Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Great Stories

There were no barbecues here this weekend. We were the sick house.

We had a little boy with a very high fever who wasn't at all inclined to rest. He saw no reason why he shouldn't get to go swimming or run through the house terrorizing his little brother.

So in an effort to get him to take it easy, we watched quite a few movies. Recently some of our neighbors brought over a large box of movies they were getting rid of. So we had a lot to chose from.

We didn't have to twist anyone's arm to lay down for a movie. Who doesn't love a good story?

But right about the time Dumbo's troubles were floating away thanks to a bottle of alcohol, I had to question the messages we were allowing into our living room.

I'm not one of those people who thinks that all movies are evil or who has anything against Disney, but seriously, is The Happy Little Toaster Who Went to the Moon really the very best we have to offer the next generation or world-changers?

I know they're not all bad or low-quality, but among the other previews, there was an animated movie about a young girl, "a witch in training and her quest for independence..." (because, really, what could boring old parents possibly have to offer a nine-year-old?) and of course, Ariel the mermaid, who runs away from her father and gives away something valuable about herself to get a boy's attention (a great message for little girls).

I personally love a good movie, and I really like some that are out there for my kids, but I do have to take issue with the idea that confronts me everywhere I turn: that these are the greatest stories for kids and mine are seriously missing out if they don't know who all the popular characters are.

We don't only tell Bible stories around here, but we do consider them the best stories. Many would consider them boring and out-of-date, but that, in my opinion, is because they don't actually read (or hear) them.

My kids love the story of the little girl who is taken captive by an enemy army and then leads the commander of that army to be healed by her God and worship him.

Or the story of the baby who was rescued and hidden until he was made king when he was only six years old.

Or the starving widow and her little boy who give their last bit of food to a prophet who asks for it, and then find that their food miraculously never runs out.

They love the one about the contest between the one prophet of God and the 450 prophets of Baal to see which god will answer with fire from heaven and, not surprisingly, they have never forgotten the one about the wicked king who's bowels fall out (I probably shouldn't have told them that one...)

And they never, ever get tired of hearing the one about the enormous Philistine warrior who roars at the young man - the only man - who showed up to fight him, "Am I a dog that you come to fight me with sticks and stones?"

And when it gets to the part of the young man's bold reply, they often say the words with me: "You come against me with the sword and the spear, but I come against you in the Name of the Lord. This day, He will give me victory over you and all the earth will know there is a God in Israel!"

And then he kills the giant with a simple sling, putting courage back into an entire army and inspiring them to victory.

That is the stuff of the truly great stories.

*Note: Above -mentioned stories can be found in 2 Kings 5, 2 Kings 11, 1 Kings 17, 1 Kings 18, 2 Chronicles 21, and 1 Samuel 17


Kristi said...

I love this post! Well said!!!

godgoggles said...

You are amazing! I sit w/ my laptop reading your updates while Matt is watching news and laugh til I cry...then he reads and laughs too! Truly inspiring! :D

debby94 said...

Awesome & I agree with you.