – Jeff Pate – and we watched this movie. Dunno if he noticed, but I was dribbling behind those big 3-D glasses. It was a powerfully emotional film and struck so many chords about persistence, life going on, the fight to live, sadness, triumph, and powerfully about coaching.

I’ll say this; if you are a coach, pastor, mentor, spiritual director, pay attention to the character of George Clooney. His mannerisms, his ways, his non-reactivity, non-anxious presence. He embodies the older, grayer, wiser, who coaches a younger female protege, in a very giving, baton-passing, self-sacrificial manner; there’s even a yoda moment in it.

Jeff responded with a good pushback of how the fight to live should not be a solo endeavor, but a community one; my only thought being in a narrative sense, Clooney never left (being now one with “the Force”, so to speak).

But in the end as I returned back to the retreat site and mixed it up again with the pastors, many of whom older and grayer and very much my cloud of witnesses, I was reminded of the image of Clooney and Sandra Bullock tethered together in deep, dark, empty, life-threatening SPACE… and how at moments he had to yank her along, times she had to trust him, times he needed to release her – or be released – so she could propel to the next level. It was profoundly moving, as I watched these older spiritual directors around me, laughing and oblivious to the profound metaphor I had just witnessed of their own lives writ large on the 3D screen. To my older friends, coaches, mentors, guides, directors, pastors: your admonishment to us to not let go, that we will make it Home – this is what keeps us going, fighting against seemingly impossible odds, steering clear from debris resulting in wreckage of lives; so that indeed we might end well, and truly make it Home.

Published by Wayne Park

Asian-American clergyman thinking about issues of faith, place, race and culture-making in the vast city of Houston, TX

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