Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Perhaps life is meant to be a mess?

The 1996 movie Twister has gotten such negative reviews over the years, but I don't care what the critics say. I actually really enjoy this film despite some continuity errors (there's a whole list of them at, and around this time of year when spring thunderstorms start appearing throughout the Midwest, I usually go back and watch it again. Call me crazy.

In the film, we meet Bill Harding (Bill Paxton) trying to emerge from his messy life with his ex-wife Jo Harding (Helen Hunt) by solidifying the divorce and marrying a more organized career woman.

Bill is trying to rid his life of the messiness that comes with a life of chasing after tornadoes, driving through cornfields, always eating on the go, and sleeping in vans or cheap motels, not to mention a marriage to a wife who lives life on the edge. He craves some stability, clean clothes, and an organized life. He sounds like many of us, and as a perfectionist, he sounds like me.

Twister reminds us that mess is okay from time to time.

In fact, messiness is probably what life is all about. In his book, Messy Spirituality, author and pastor Mike Yaconelli tells his readers that God doesn't expect us to live perfect, sinless lives, and if we try to accomplish that, we might become more obsessed with trying to live that perfect life than trying to live a real life. When Christ said, "I came so that you might have life, and have it more abundantly," (John 10:10), he wanted us to live our lives to the fullest, not to become a sinless, lifeless, joyless person.

Bill wanted order and stability, but was truly unhappy trying to live a life that wasn't his. Often times, we forget to live a real life when we are trying too hard to live a perfect life, and we become unhappy too.

We are called to live a life of responsible happiness. And each spring, despite the critics and the naysayers, I sit back and watch Twister to remind me of that valuable lesson.


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Hello. Prompt how to get acquainted with the girl it to me to like. But does not know about it
I have read through one history
Each of you has your personal story; it is your history. Keeping a diary or writing your feelings in a special notebook is a wonderful way to learn how to think and write about who you are -- to develop your own identity and voice.

People of all ages are able to do this. Your own history is special because of your circumstances: your cultural, racial, religious or ethnic background. Your story is also part of human history, a part of the story of the dignity and worth of all human beings. By putting opinions and thoughts into words, you, too, can give voice to your inner self and strivings.

A long entry by Anne Frank on April 5, 1944, written after more than a year and a half of hiding from the Nazis, describes the range of emotions 14-year-old Anne is experiencing:

". . . but the moment I was alone I knew I was going to cry my eyes out. I slid to the floor in my nightgown and began by saying my prayers, very fervently. Then I drew my knees to my chest, lay my head on my arms and cried, all huddled up on the bare floor. A loud sob brought me back down to earth, and I choked back my tears, since I didn't want anyone next door to hear me . . .

"And now it's really over. I finally realized that I must do my school work to keep from being ignorant, to get on in life, to become a journalist, because that's what I want! I know I can write. A few of my stories are good, my descriptions of the Secret Annex are humorous, much of my diary is vivid and alive, but . . . it remains to be seen whether I really have talent . . .

"When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived! But, and that's a big question, will I ever be able to write something great, will I ever become a journalist or a writer? I hope so, oh, I hope so very much, because writing allows me to record everything, all my thoughts, ideals and fantasies.

"I haven't worked on Cady's Life for ages. In my mind I've worked out exactly what happens next, but the story doesn't seem to be coming along very well. I might never finish it, and it'll wind up in the wastepaper basket or the stove. That's a horrible thought, but then I say to myself, "At the age of 14 and with so little experience, you can't write about philosophy.' So onward and upward, with renewed spirits. It'll all work out, because I'm determined to write! Yours, Anne M. Frank

For those of you interested in reading some of Anne Frank's first stories and essays, including a version of Cady's Life, see Tales From the Secret Annex (Doubleday, 1996). Next: Reviewing and revising your writing