The other night, my niece suggested that we all watch a movie called The Croods, not knowing much about it, we sat down on the couch, with pop corn all being snuggled up together. As we began to watch the movie, I began to jot down some notes on what the movie spoke not only to me, but maybe many of us as well.
Going without food-fasting: Being that the croods family, was a caveman based life style, they had to physically hunt for their food. They couldn’t simply go to a store a buy countless options of food as we can, not saying that that is bad thing. But that they had to earn what they ate, and sometimes that didn’t get to eat at all. In one scene, after they gathered food, there wasn’t any left for the father, so he simply says I ate last week. This to me was crucial, because we Americans are used to eating three plus times a day or more. So the Idea that we might be able to eat once a week, is scary to us. But the reality is we’d be just fine, going without food sixteen, twenty four or even seventy or longer. Isn’t going to kill us, in fact there is a lot of health benefits from fasting.
Mental Toughness: a long with the father not eating for a prolonged period time, I also noticed how mentally tough he was. He had to be to protect, lead, love and protect his family. The mom was pretty bad ass in her own right and exhibited a lot of the same attributes as the father did. In being mentally tough, he also was very self-sacrificing and made sure that his wife and kids were provided for first. In our own lives we all could be more mentally tough, we’re so used to comfort and having things as we want them. But even in letting in the slightest bit of discomfort in our lives, will only lead to more personal growth. After all, growth is found in the abyss of discomfort.
Discipline: The father was a man of discipline, teaching his kids that if they lived by the rules they will live. It may seem as though the father was only being rigid, but sometimes in order to have the best life it involves the narrow and disciplined path. In the Christian tradition, God says that if you follow my rules you will live. When Gods people followed the Lords command their lives were prospered one hundred fold. And when they didn’t, their lives were disordered and full of chaos. Discipline and leading on the narrow path can lead to the ultimate freedom and inner happiness. But.. There was a downside to how disciplined the father was, in his discipline and wanting to protect, love and lead his family. He was quite smothering, and didn’t let his kids have fun in the process. To let them be, to grow and discover who they are.
I myself am not a father yet, but if I am one day, I’m sure that there will be a very similar predicament in my life. Where there will be a desire to protect my children from danger, to not let anything or anyone hurt them. But eventually, I know that my grip will not have to be as taught. Yet here is an interesting concept, God is kind of the same way. Think about, he lets us make mistakes and even do things that do not please him (sin). It may grieve him, he may then discipline us, but it is a discipline that is filled with love. And he will always take us back.