I just found out that Roger Ebert, famed film critic, has died today at age 70. You can read more information about this news at the NPR site.
Ebert had long battled different forms of cancer. He had lost his ability to talk as a result of the cancer.
I remember Ebert most for his TV show reviewing movies with his colleague Gene Siskel. I remember I was always fascinated when they disagreed over a movie. They would get very, very passionate about their opinions surrounding a movie, especially when they disagreed. I didn’t like it. I didn’t like to see them arguing.
Passionate is definitely the word I would use to describe Roger Ebert. The man averaged viewing and reviewing 200 movies a year. 200 movies! And then writing about them. And he loved it! He loved to see a good movie. He was disgusted to see a bad or “dumb” movie. And he addressed his opinions eloquently and thoroughly.
I love a good movie, but I wouldn’t say I’m passionate about them. There are certain movies that I feel have to be seen on the big screen. One of those movies coming out soon is Star Trek: Into the Darkness. I love to watch a good Blockbuster on the big screen. The rest; well, I can wait until they come out on Amazon and then stream them to our X-box.
But I think the takeaway we can find in celebrating this man’s life and mourning his passing, is his passion. Was his passion misplaced? Could it have done good elsewhere? I certainly am in no position to answer such questions. But just from observing him over the years, I think I can speak to his passion, and ask myself “Am I that passionate about anything?”
Am I passionate enough to express my opinions? To do my homework? To write incessantly? Am I passionate enough about my family to spend the equivilant of 200 movies in time with them, giving them 100% of my attention? Am I passionate enough about my children to warn them strongly when I beieve they are headed the wrong direction? Am I passionate enough about my children to speak exuberantly about what I see in them that is God-given and beautiful?
Am I passionate enough about my God so as to spend the equivilant of 200 movies a year studying His word and spending time in prayer? Am I passionate about my God enough to want to share with everyone what I think about Him, and why I think they should consider becoming a follower of Him?
We will miss Roger Ebert and his effusive love of the theatre. But life is short. Life is very short. What are we going to be passionate about?