Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Lesson from the Green Guys

Many stories have that supporting character who 'steals the show' or becomes the hook for the popular audience. In Ice Age it's that little rat-squirrel [thing]. In Catching Fire it's that girl, Joanna, or the Capitol's host. Some stories have so many well-developed, multi-layered characters, that you can't choose a favorite. But when I say "Toy Story," you know exactly who I'm talking about. Probably even without the title of this post. The little green aliens, for better or for worse, become the fluff and sprinkles that color the movie posters--they're the ones that make your 4-year old nephew giggle and quote. As annoying as anyone thinks they are... they can teach us a valuable lesson. After being rescued from "the Claw" ("ooooooh"), they follow their redeemer to world's end echoing,

"You have saved our lives! We are eternally grateful!" 

They begin to worship Mr. Potato Head, revering him even more than his changeable-body can satisfy. And the worship continues on beyond the single movie. They are absolutely devoted, and remain so... eternally. The creators intended the aliens to be viewed as religious as noted in Woody's reaction to them when he first finds them, including calling them "Zealots." And yet our gratitude pales in comparison to these guys. You and I were so utterly gone and have been so magnificently returned, and yet we remain nowhere near as persistent as these guys in gratitude. We are recovering God-haters, and it takes persistent work to praise God for what he has done. We are not as grateful as we ought to be... in other words: we fall short (a.k.a. we sin). But there is grace for that too.

Today's post isn't an extended philosophical argument, nor theological diatribe... It's just a reminder of grace. It's a reminder that even being transferred into the kingdom of the Son of his love, we are bleeding out the kingdom of wickedness. His work isn't done yet. Be grateful for that. But one day it will be full and you will be perfect. Be grateful for that. And along the way, know that his grace is sufficient for you, even when you fail to be grateful.