10 Useful Lessons on Purpose & Perseverance I Found in a Kid Flick

photo: Raye Wortel

photo: Raye Wortel

Hello friends! I decided to switch things up this week by using a movie to talk about purpose and perseverance. I love how secular works can be used to show God’s message of hope to those who are looking for it.


A few weeks ago, my family and I watched Rise of the Guardians. It’s an action-packed movie with terrific animation, but it’s the underlying messages of purpose and perseverance that really sold me.


Rise of the Guardians is the classic story of good vs. evil. Chaos ensues when an evil villain named Pitch Black (the Bogeyman) threatens to rid the world’s children of their imaginations, beliefs, and hopes by turning their dreams into nightmares.


Fighting Pitch Black are the Guardians named Bunny, Tooth, North, and Sandy. They were chosen as Guardians by the Man in the Moon, who also chose Jack Frost to be a part of the team.


After centuries of isolation, and no memory of how he became the spirit of winter, Jack Frost is reluctant to help. North convinces him to join the mission, and the rest of the movie reveals his trials and triumphs as a new Guardian.


As the movie unfolded, I was surprised to find a parallel between Jack’s journey to purpose, and our own adventure in God’s calling. Here’s what I found:


    1. Understanding our purpose takes a lot of patient prayer. Jack Frost ‘prayed’ for 300 years to the Man in the Moon to show him his purpose. That’s a long time! Sometimes it feels like centuries have passed since our ears heard from the Lord. When frustration sets in, we’ve got to keep praying, and be faithful to God’s timing – not our own, and when the right circumstances come – be ready!
    2. Courage is necessary. Sometimes, the single greatest struggle we face is not believing we are significant enough to embark on the task God calls us to. Jack struggled with this too. He doubted his vitalness to the group since no one could see, or touch him. How many times do we doubt our own vitalness? God calls us according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). He calls, and he purposes. Do you want to tell him he’s wrong?
    3. Everyone needs at least one Barnabas. (Acts 4:36) It’s a harsh reality, but some people will declare you unfit for the Lord’s holy duty. They’ll judge, condemn, or belittle you out of jealousy or fear. Bunny was that person (or rabbit) for Jack. But Jack found encouragment with Tooth and North. Their friendship offered him wisdom, grace, and support, and we deserve nothing less on our own journey.
    4. Touching the life of one is significant. Jack Frost isn’t famous like the others, and that fact created deep bitterness in him. Longing for fans distracted him from the core reason why he was chosen as a Guardian. A sense of importance is an enticing “fish” to catch, but if we’re only looking for schools of fish, and pass up the single fish that swims by, we might miss the fact that it’s a whale of a fish. (I’m not sure why I went with the fish thing, but let’s just go with it.)
    5. The Bogeyman speaks to our greatest fears and insecurities, and you know what? They’re his too. Satan is often called deceiver, tempter, and thief for a good reason. He is cunning in the ways he immobilizes and misleads us. Pitch Black sends his nightmare minions to cover the earth, thereby causing most of the children to lose faith. But when Pitch Black faces his own fears of insignificance, he is dragged away to his dark lair by his own nightmares. There’s power in knowing the evil one is fearful.
    6. We all have the same job, just a you way to achieve it. In the movie it’s called “finding your center”. What’s the one thing inside you that draws the line of your life? North had wonder. The fantastic wonder of Christmas and hope excited him to persevere and grow. North asked Jack several times what his center was, and it was fun to watch Jack discover that fun was the one thing that brought him great joy.  What’s your center? What brings you joy from the inside?
    7. Don’t go off chasing shadows. Jack so wants to remember his past, that when Pitch Black steals the children’s baby teeth (they hold memories), he gives up and flies off to Antarctica in despair. Pitch sees an opportunity to get Jack out of the picture for good, so he follows him, and ends up breaking Jack’s staff rendering Jack powerless (it’s how he creates snow and wind). It’s important for us to reflect on our past as a way to help define our passions, but let’s not get trapped there. We may give the father of lies an opportunity to destroy, or highly distract us.
    8. Giving up recognition will get you recognized. All of the children, except one have lost hope, and his is fading fast. Jack tries everything he can to get the boy to believe in the other Guardians even though he can’t be seen. Eventually the child sees the signs Jack leaves him. The boy’s faith grows, and he gains the ability to see Jack too. As Christ followers, we are not in competition with one another. Setting our own agenda aside for the benefit of another is a positive (and Biblical) thing to do. (Romans 12:10)
    9. Formidable power can come from the quietest Guardians. Sandy didn’t speak a single word, but it was his power that overthrew Pitch Black to win the final battle. Greatness is not measured by our loudness, but by the deepness of our convictions to do what’s right.
    10. Significance is a purpose beyond ourselves. So often we think when we head off on God’s great journey, that it’s for our benefit.  We’re bolstered by the fact that we were chosen and trusted to carry out a task, and we forget our work is for the glory of God. One day he will reward us, but our job here is to make him known (Colossians 1:26-28) – not ourselves. Jack accepted his role as Guardian, and committed himself to the future of the children, no longer concerned with what was in it for him.


I know it’s a long read today, thanks so much for sticking with me. I pray it was of some use to you. Drop me a line, I’d love to hear from you.

One Reply

  1. Carrie

    I have never seen that movie & now will be on a quest to rent it so I can watch it with this in mind! There were many great things you said but two that really stuck out were: “there is power in knowing the evil one is fearful” & “greatness is not measured by our loudness but by the deepness of our conviction to do what is right” – how true are those two statements?! Excuse my rant & how far i take the last one because it especially rings true for me lately. I hear a lot of people talking badly of Christians. They’re saying that we’re “bible thumpers” & just shove God down their throat. I ask them to please not generalize because unfortunately, there are a lot of “bad” Christians out there who just like to point the finger rather than look at the plank in their eye BUT there’s TONS of amazing Christians out there trying to live life as God intended through example – thus it is not how loud you are but how you carry it out.

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