Lawrence of Arabia: On-Screen Inspiration:*

English actor Peter O’Toole as British Army officer T E Lawrence in ‘Lawrence Of Arabia’, directed by David Lean, 1962. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

he earmark of any great epic film is that it presents an expansive mega quest, underlined with an intimate, personal journey. No film demonstrates this more clearly than, arguably the greatest epic ever made, David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia (1962).

The audience is cinematically transported to 1916 Cairo in the midst of World War I. A young insubordinate lieutenant is assigned with the field observation of the Arab revolt against the Turks. There begins a journey through the Arabian desert where we follow the transformation of T. E. Lawrence, from the British observant into the leading figure of the Arab revolt.

Central to the film is the question of Lawrence’s identity . . . who Lawrence is as a person. The question is repeatedly asked by others, as well as by Lawrence himself.

An American poster for the 1962 biopic 'Lawrence of Arabia', starring Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins and Jose Ferrer. The film was directed by David Lean for Columbia Pictures. (Photo by Movie Poster Image Art/Getty Images)

This question is most explicitly posed in the middle of the movie. A lone motorcyclist rides up and, across the Suez Canal and desert sands asks, “Who are you?” No reply. He asks a second time, but Lawrence still has no answer.

Both the audience and Lawrence are left with this key question unresolved.

Lawrence of Arabia examines a question that much of humanity has not resolved. “Who am I?” How many are on a lifelong journey to discover “who they are?”

Today, much of our society attempts to answer this question themselves by self-identifying, choosing their own label, their own descriptive, or placing themselves in a category of their personal choosing.

But the discovery of personal identity can only be found in who God says we are!

Only what the Giver of Life says about us truly and eternally matters. It’s not who we say we are, it is who God says we are . . . or as often said, “Whose we are!”

 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1-2
So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them. Genesis 1:27

* by Dan Rupple April 26, 2023 from MasterMedia International

I recently watched this epic, more than three and a half hour film and it does deliver. Every man is seeking their identity and Lawrence in one from about a hundred years ago. Through out the generations, men and women have sought to find thier purpose, their mission or calling. I could be in nation building like Lawrence, but for most of us it’s on a smaller scale. We want to honor our families, our communities, which often includes fellowship of some kind for Christ followers and perhaps our employer, employees, customers and/or investors.

As I mentioned in my last post, it comes down to loving God, people and ourselves. There’s a quote of sorts attributed to St. Augustine, “‘Love God’ and do what you want.” If our purpose begins with “Loving God” then our pursuits, goals and mission have much latitude in how they are fleshed out; it’s our “true north.”

What about you?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: