by Annette Bridges. © 2008. All rights reserved.

I married my sweetheart the year “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark” hit the movie screen. And my honey and I were at its premiere! And yes — our anticipation is high for the next movie! We didn’t need to see a movie trailer to whet our appetites for a new fix of Indiana Jones.I’ve read that George Lucas is worried that it will be impossible to satisfy hardcore fans. All I can say to Mr. Lucas is, “Don’t worry about that! It will be impossible to NOT satisfy me!”

I’ve been asking myself today just what is it about Indiana Jones that I long for and can’t get enough of. As I was trying to find my own words, I thought it would be fun to ask a few friends what it is about Indiana Jones that appeals to them. Within five minutes of sending out my email inquiry, I received over a dozen replies. Here’s a sampling:

“Indiana Jones embodies what everybody secretly wants to be: A world adventurer who’s fearless, courageous, smart and indefatigable. (He gets the beautiful girl too!)”

“They’re enjoyable on a very fantastic level. Incredible stunts. Some humor…I think there’s a certain element of — Now THAT’S a movie!”

“Besides all the obvious sexual heat that simply radiates off the man, I believe the most appealing side of Indiana is about the quest. He is a seeker of truth, always looking for what has yet to be found. This attribute is fascinating, and is perhaps the reason for anyone desiring to be an archeologist in the last 20 years. There’s something about the quest for truth and enlightenment, understanding our past and our purpose in the present and potential for the future.”

“No matter what happens, he still keeps trying.”

“He takes risks and in the end they always pay off.”

“I like Indiana Jones movies because there’s a lot of action in all of them. I also like the way he talks.” (Me, too!)

“Adventure — a time to escape to a different world — wouldn’t it be fun to do that? I’d be scared but I’d love it! No snakes please. Handsome hero.”

“Fantasy of the highest order. He is an academician that sheds his skin and changes into a world-class soldier of fortune that perseveres in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds and does it for the greater good. He is what we would all like to think we could be.”

“Why do I watch Indiana Jones movies? I love his dauntless courage, his sense of adventure and his persistence despite the odds. Aren’t those qualities in all of us often just waiting to be discovered?”

All these folks took the words right out of my mouth! I also like how Mr. Lucas describes Indiana: “He’s just an average Joe who’s always in over his head and somehow seems to get through it.”

One could say — he may not win every battle, but he does always win the war. That’s encouraging! And it certainly seems true that with Indy, you can’t keep a good man down. Glad to know that! I for one love his make-it-up-as-he-goes-along style. So yes, he makes mistakes. Who doesn’t? But he is a real guy, an every man’s hero. Somehow this makes his quest to preserve knowledge, protect the weak, and fight tyranny and evil plausible and possible. Also encouraging!

And who can forget his quotable quips, such as “It’s not the years, honey, but the mileage.” My husband liked that one!

For me, Indiana Jones is one of the most admirable role models in cinematic history. Oh I know — it’s only a movie. But why not watch a movie whose hero encourages and inspires while he excites and thrills? I walk out from watching an Indiana movie ready to take on, meet and master whatever obstacle or hurdle is trying to thwart my progress or block my path. And somehow, I am confident that I will succeed!

Courage, confidence, persistence, expectation are powerful allies when we face any foe, and these qualities strengthen our faith and trust in the power of God, good, to win the day. There is no mountain too steep. No evil too strong. And my friend is right. These qualities are within each of us waiting to be discovered. God gives each of us exactly what we need when we need it. So we, like Indiana, can be undaunted, unstoppable and victorious.

So as I sit here and anticipate the next Indiana Jones saga, I can’t help but sigh and say — in the words of Marian Ravenwood from Indiana’s first movie — “Indiana Jones. I always knew someday you’d come walking back through my door.”