The Purpose of Life
The Purpose of Life Website Ministry
Here's the original 1989 theatrical trailer for Field of Dreams
I love baseball - ever since my Uncle Terry, who'd moved to Toronto, Canada, introduced me to the game when I was about 11 years old. I even got to play for a UK team in about 1991-92 called the Bristol Black Sox. It was good fun - especially as we won the league championship that season! I don't follow the sport now like I used to, but it will always have a special place in my heart.

I also love the things of the spirit, as this website testifies - and the movie
Field of Dreams (1989) brings both of these loves of mine together in a wonderful way. Apart from the main theme of baseball and childhood memories, for me this film is full of the things of the spirit!

I have to say, Americans do nostalgia very well and this is a good example - a real piece of American pie. The film is based on a novel entitled
Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella, with the story having connections with the Chicago 'Black Sox' scandal of 1919.

Warning: Spoiler Follows!
The way that Ray responds in faith to the voice and the visions, is very similar to the walk of the Spirit. He is led to various places and people for specific reasons by divine appointment, which is all part of a greater purpose and plan. He continues to be faithful, a step at a time, against all the odds, even though he still doesn't know the real reason for it all.

What he doesn't realise is that '
If you build it, he will come' is referring to his father, who appears at the end. In fact all of it was for Ray himself, because in the past he had fallen out with his now deceased father, and they hadn't been able to reconcile before his death.

The concluding scenes are very moving, especially for those who have lost loved ones. The thought of reconciliation with family and friends is truly 'heaven' - especially for those who had become distant. The inmost desires of our hearts are for love, peace and joy, surrounded by loved ones in perfection - this is 'heaven', and these desires have been planted there by our heavenly Father. Even those who have experienced abuse or neglect by their parents still wish it had been different - because deep in our hearts, all long for real love and acceptance. (The theme of the movie
Frequency starring Dennis Quaid is also along similar lines).
This guy, Ray Kinsella (played by Kevin Costner), is a farmer in Iowa, with a wife and daughter. One day he hears a voice whispering to him out in his cornfields, saying 'If you build it, he will come'. He later sees a vision as well, of a baseball field on his ground. He eventually understands that he has to build a baseball field on part of his cornfield, believing that 'Shoeless Joe Jackson' (a famous dead ball-player) will come and play there!

All the locals think he's crazy, as does his wife, but she still supports him. After the baseball field is built, months pass with no sign of anything else happening. But just as they think that they'll have to destroy the field, to grow more crops to survive in business, 'Shoeless Joe' (played by Ray Liotta) turns up, and he eventually brings along some others too - the infamous eight men!

Then just when Ray thinks he's fulfilled his vision, he hears the voice again saying '
Ease his pain'. Then due to some dreams that he and his wife have, he hits the road to look for Terence Mann. Then during a baseball game, where he knew he had to be, he receives another message 'Go the distance', with a vision on the scoreboard. This leads them to someone else and so on. By the way, acting legend Burt Lancaster guest stars as an actual historical figure called Archibald 'Moonlight' Graham, and apparently this was his last film role.

What I find fascinating in this movie is the interaction with another dimension (even though they're all supposed to be dead!), where certain characters appear and disappear - and are also invisible to some people. This includes dreams and visions as well, where all time becomes the present.
Earlier in the story, Ray and his wife had received another message through their daughter and Mr Mann, that 'People will come'. So at the end of the film, the jackpot is that hundreds of people are coming to pay and see the field, reminiscing about the good times in their past. So Ray goes from bankruptcy to a worthwhile, profitable business. So he gets doubly blessed for his obedience and faith!

As a final thought, there's a part in the film where 'Shoeless Joe' invites Terence Mann to go with the 'spirits' into the other world, located in the cornfield at the outfield boundary. Ray protests, because he wants to go too. But Joe says '
You're not invited'! The one who had built the field and heard the voices couldn't go! Doesn't that seem a little unfair? Yet there was something better for him personally by staying behind for a time!

I believe that God has a glorious plan for His creation. Some are invited to play an integral part in the unfolding of this plan, being chosen for specific tasks along the way, while others decide to reject the invitation altogether. Nevertheless, all has its place and purpose within the bigger picture. Ultimately, I believe that we all have a part to play in this grand drama of life, some for noble purposes and some for ignoble. What part will you play?