Amélie – Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Theme: Worry

Bible refs: Matthew 6 vv 25-34

Location of clip: 1 hr 29 mins and 16 secs to 1 hr 31 mins and 55 secs

Film Description:
Amélie is a waitress in Paris. In her spare time she tries to secretly do good things for her friends. Then she falls in love with Nino. Rather than just blurting out how she feels she tries to communicate in a covert manner, leaving a trail of clues for him to follow. Nino takes the bait and begins to follow her carefully-laid trail.


Clip description:
Amélie is waiting to meet Nino in the café in which she works. She left him a torn photograph with the time of the meet-up on it. But Nino is late. Could something terrible have happened to him? She begins to worry, and as she worries so her imagination takes over. In her mind she constructs the following tale… A gang of hostages took him hostage; he caused them to crash, but banged his head in the process and lost his memory. Then he got picked up and mistaken for a fugitive and shipped to Istanbul where he met some Afghan raiders. They took him to steal some Russian warheads but their truck hit a mine and blew up. Nino survived and escaped to the hills and is now spending his days living with the Mujahaddin, wearing a tea cosy for a hat.

I often hear people in church say, “Don’t worry.”

We pass this eleventh commandment around as if worry were the eighth deadly sin. The reality is, we all worry. Much of the time.

But a swift delve into Matthew 6 reveals something interesting about this matter. Jesus concludes his animated, story-peppered sermon by saying, “Don’t worry about tomorrow, today will have enough worries of its own.”

Surely not. Surely we’re not supposed to worry about anything. Ever.

Jesus seems to be realistic about it. He knows we will worry, so he says, contain your worry. Stop it from running away and getting out of control. Containing my worries is the most difficult challenge I face. I’m like Amélie – my thoughts run away with themselves, barely before I even realise it. I follow my fears through to a most illogical conclusion. And sometimes I’ve even shaped my theology around my deepest fears. E.g. The world seems a terrible place so clearly it’s all going to end next week. I used to worry about that twenty years ago – and hey – I’m still here.

God understands human nature so well. We are idealistic about life. He is not.

Proverbs (12 v 25) says: Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.

This offers us one of the best ways to help one another with our troubles. Encouragement. There’s a great moment in the movie A Bridge Too Far, about the battle at Arnhem in world war two. When everything has gone wrong and the whole mission looks doomed to fail a corporal turns up and offers the commander in chief a cup of tea. “What good will that do?” he is asked. The corporal shrugs and simply says, “Can’t hurt, sir.”

We all get knocked down, and the best way is to help one another get up. Often when we look to others we forget our own burdens. Paul himself encourages us to pray about our worries. But he also says, that he was often troubled. “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don’t give up and quit.” He says in 2 Corinthians 4 v 8.

And he then goes on to say that when we are helped in our troubles we are then able to pass that help onto others. If you’ve never suffered, if you’ve never worried, then you aren’t so well equipped to help others with their problems.

1. Why, when we all worry anyway, do we so quickly tell others not to worry?
2. Do you think Jesus ever worried about anything?
3. Talking about fears is not easy. Are there ways we can help each other?
4. Do you think men and women deal with worries differently? If so, how?
5. Did the clip make you think about anything else?

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