There’s a famous scene in The Great Muppet Caper where Kermit The Frog and Miss Piggy ride a bike across a park.
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Remember as you watch: this movie was made in 1981.
It’s an incredible scene. You see no strings, no puppeteers, no evidence of CGI. It’s a perfect example of the magic Jim Henson’s Muppets create.
For 60 years The Muppets have been pushing the limits of what puppetry can do.
There is one rule you will notice every Muppet movie abides by: human actors play it straight. To every human on screen The Muppets are just normal characters.
There are never any winks or nods to the camera, no coy glances betraying the reality of these characters.
The Muppets are real, for all intents and purposes. Interacting with them is not unusual in any way.
Making The Muppets believable is not as easy as it seems. It pains me to say this, but The Muppets are not real.
The work of the actors is to stand next to a lifeless puppet and believe in a convincing fashion that it is a real creature.
I acted in a play with a frog puppet just over a year ago (no relation to Kermit). It was a challenge trying to find the balance of believability while working with the puppet. You really have to use your imagination to pretend a frog made of felt is really talking to you.
The whole experience gave me an even greater appreciation for every actor who stands beside Fozzie and Miss Piggy. The Muppet universe is an incredible display of faith and commitment on the part of every actor who inhabits it.
Imagine, for a moment, you could have the same faith in God.
Imagine if we could believe in God as much as actors do in Muppets.
Imagine if we took God at His word and believed everything He said to be real.
Imagine if instead of just proclaiming our beliefs with our words, our actions actually backed up our statements.
Jesus said if we had belief the size of a minuscule mustard seed we could move mountains. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t seen any rocks shifting in my life lately.
I say I believe God is in control, that He has my best interests in mind, that He has a plan. But my actions betray my claims. I kick and scream when I don’t get my way. I worry about where my life is headed.
Imagine if instead of just proclaiming our beliefs, we actually lived as if each one were true.
All the fear and the doubt in our lives would disappear if we actually believed every one of God’s promises. All that would be left to take their place would be joy.
Look, it’s healthy to have questions and doubts. We are not meant to know it all.
But faith is believing in what we do not see. It is committing to a scene where the God we must believe is real is not always evident.
Faith in God is like acting beside a Muppet – it is our actions in the scenes of life that must make His presence known.
When you’re on stage opposite a Muppet or a puppet or an inanimate object, everything seems kind of weird during rehearsal. You have to trust the director that the momentary weirdness of pretending a stuffed animal is real will turn into an incredible project once all the scenes come together.
What if you saw your life the same way?
Imagine if you saw each day as one small scene in the movie of life. Imagine if you committed yourself to total belief in the unseen God for each scene.
You would start believing He is everything He says He is. Your complaints would cease because of your faith in God’s control. Your doubts would dissipate.
Your joy would shine through in every circumstance. You would stop worrying when other people fall short because your life does not depend on them. You would stop thinking about you and start thinking about supporting the other actors in your scene.
Imagine, if you had faith the size of a Muppet actor, the impact your scene would have on the entire story. Committing yourself to full-on belief would be the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational thing you could do with your life.
A Muppet scene only works with total commitment from everyone involved. When all the actors, directors, producers, designers, etc. work together the work inspires awe and wonder. Each Muppet film is a collection of these incredible moments and testaments to the power of belief.
What will our film as a community of believers look like when we all actually start believing?