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ARRIVAL: IF YOU KNEW YOUR FUTURE

By March 26, 2017 8 Comments

If you knew your future – all of its pain and happiness – would you choose to live it?

I watched the movie Arrival on a near empty flight from YYZ to YEG. It’s a sci-fi flick but its much more than that. The plot looked intriguing so I spent two hours of my life for the experience. No regrets. I’m a soft touch for tear-jerkers that make you think and this one didn’t disappoint.

A Love Story

Arrival is about aliens (Heptapods), an international crisis, fear generated by the unknown and destiny. The action and dialogue are on the shallow side but the storyline will take you deep. All in all, Arrival is a love story about a single mom, Louise Banks who is a linguistic professor and her only daughter – Hannah – who is dying of cancer.

Woven throughout the film are what appear to be the typical flashbacks used in movies. However – and this is the genius of the scriptwriter – SPOILER ALERT – the images are actually flash-forwards.

Loving Choices

The opening images convey the joy of birth, childhood fun between a mom and her girl, tickle fights, the challenges of adolescence and then all too quickly a terrifying change – the effects of cancer, debilitation, then death at much too young an age. The lonely walk of a grieving mom along a dimly lit hospital corridor. “Come back to me.” (This is where the tears come in.)

And that’s just the first few minutes of the film.

Arrival is about love, choice and the heartache that loving choices can bring.

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If You Knew The Future…

Despite the pain, the heartache, and the suffering that she foresees, Louise decides the joy and love that awaits her relationship with her daughter is worth it all. However, that’s how she becomes a single mom. Her husband and the father of their child cannot make the same choice when he learns about the future. He walks out of their lives.

The story raises the question: if you knew your future was filled with pain because of those you love, would you choose it anyway? If so, can that choice help you develop gratitude and joy for the hardship that you have now?

This is a story about us and about the God who knows the future better than we know the present.

The God Who Knows

I’ve lost track of how many times the question has been posed to me, “If God knows the future, what choice do we have? Why live it?”

I find the answer in this perspective – God sees the future and still made the choice to create us – full well knowing all of the rejection, rebellion and heartache creation would bring Him.

Whatever you think of your life, ponder this: There is nothing you can do that God has not foreseen and already said, “I love you.” Whatever pain or disappointment we create, God has seen the beauty and joy of our lives and already said, “It’s worth it.”

The Secret Wisdom of Love

Jesus is the wisdom of God’s love for you.


“We speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.”      1 Corinthians 2:7

“God so loved the world that He gave His only Son (Jesus).” John 3:16

“Jesus was chosen before the creation of the world.” 1 Peter 1:20


Joy For Your Journey

Dealing with a difficult present and an unknown future is best lived by faith in God. Joy is an expression of that faith.

Kay Warren says, “Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be all right, and the determined choice to praise God in all things.”

I hope you’ll see Arrival even though you already know the plotline. There is a difference between knowing and experiencing.

APPLICATION: Let me know what you think about your experience. Please leave a comment below. Thank you.


I write to inspire people to be real, grow an authentic faith in Jesus, enjoy healthy relationships and discover their life purpose. If this material is helpful to you, please follow me.

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Bob Jones

Author Bob Jones

Pastor at North Pointe Community Church for 27 years. Happily married to Jocelyn for 38 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vinnie; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three gorgeous daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love being a pastor and inspiring faith in Jesus through communicating, blogging, counseling and coaching. I enjoy running, reading, writing and ball hockey. Fan of the Esks and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers

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