Inner Desires (1)

The Mask movie poster

“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. 18 But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.” Galatians 5:16-18

The above verse relates to me because I carry two contrary desires: I strive to honor and praise God, but I crave physical pleasures too. I find this movie applies to everyone because we carry ambitions that bring us pleasure and contentment. We crave comfort, but dislike pain and uncertainty. Not only does this film address behaving according to our innermost desires, it is comical for it is meant to elicit laughter. Although exaggerated (I think that’s the point), the main character’s emotions are heightened to illustrate expressing them.

Our desires compel us to do things we wish to see done, but, when repressed, it gnaws us until we act them out–with good or bad results. Jim Carrey plays nice, yet lovelorn and meek, bank clerk Stanley Ipkiss in the 1994 film The Mask. Non-confrontational, he succumbs to authority without protest. One night, after his car stalls on a bridge, Stanley discovers a wooden mask near the city’s harbor. When he wears the mask, he is transformed into a green-faced trickster known as “The Mask” who is uninhibited by anything, including physical reality. He learns that his innermost desires emerge whenever he wears the mask.

He explains the power of the Mask to Tina Carlyle (Cameron Diaz) when he is in jail: “It’s like it brings your innermost desires to life. If deep down you’re a little repressed, and a hopeless romantic, you become some kind of love-crazy wild man.” This movie and, this specific quote, speaks to me as I hold desires I wish to see fulfilled, but deep down, I fear they will not occur. Low self-confidence leads me to doubt myself in solving problems and forming decisions. Coupled with this, feeling self-confident in asking a girl out on a date is weak. Stanley struggles with expressing himself openly to Tina Carlyle because of his nice-guy persona. He wants to ask her out, but is too timid to do so. Plus—unfortunate for Stanley–she has a boyfriend.

Several instances occurred in my life where I wished to be a girl’s boyfriend because her physical attributes–hair, smile, and skin complexion–captivated me. Going on a date was one daunting task to achieve, dancing with her was another thing. This scene exemplifies behaving in a way with no inhibitions; namely, dancing with a coveted woman:


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