Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Main Point: The purpose of our lives, right down to every detail, is to glorify God.
The Movie Clip:
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs was a funny animated movie from 2009. It centers on a young man named Flint Lockwood who is an inventor at heart. After years of creating gadgets that blow up in his face – literally – he finally discovers a way to create food using water and energy. Flint creates a gizmo that makes it actually rain down cheeseburgers, ice cream, and waffles. Of course, his invention is far from perfect, and when it is abused by the townspeople, it almost ends up destroying the island of Swallow Falls that he calls home.
Based on a book by the same name, there’s a 100% chance that Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs will make you laugh…and think. It’s rated PG for brief mild language.
Introducing the Movie Clip:
I want to show you the opening clip to a movie entitled Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. If you haven’t seen the movie, let me tell you, it takes place in a town that I’d love to live in. A young guy named Flint Lockwood invents a gadget that makes it rain food: pizza, cheeseburgers, ice cream, waffles, you name it! But before he was a successful inventor, he experienced the failures that most scientists undergo. Let’s watch this clip, taken from the start of the movie, that shows us how Flint started inventing from an early age.
Note: You’ll need to either rent or purchase this DVD and cue it up to the scene mentioned below.
Begin clip at 0 HOURS 0 MINUTES and 0 SECONDS
Since this is a lengthy clip, we’ll include a synopsis of the clip, instead of a verbatim dialogue.
The movie opens with a voice over by Flint. We’re introduced to him as a kid who sits in the back of the class. He shows off his invention of “spray-on” shoes, and after a brief “ooh and aaah” moment, the crowd laughs at him.
The scene then changes to his home, and we overhear a conversation between Flint and his mom. She listens as he tells her how everybody thinks he’s a weirdo, but then she encourages him to keep inventing, and gives him a professional lab coat (that’s about 6 sizes too big).
Then, we see Flint introduce us to one invention after another as he gets older. The one thing that all of his inventions have in common is that they fail. In addition to his dismal efforts at being an inventor, we hear the sad story of Swallow Falls, Flint’s hometown.
At the close of the clip, Flint tells us that he will not give up, but will try to give others hope through his inventions.
End clip at 0 HOUR 4 MINTUES and 40 SECONDS
To tell the truth, it looks like my dog has as much talent and ability for inventing as Flint does. But watching this little kid grow up believing he was supposed to be an inventor made me think an awful lot about our purpose in life. Flint thinks his purpose is to be an inventor. What’s yours? If you reflect on that question for a moment, you’ll probably give me an answer like “be a doctor,” “be a teacher,” or “be a mom.” I don’t want to mess with your head, but none of those answers are correct. It’s not your purpose in life to be a doctor, teacher, lawyer, or even a pastor! Nope. All of those answers fall short of your full purpose in life. Your full purpose in life is to glorify God. Let’s talk about that for the next few moments.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRLCE: As we get started, let’s all take a second to share our names and whether or not we’ve ever tried to invent something.
- ASK A FEW: What were some of the ways Flint tried to “make a dent” on his community of Swallow Falls?
- ASK A FEW: What kind of reputation did Flint get from people who saw his inventions and science experiments?
- ASK A FEW: Do you think that the desire to impact others or leave your mark is a common one? Why or why not?
- ASK A FEW: A moment ago, we were just told that our life’s purpose is to glorify God. How do you do that?
- ASK A FEW: What are some possible ways you can do that?
Read the following passage:
John 15:1-10 (NLT)
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned for greater fruitfulness by the message I have given you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful apart from me. 5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who parts from me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you stay joined to me and my words remain in you, you may ask any request you like, and it will be granted! 8 My true disciples produce much fruit. This brings great glory to my Father. 9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey me, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father and remain in his love.
Tonight we watched a clip from a movie that is a really accurate reflection of a lot of people’s lives. Like Flint, many people incorrectly think that their life’s purpose is caught up in their job, or position in life, or career. I know that because a lot of pastors think that, too! To tell the truth, there have been times that ALL of us have thought that.
But our job isn’t our purpose. Our family isn’t our purpose. Our wealth, health, fame, and hobbies aren’t our purpose! The purpose of our lives is to glorify God.
By the way, do you wanna guess what the purpose of our education is? Yep, to glorify God. Wanna guess what the purpose of our marriage is? You guessed it, glorifying God. Do you know what the purpose of our relationship with Jesus is? Yes, glorifying God.
So, whether or not we become an inventor like Flint, a politician, an astronaut, a doctor, or a teacher isn’t the main question we face in life. The main question we face in life is “How will we glorify God?” We might be president one day, but if we don’t glorify God it doesn’t matter what we do for a job. Likewise, we might be just a “regular Joe” but if our life is focused on glorifying God, that’s all that matters.
The really good news is that we don’t have to wait to become an adult to start fulfilling our purpose in life. We can glorify God right now. In fact, we should glorify God every single day of our lives in some way.
Let’s spend a few moments praying about how we can bring God glory in these coming hours and days. Let’s ask Him what He wants us to do for Him, how we can “bear fruit” for Him, and how we can glorify Him. (Do this in groups of 2-3 for about 5 minutes.)
If you’d like to talk more about how you can glorify God, or how you can know that you’re glorifying God, hang around and talk with us after we dismiss. We’d love to help you do this.
Close in Prayer
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.