I’ve been spending a lot of time watching Highway to Heaven for the past couple of months. I’m not a particularly religious person but the show offers some strong messages that I think are valuable and we need to hear.
There was an episode featuring Leslie Nielsen, best known for his work in The Naked Gun film series, who played a really awful rich gentleman. The episode seemed to be inspired by Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
Early in the episode, Michael Landon’s character reveals himself to Leslie Nielsen’s character as an angel, having tried other ways to get him to see that how he was living his life was not good at all. Upon revealing himself, this is what the angel said:
“We all have to choose what kind of life we lead and ultimately we’re responsible for the choices we make. You’ve made some very bad choices in your life. But there’s still time. It’s up to you the way you use it… your responsibility.” — Jonathan Smith, Highway to Heaven, The Gift of Life
Of course, Leslie Nielsen’s character winds up changing and does get his happily ever after. A lot of minor characters and even off-screen characters also appear to get a happily ever after due to the changes he makes.
All of this got me thinking: even if we haven’t made bad choices in our lives, we all have to choose what kind of life we lead and are ultimately responsible for the choices we make. But there is still time to make better choices. There is still time to live better.
And what’s more, if we choose to do that then the impact it has may be wider than we think, and could reach people that we never imagined.