Sunday, December 12, 2010

It IS wonderful

Oh, God...
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. 
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.


  1. Wow, I really need to watch that movie again. It's been over 3 years! Guess we know what to put on the to-do list for next week. Good thoughts, Dad! :)

  2. This movie will always remind me of you, dad. Thanks for making it a tradition!

  3. And with that touching post I will be watching It's a Wonderful Life for the first time this Christmas.

  4. touching. Kate bought it so she could watch it for the first time and she came home saying."Im in love with George Bailey." a true gentle man like yourself Scott.

  5. Scott you are a pure and true story teller. Thanks. I also love George and Mary's story. Let us live our dreams. Mine started in a little blue diary I got for Christmas when I was 8. I wrote two important entries, "I'll grow up to be a writer," and "I love old folks." Now I'm an old folk and my time to be a great writer is running out. If George is correct I shall not fail with the aid of friends. For this Christmas I'm wishing for a helpful writer friend.

  6. Thanks for sharing Scott that warmed my heart. I love that movie and I'm gonna make a point to watch it with my kids this year - thanks for reminding me. Merry Christmas!