main idea: Your profession doesn’t define you; your character and desires do.

In this movie, Ralph (the villain in the video game called “Fix It Felix”) doesn’t want to be the bad guy anymore. He goes away from his game to find the object that he believes will bring him happiness: a Hero’s Medal. However, through a series of unforeseen events, he ends up in the “Sugar Rush” video game where the cy-bugs from the “Hero of Duty” video game has invaded and threaten to take over. In that moment of epiphany, he realizes that it’s not his profession (i.e. the bad guy of a video game) that defines him; it’s his character and desire (in this case, to save his friend Vanellope even at the cost of his own life) that defines who he really is.

In our world right now, we see “vocation” as being our primary identity. Many times, when you are first introduced to someone, the 3rd or 4th question is “So what do you do for a living?” That answer provides a series of connotations and perhaps stereotypes into who others believe you are. Yet our jobs don’t define us. Yes, they are a part of who we are, but ultimately, our identity goes beyond just what we do for a career, but who we fundamentally are inside. As a Christian, that identity lands foundationally on who Jesus claims we are.

As a side note, this movie also addressed, to some extent, the issue of bullying. I wonder how many times bullies identify themselves by the public perception, yet have this desire to be “redefined” (and yet can’t find a way to do so). They act in ways that have only been their way of life. Ralph at times looks like a bully. He pushes his way to get what he wants (as distorted as that may be). It’s not until he understands where he went wrong that he shifts his resources (in this case, his strength) towards a more noble goal than before. Unless we are willing to invest in bullies to move them towards a redefined way of life with the same energies we seek to assist victims, the issue of bullying may never be solved.