Saturday, July 16, 2005
In a bid to beat the heat (did I mention our air conditioner is on the fritz and the temperatures here are well over 100...), we packed up the troops and went to see the new Tim Burton version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

We had a good time. Visually, the movie is a delight. The Oopma Loompas and their musical numbers (with lyrics straight from the book) were laugh out loud funny. The portrayals of the "haves" and "have nots" of modern society and the themes of the importance of family and restoration were excellent. My only legitimate criticism of the film was that I found the Johnny Depp/Willy Wonka character a little on the creepy side.

From a more personal (and less critically legitimate) standpoint, I can't help thinking that maybe I set myself up to be mildly disappointed by the movie experience. I spent the week re-reading the book to my five-year old. My older children also re-read the book (possibly more than once each!) and occasionally joined in the read aloud. We were all in agreement. As much as we enjoyed Mr. Burton's interpretation of Mr. Dahl's words (and also enjoyed the earlier movie version of the book), nothing compares to reading those words yourself.

It saddens me that I live (and raise children) in a world where we rely so heavily on the interpretations of others. We look to TV and movies to give us interpretations of books. We look to books to give us simplifications of other books (Cliff notes or abridged versions, anyone?). We get our news in soundbites and bullet points. All this because we either lack the time (or aren't willing to make the time) to deeply experience and process these things for ourselves. When I make these choices, I'm cheating myself (and sometimes my children as well).

What I find more grievous in my own life is when I take the same tactic spiritually. I've often found myself relying on sermons and books about the Word, rather than taking the time to experience the Word myself. While both sermons and Christian books are good things, unless I'm grounded in the Word, I'm not only cheating myself out of the richness of experience that the Lord has for me, I'm setting myself up to be caught up in the vain and foolish philosophies of the world that twist the Word and snare the undiscerning.

Lord, help me to always be in love with the Word as your Spirit impresses my heart, not as others interpret it for me. Help the richness of richness of reading your words forever "spoil" for me the dim shadow of eternity that this world is and keep me hungry for the reality of eternity with you.

  posted at 9:48 AM  

At 12:56 PM, Blogger Sally said...

Beautiful reminder, Heather! That's what I so loved about CBS...whatever will I do now?

At 11:58 AM, Blogger Eutychus said...

You are so right about the Word. The shame is in the neglect of the Word that we allow to creep in to our lives. Thanks for the observation. Milt


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