Lessons From a Kid’s Matinée
I’m a bit of a movie buff and most any genre will do. I still remember when my wife and I went to our local theater to watch the children’s movie, The Smurfs 2. It was a matinée no less; we were by far the oldest people there.
I enjoyed the sequel, perhaps even more so than the first one. As a bonus, both stayed true to the original cartoon series, protecting the theme and characters, while smartly extending the storyline. Overall The Smurfs 2 provided us with some charming entertainment.
The movie, however, also had some over-the-top, slapstick scenes. The first time this happened, my wife and I snorted a bit and shook our heads with incredulity. “I can’t believe it,” she whispered. She groaned and rolled her eyes in disdain.
Had we been alone, I’d have surely done the same back to her, but before I could, the kid’s laugher overwhelmed me. Theirs wasn’t a pleasant chuckle or even a spontaneous giggle but a deep, unrestrained belly laugh that permeated the theater. Perhaps, it was the most hilarious thing they’d ever seen.
I couldn’t help myself. I laughed, too. Yes, the scene was stupid (by my standards), but the kids delighted in its excessive, exaggerated buffoonery. They we tended to hold back emotion and restrain ourselves, but I delighted in them.
Similar scenes followed. I laughed aloud. Not that it was funny, but I enjoyed it simply because they enjoyed it. Their laughter became my laughter; their glee produced my glee.
As we grow older, we risk becoming jaded, cynical, and hard to impress. We tend to hold back emotion and restrain ourselves. These kids reminded me just how foolish that is.
May that part of me never grow up. May I always delight in seeing life through the eyes of a child.
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Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.