Dear Father in Heaven,
I'm not a praying man, but if you're up there,
and you can hear me, show me the way.
I'm at the end of my rope. I...
Show me the way, God.
Two hours in a dark gymnasium in Globe, Arizona changed my life forever. It was Christmas Day, 1985. I was at the beginning of my second year of service as an LDS missionary in Arizona. Amazingly, I had never heard of nor seen the movie It's A Wonderful Life.
As I sat in the dark of that little wood floor gym, watching George Bailey discover that "no man is a failure who has friends," I knew at the same instant what I wanted to do with my life.
I wanted to tell stories. Stories that made people feel good. Or feel something. I had always making stuff up, but had never imagined myself doing that as a job. Still trying to turn that dream into a job, come to think of it. Thank heaven for a patient, believing wife. Kind of like Mary Bailey.
I'll be forever grateful for that unique Christmas gift. I still try to make it a practice to watch the movie at least once each year. It never fails to bring back the little-boy feelings of Christmas. Frank Capra, wherever you are, I hope you know that indeed, although you initially doubted whether the movie had been well received, it changed - forever - the life of at least one audience member. Even if it was almost 40 years after the movie was released. For that, I thank you.