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What Walter Mitty Taught Me

 —  January 6, 2014 — Leave a comment

walter mitty

There are movies that are a great adventure.  Others make you wish you could get those minutes of your life back.  Then there are movies that teach you about yourself. The lead character resonates with you.  They remind you what you believe, who you are and why you have become the person you have. They may even teach us a little bit about ministry.

This is true of Walter Mitty, a 42 year old employee of Life Magazine.

You are on a path to be someone. There are dreams and convictions and passions. Then something happens.

Maybe, like Walter, you are 17 and your father dies.

Whatever it is, It changes everything. Responsibility creeps in, and you don’t take the chances you thought you would. It isn’t a bad life. You have love, family and even a purpose. However, it’s the moment we each realize that we just might not ever be a famous actor, professional athlete, or take the cover of a magazine. We just might be the “normal” we swore we would never be.

This is who Walter Mitty became. Working in the basement of Life Magazine, he is just sort of going through the every day. He loves, and laughs and day dreams. Then something pushes him out of merely existing. Adventure awaits, and he realizes what he has allowed to lay dormant for almost 20 years.

The Secret Life Of Mitty is a poignant, quirky, visually stunning story that unravels a journey that many of us have been through. It’s the moment in which we face the fact that the road we have walked in life may not be the one we desired. It’s the moment we know what we really want out of life is not about adventure at all.

This is not your “typical” Ben Stiller story full of crazy characters or even off-color humor. Instead,there is a part of each of us that deeply resonates with Walter and the world he interacts with. Broken relationships between men and women cause kids to get lost in the shuffle. Not every family deals with loss by becoming dysfunctional. Instead, sometimes we get “stuck.” We interact with trials, negativity and people who are mean.

Like the, The Way Way Back, this is a movie that shows us something about the way we approach life, and ministry. We must decide which “character” we want to be and who we know.

Do we take the journey? Climb over people? Do we just accept this is “how things are”?

Walter Mitty goes on a hunt for a lost picture. I wonder if we will be willing to take to the unknown to be with Jesus in the same way Walter wants to find this negative. In the end will we realize the journey teaches us more than we ever realize?  Will we learn to be present?

Will we realize as Walter did that sometimes it’s not about creating something, but it’s about savoring what’s right in front of us?

This is one of those movies you take your spouse or a friend to, and then you go and talk about it. I think Walter and the people in his path teach us a lot about who we are and who we might want to be.

What is a movie that has taught you about yourself?




Leneita Fix

Leneita Fix


Leneita Fix is the Director of Ministry Development for Aslan Youth Ministries, a family focused urban ministry serving Monmouth County New Jersey and Haiti. She has been working in some form of youth and family ministry for almost 22 years. In addition she has launched the coaching and resource organization, Front Line Urban Resources with Jeffrey Wallace serving those who work with families living in survival mode. The early years were spent in camp ministry, suburban and rural youth groups. With the Lord’s moving the last 17 of those years have been spent ministering in three different urban areas to primarily unchurched families (New Jersey, Virginia, Florida back to New Jersey). Her responsibilities have included Bible based program direction for children ages 5-18, curriculum writing, staff training and recruiting, discipleship, resource creation and speaking to national audiences. Her passion is to raise up workers in practical, relationship-driven methods while remaining in the trenches with the youth and families she loves. Her goal is to help others understand every student living in a survival mindset can and will be transformed in Christ. One of her greatest joys is serving in ministry as a family with her husband three wonderful children, and her niece. Simply she resides among her friends in the city just living life as a family that loves being there. You can contact her at leneitafix@aslanyouth.org.

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