15 July 2009


2 Corinthians 11:3

But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

Last night, on a night when we normally have a family bible study, or a one on one study with the kids, I decided a change of pace was in order. I talked it over with my wife, and off we went to a 6:40 PM showing of the animated movie UP. Long story short, it was wonderful. Go see the movie. In the mean time, here's my experience.

I went into the movie just glad to have a weeknight open enough to be able to go. Usually, between study time for the mid-week and Sunday teachings, board meetings, general meetings, and the midweek bible study itself, there is not much time left to do anything. Last night was a wonderful and rare exception to have free time. We to the theater, and after figuring out that the Fandango kiosk was not working, and listening to the next guy cuss at the machine because it does not dispense cash (it's a FANDANGO kiosk, not a teller machine…) we got into the show, picked up our obligatory popcorn and "sodie-pop", and off we went into the theater.

The theater is for the most part empty save for us. My wife sits down beside me and gave me a smile. The kids all sat off to her right and we began the feast of popcorn gluttony. As the movie wore on, so did our tired bones. The older you get, the more difficult it is getting comfortable in these theaters. Your knees and hips do not move and shift like they used to, so relaxing ends up being more work than it should, and the attempt at relaxing only seeks to increase your heart rate and stress. Probably not a bad idea though, having an increased heart rate considering we just added 6 lbs and an inch of popcorn and Coke to your waistline!

The movie captivated us though. It was an incredible love story, albeit between cartoon characters, but it was touching and moving. As I have already shared with some, I was crying elephant tears in no time at the death of a cartoon character I had only been introduced to 10 minutes prior. For those of you who have not seen the movie, I'll leave out who actually passes away. Wiping my tears away, I looked to my wife's right side, and there are all three kids. Immediately, I was seeing all of them as toddlers once again. Faces buried in the popcorn buckets (yes, plural…), and cheeks sunken in like the bitter-beer-faced man from commercials years back while trying to get the last drop of Coke from the bottom of the 6 gallon cup. In spite of the feasting, tears were forming in their eyes as well. We laughed, cried, wiggled and sneered at the movie screen for the next two hours.

I could barely take my eyes off the kids, and my thoughts could not be moved. The movie was awesome, but life was so much better.

I have a loving wife who (after we settled on the fact that we were not going to get our knees to bend the way we wanted in order to reach a youthful level of comfort) cuddled in beside me as we raised the folding arm between the seats that separated us like we had just met. She was so warm, and smelled so nice!

I watched as the body of a thirteen year old showed the loving heart of a small boy. Army BDU cap and all. I know he'd just as well be outside jumping his bike, or flying an airplane (which he has done), or protecting his sister like the big brother he is. But I also know that, in spite of the fact that he knows he's growing up, that he still likes being a kid, teddy bears and all.

I watched a budding young woman - that I really came to know how much I really loved the day her brother flattened in her nose, because he had run into her with his tricycle and parked it, pedal down on her face, while he was still riding it with a totaling unknowing grin on his face – who was obviously understanding the depth of love between the characters, sit and stare. I was wondering what she was wondering, and yet knowing that cannot wait until she herself is a mother so that she can love in the same manner.

I also saw another young boy. The youngest of them all. I know he was able to weasel a few bucks out of mom on his way out to the restrooms, because he was chewing on a few Sour-Patch kids. I also knew that he did not have to beg very hard, because they are Momma's favorites too. He's harder to read emotionally. Yeah, he wears his emotions on his sleeve, but what's really going on in there? He tries so hard to please his parents, but makes mistakes long the way like we all have. What I felt as I watched him, was that he was my last child. They'll be no more. I just wanted to pick him up and squeeze him right then and there, and make sure he know how much I loved and appreciated him.

With that all said, life is, or at least can be so darn busy that the simple things in life get lost, and missed. Trying too hard to please, rather than trying even harder to raise a family in the way that it should go makes it easy to fall victim to the ways of the world, and to the world's version of how to raise a family. I just spent $300.00 on a fuel pump, the brakes need replaced in the Suburban that hauls all my dearest loved ones around, bills are due, and I'm broke. But I will not fall victim to the craftiness of the world. Our home will continue to be a one income home so that my wife can be ever devoted to the gifts that God has given us in our children. Right where she, and every mother belongs. I will work hard to see that the corruption of the world, which comes along as easy fixes to problems that are better solved by longsuffering love and faith in Christ and His deliverance, does not seek its way into our home.

I thank God for His love and grace, and for the family that He has gifted to me. I am THE most blessed man alive.