Recently I got to see a Disney movie, ‘Tuck Everlasting’ which asks the complicated question: If you could live forever, would you? In the movie, a family mysteriously discovers a spring whose water grants them immortality and freezes them in time immune from all the vagaries of age. In time, a young girl, Winifred Foster who gets lost in the woods close to the spring and close to where the family has settled stumbles into the family and eventually falls in love with one of the sons, Jesse Tuck. At one point in their conversation, she asks the boy how old he is and he casually says 104 years. The conversation moves on to other things, but in time the boy reveals to her the secret of his family’s youthfulness and the mysterious spring. As the, discovers that the girl has discovered the secret of the spring and also has fallen in love with his son, he takes her out for a boating and a chat. The chat is probably one of the most profound bits in the movie.
As they boat across, there occur the most meaningful conversations that one gets to hear in any movie. As Angus Tuck explains about their situation, he conjectures aloud about peoples’ obsession with immortality. They don’t really understand, he wonders aloud. We just are,” explains the Tuck patriarch “stuck like rocks at the side of the stream. Winifred asks if it is unnatural to be afraid of death. No, says the father that is natural. However, he advises – Don’t be afraid of death for there is some thing far worse. Be afraid of the unlived life. Purposeless immortality that is frozen and frustrating serves no purpose, but a life well lived, however short or long is a joy to the liver and to those all around. For the Tucks, everlasting, time perpetually passes by, leaving them out of the flow of social activity. While he admits he was, like everyone else, once afraid to die, now that he’s not afraid, he feels rather left out. “It’s part of the wheel,” he says, “You can’t have livin’ without dyin’. The movie makes the eminently Christian point that the point of life is to live it to the very end. Eternal life is of course granted to every one who believes in Jesus and puts his or her trust in Him but that will happen in his time and that kind of immortality spent in God’s beatific presence will not be purposeless or futile as the Tucks’ life is in this movie. Mean while , what we are called to do is to avoid pointless missions to chase after shallow enticements that the world offers. Forget about living forever – just live.