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One of my favorite movies is the German film from Tom Tykwer, “Run Lola Run,” released in 1998. Almost a music video, the film invites us into a certain 20 minutes in the lives of the main characters, Lola and her boyfriend, Manni.
The plot is laid out at the beginning of the film. Manni has gotten mixed up in some unlawful dealings, and, after losing a bag of money he was to deliver to a ringleader, he is terrified he will be killed. He needs the 100,000 marks he owes in 20 minutes and, in desperation, calls Lola to come and help him. Lola tries to calm Manni and promises that she is coming – hold on, wait for her, don’t do anything drastic, she will be there, just hold on. Then she bolts out of her apartment and runs as fast as she is able across the city to get to Manni before his time is up. We watch Lola’s 20 minute run against the clock play out three times in the movie, and we witness how a second’s misstep has far-reaching consequences for all with whom she comes in contact. It’s thrilling.
For all its merits, what really made this film so dear to me is more than its play on time and chance. I love the film for its very simple underlying premise: Manni needed Lola and asks Lola to come and help him, and Lola loved him so unconditionally, she is driven to run to him with all her might.
We live in a world of anxiety, fears, and heavy loads. Sometimes we feel like we are continually struggling; sometimes we make choices we shouldn’t; sometimes we love so imperfectly. But like Lola, Christ is waiting for our call, and with his deep and abiding unconditional love, he promises us that he will come when we ask, every second, every minute, every hour of every day, always.
Prayer: Come to me, Lord Jesus. Amen.