Men, I recently went to see Cars 3 with my bride and our oldest grandson. I loved it! I encourage every man reading this blog to take his kids to see this great animated movie. Better yet go with your father, who, of course, is the grandfather of your kids. The truth be told, I fell in love with Miss Fritter. I would pay to see more of her dominating the demolition derby. As a grandfather, who wants to pass it on to his grandkids, this movie has a surprisingly positive plot.
In the movie, the central character, Lightening McQueen, is getting old. His legacy is being threatened by the next generation of cars. Cruz Ramirez, the young female trainer assigned to McQueen is the new face of future racing. But because of enhanced technology and data-driven training, McQueen doesn’t have a chance. McQueen has to decide if he wants to preserve his superstardom or keep racing when it seems impossible to win. Instead Lightening McQueen looks to the past, especially to his mentor, Doc Hudson to value how he was mentored. Then he looks to the future racing career of Cruz Ramirez.
S.D. Kelly in a review for Christianity Today notes, “McQueen ends up transferring his outsized ambition and intense desire to continue to win races…to Cruz…..he does so without sublimating her own ambition and her own dreams of her career. It is a lovely depiction of each generation bringing the best of themselves to their interaction….a depiction of legacy-building not often seen: the tricky part of transference.” Transference can only happen when there is mutual respect. Kelly gives this take on Cars 3, “McQueen understands this intuitively. The lessons of history, of Doc Hudson and his generation, of McQueen and the citizens of Radiator Springs, can be passed on to Cruz and her generation of racecars…..only if this willingness to cede the dais is passed on as well.”
The idea of transference or the” passing on” to the next generation is at the heart this blog. When God’s people crossed over the Jordan river into the promised land, they placed a memorial of 12 stones in the river as a sign of God’s deliverance for the following generations. God said to them, “In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jorden was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.” (Joshua 4:7). This blog is my humble attempt of calling attention to the 12 stones, that is, the story of God’s deliverance for men as they go into the promised land, which is now occupied by the enemy.
Like Lightening McQueen I am getting older. I am further along on the journey. I have crossed over many years ago. I have lived in the promised land. But there is more to conquer and inherit. The battles will be different for the next generation. I appreciated the portrayal of Lightening, passing on his legacy to Cruz. It’s not about intergenerational disconnect, but rather honoring the ambition and desires of a new generation, while bring out the best of the past. .
I take to heart the words of Ps. 78:4, “We’re not keeping this to ourselves, we’re passing it along to the next generation – God’s fame and fortune, the marvelous things he has done.” Cars 3 has taught me to honor the godly ambition and desires of younger men, while sharing wisdom from someone who has been on the journey for a lot of years.