In this day and age, it's hard not to get too caught up in a season of busyness that we forget to enjoy of some life's simple things.
“An Unlikely Angel” stars Janie, a toymaker for a big-time company in New York. She spends most of her days being busy – tackling the next project at work, competing for the top spot at her company, and seeking validation in the form of things she can add to her resume. But is this how we’re truly called to live? Is this the kind of lifestyle that is going to lead to our salvation?
WATCH NOW: The trailer for the new Pure Flix Original movie "An Unlikely Angel" is now available! Janie is a workaholic who is falling apart at the thought of becoming a first-time mom. She whispers a small prayer for help and it’s answered in a very unlikely way when an angel intervenes and fast forwards her life. Will her second chance change how she approaches life? Janie is lucky enough to be given a second chance, but will she change before it’s too late?
Janie’s busyness mirrors Martha from the Bible. In the story of Martha, in Luke 10:38-42, she is rushing to prepare for Jesus to stay in her home. While she is busy accomplishing what she believes to be the most important tasks, her sister, Mary, sat at Jesus’ feet. Mary's only task was to spend time with Him. When Martha expressed her exasperation to Jesus, He said:
“‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’”
At the end of “An Unlikely Angel”, we see Janie make the choice to slow down and simplify her life in order to spend time with loved ones. She reset her priorities and stopped seeking the approval of her boss and conquering the next big work project. When she took the time to get back to basics, she was inspired with a new business venture, a line of vintage toys. It was when Janie’s daughter discovered a treasure chest full of toys from a bygone era that Janie remember that simple pleasures are timeless.
Reminiscing about our own favorite childhood toys and simpler times, we came to realize how much more fleeting these moments can be nowadays. Just like Janie, the digital age, technology and societal pressures have made it harder to have a healthy work-life balance and for us to “chose what is better,” like Mary did in the Book of Luke.
READ ALSO: 10 WAYS TO PUT GOD FIRST IN THE MODERN WORLD
To restore some balance, we wanted to share a list of ways you and your family can slow down and honor the simpler times:
- Make up a game to play outside - or play foursquare, tag, or jump rope.
- Get a spikeball set or pickleball paddles for a new after-work hobby.
- Walk to the local park to play basketball, soccer or volleyball.
- Take a bike ride around the neighborhood. Make it into an “eye spy” game for extra fun!
- Find a local trail or path for a nice retreat in nature. Bonus points if you take a trash bag to clean up as you walk!
- Go to a lake and feed the fish.
- What was your favorite toy growing up? Buy it for your kids and show them how much you enjoyed it!
- Play a board game instead of having video game time at home.
- Can you walk to the grocery store, library or pharmacy instead of driving there?
- Ride your bike to school one day a week instead of taking the bus.
- Stressed or feeling rushed? Take 5 minutes to take a deep breath, give thanks to God for something in your day, then reset.
- Wash the dishes the old-fashioned way by hand with soap and water rather than using the dishwasher.
- Take it up a notch - make it a family event by adding some music and getting everyone involved in kitchen clean up!
- Start a gratitude list. Make sure to write on it as much as you write on your to-do list.
- Bring a water bottle wherever you go and remember to drink it!
- Drive a full day without turning on the radio.
- Go one full day without using social media and limiting screen time to important calls or texts only.
- Make one full meal using only one pot or one kitchen appliance.
- Pack a lunch instead of eating out during your lunch break.
- Sit down as a family for dinner with no phones. Share the highs and lows of your day or week.
- Have a family night: play a game, make up a new game, learn to play a song together.
- Schedule to meet up with a friend or family member in person than using FaceTime or calling them on the phone.
- Declutter one room of your house. Be strict on what you actually use to keep and what you can donate.
- Take the closet challenge. Every time you wear something, put it back on the hanger facing the opposite direction as when you chose it. In six months, donate those that are on hangers still facing the direction you started.
- Go one day without having a negative attitude or reaction to any situation you encounter.
What else would you add to the list? How do you and your family remember to "chose the better part" of spending time with your loved ones, including God?
And don't forget to watch "An Unlikely Angel" coming to Pure Flix exclusively August 26! Ready to start streaming? Sign up for Pure Flix now. And if you're looking for more ways to spend time together as a family, download the FREE Pure Flix Summer Camp Guide – it has 6 weeks of activities, movie recommendations and devotions for you and your family to do together!