One of the fun outings I had with four of my grands over the Thanksgiving holiday was seeing the film, Frozen 2. We settled in our reclining seats, passed popcorn, and as the film opened, I anticipated shades of blue, splashes of glitter, and a beautiful heroine. The animation delivered, but I didn’t expect to get life messages from a fantasy film designed for children. For me, (and my grands on the ride home), our late morning at the movies turned out to be more than following Elsa the Snow Queen and her sister Anna on an adventure. I’m sure I was the only movie-goer taking notes on my phone, but after the first nugget, I couldn’t resist. As the story unfolded, Elsa, Anna, and Olaf, reminded me:
Days are precious. Don’t let them slip away. We can’t make more time, but we can use it well for what matters most. We can carve out time for people, not only during the Christmas season, but every day. Where do people fall on our “To Do” list?
Technology may be advancement, but can it be our doom? (Olaf). Relationships last longer than the next version of the must have toy. The people in our presence deserve our attention rather than the text, game, or mail on our screen. Doug Smith explores the hazards of screen time in his book UnIntentional. Can we develop the discipline of putting away electronics to spend time with people?
Count your blessings. Don’t take anything for granted. Does this year look like last year? Is someone or something missing? Who is in your circle today?
Hold on tight: Embrace the present, don’t dwell on the past or waste the present thinking about the future. Even if days appear routine and if our Christmas dinner table doesn’t compare to a magazine cover, don’t take good things–and “normal” things for granted. Mary Jean Irion speaks to this in her essay entitled Normal Day. “Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day, I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.”
Control what you can when things get out of control. The holiday season brings heightened emotions, unmet expectations, and some disappointments. We can’t control circumstances and others, but I can control myself and my responses. You’re not responsible for others’ choices. (Anna)
When you don’t see the future you do the next right thing. (Anna) Christmas should shout good tidings of great joy, peace on earth and goodwill to all men but we know relationships are not always harmonious. In challenges and dilemmas, we can do the next right thing.
When you’re older, things make sense. (Olaf) As we age, we have the benefit of hindsight, wisdom, and experience and we begin to recognize what and who is important.
Love is permanent. (Olaf) 1 Corinthians 13 is often called the “love chapter”. Love never fails.
Hidden agendas with schemes serve no one. Elsa’s grandfather had an ulterior motive in his gesture to build a dam. It proved costly and deadly. Live authentically without comparison or competition.
Walls can be broken down and we can be connected by love. Love came down from heaven. Emmanuel-God with us.
We never know what we can learn from the movies. I expected a treat with grandchildren, and it was, but I came away with opportunities for reflections. Which of these resonate with you?