Casey Newton is an optimistic person. She sees potential and hope where others see gloom and doom. When her father’s job at NASA is about to be axed she breaks in to try and change things. However, she is caught and arrested for a short time. On her release she finds a strange badge (or pin) amongst her things.
The badge takes Casey into a new world. A kind of utopia, in another dimension. An optimistic place full of light and hope where scientists, artists and great thinkers have created a better world. Whilst there she meets Nix who explains that in the real world, though people have been warned about the trouble that the earth is in, they do very little about it.
It seems to me that one of the key phrases in Nix’s speech is this one: ‘You resign yourselves to it, because that [gloomy] future doesn’t ask anything of you today.’ Our own selfishness often prevents us from moving forward. Certainly mine does. Often we have to hit a crisis before we start to change. One of the Biblical proverbs tells us, ‘Sometimes it takes a painful experience to make us change our ways.’ (Proverbs 20 v 30) On the up side, Nix tells them, ‘In every moment there is the possibility of a better future.’ There is always the potential to change direction. Or as the Bible puts it, to repent. Take a new way.
The prophet Isaiah had visions of a time of creativity, harmony and peace, not unlike Tomorrowland. At one point (in Isaiah 9 vv 1-7) he speaks of a land where oppression and destruction would be no more, and those plunged into despair and darkness would be set free from those prisons. But the means of this coming about was not merely man’s own ingenuity and technology, but instead the birth of a child. A new baby given to the world, one who would grow up to be the best prime minister, the greatest president, incorruptible, fearless, consumed with compassion. And omne who would offer a way of dealing with our persistent selfishness. This child would one day bring harmony, not only to the earth, but to the whole cosmos. We’re still waiting for that Tomorrowland to dawn. But in the meantime we’re invited to follow that child, the Prince of Peace. And as we begin to think about the season of Advent, and the build up to Christmas, it’s no bad thing to remember that’s what this time of lights and gifts is about. A whole new world, a whole new way of being.