Growing up, my favorite movie was easily Robin Hood. I could’ve watched Disney’s Robin Hood on repeat. In fact, many times, I did. I remember the little squiggles on the TV screen as I hit rewind on my VCR so I could watch the adventures– and love story– of two foxes and their friends. I adored the element of danger in Robin Hood standing up to the government, the excitement as Maid Marion and Robin Hood fell in love again, and the sweet children and people of the town who rooted for Robin Hood and his love the whole time.
So, when this beloved classic became available on Netflix, I knew Zach just had to watch it! I was certain he’d love it… after all, he loves animals and music, and Disney’s Robin Hood had both. It was sure to be a classic we’d both love… right?
Wrong. I’d turn it on, and within 30 seconds, Zach would exclaim “No! No no no!” and turn it to something mindless like Pingu. Again. For the millionth time. I’d let him watch his show, of course, but then, next time, I’d direct him right back to Robin Hood, turning it on, letting the first whistles on the minstrel ring out, and once again, I’d be greeted with the resistant “No!” from Zach.
Why couldn’t he watch the movie? Maybe I didn’t get him far enough into it… I’d try next time starting it in the middle, or someplace exciting, and let him see the cute, fuzzy little animals singing and dancing along.
And each and every time… “No.” No matter what I tried, “No.” Eventually, I resigned myself to the idea that Zach was never going to watch Robin Hood, and that my life would be filled with endless sounds of “Nook nook!” and gibberish as his eyes glazed over during Pingu.
Then, two days later, I handed Zach the Kindle before nap. I went to get drinks and a snack for him, and returned. I said “What are you watching, sweetie?” “Hood!” I glanced down, and to my surprise, Robin Hood was playing on the Kindle. He watched it, and watched and watched and watched it. For about 3 days straight, everything was Robin Hood.
I kind of feel like this applies to my faith journey sometimes. I feel like sometimes God puts something in front of me and says “Here. Read this Bible.” I inspect the cover, then set it aside… “Not now, God. I’m reading Divergent, and it’s at a really good part.” “Here, Jenni. The Bible.” “Not now, God. I just got this great book on my Kindle!”
“Jenni. Why not listen to this great song?” “Um, yeah, that’s great… but I’m really into listening to Lorde right now. It’s super catchy.” “But Jenni, praise my name with singing!” “Yeah, but, God… Tennis Court. It’s a fun song.”
While obviously, I don’t think God is pushing every praise song and Bible verse at me on a regular basis, I do think that sometimes, I’m ignoring God’s wants because I’m really in to something else. It’s like giving up Robin Hood for Pingu. What he’s offering is probably really great, and I’d likely love it, but I’m too busy stuck in my rut of what I know I like to give in and listen to what he’s trying to get me to watch, listen to, and do.
In many ways, Salvation is just like that. I’ve seen so many people, myself included, in the past, blatantly ignore the salvation God was offering, that promise of life everlasting, not because they didn’t want it, but because they were fixing their eyes on something else instead of God. I feel like, as a culture, we get so wrapped up in what’s right in front of us, whether it’s marathoning Breaking Bad on Netflix, or reading the latest and greatest from James Patterson, that we’re neglecting to notice what God has right in front of us. As a culture, we’re forgetting to sit down and get lost in the Word, forgetting to listen to a new praise song, or pay attention in church. We’re tapping our toes to Get Lucky by Daft Punk, but just barely mumbling out the words to the songs the praise team is singing in church.
Basically, we’re turning down a great classic Disney film, and choosing some weird, gibberish-speaking penguin… except on a much more important scale with far greater benefits and consequences.
I think that, even though Robin Hood is completely insignificant when it comes to something major like Salvation, little things like this serve as a reminder. It’s not Zach saying “No! No no no!”
It’s me. I’m saying it. I’m turning down that time I could be spending with God, enjoying something so much more amazing than I can comprehend. And it’s time for me to decide, just like Zach did when I left the room, to start paying attention to the great things right in front of me.
Do any little every-day life things make you think about your relationship with God? I’d love to hear more about it in the comments below.