“Let the wild rumpus begin!”…
Sound familiar? If so, you’re one of the kajillion kids in the world who have read or had read to them Maurice Sendak’s über-classic Where the Wild Things Are. Since 1963, this simple 300+ word book has captured the imagination of millions and opened the doorway to weird and even untamed dreams.
And now, as a result of Spike Jonze, $80 million bucks, and a boatload of animatronic creatures, our little bedtime book has grown up and the wild rumpus lives on the silver screen.
I wondered when I saw the previews how one could take 10 sentences and balloon them into a 100-minute film, but that’s exactly what Jonze has accomplished. He essentially tries to answer all the questions that were birthed in the mind of the reader. For example, what was the source of Max’s anger? Take your typical dysfunctional home and the cruelty of the world and Presto! Unruly wild child. Or how about the wild things? Don’t they have more to say than “Oh please don’t go, we’ll eat you up, we love you so”? Yep, in the movie we learn probably more than we wanted to about Muppets on steroids…but that’s how Spike rolls.
We also learn that life can be tough. Or did you need to learn that? Haven’t we all felt like Max at some point? Like life is not fair, people are mean, and wouldn’t it be nice to just escape to a place where we can let out our dark emotions and be the king?
Besides the “wild rumpus” (by the way, I don’t know what a “rumpus” is, but it sounds fun), I think my favorite part of the story is when Max decides not to let his anger keep him from those who love him. He realizes that he wants to be “where someone loved him best of all.” Oh and I also like that his dinner is still hot.
Have you found the place where someone loves you best of all? And how would you know if you had? For me, I’d know that someone loved me best of all because He would rather die than live without me.
That’s exactly how God showed how much He loved us: by having Christ die for us, even though we were sinful.
But there is more! Now that God has accepted us because Christ sacrificed his life's blood, we will also be kept safe from God's anger. Even when we were God's enemies, he made peace with us, because his Son died for us. Yet something even greater than friendship is ours. Now that we are at peace with God, we will be saved by his Son's life. And in addition to everything else, we are happy because God sent our Lord Jesus Christ to make peace with us (Romans 5:8-11, CEV).
The One who loves you best of all is the God who knows you best of all. He created you and wants a forever relationship that is the basis for a life of peace and acceptance. That’s why Jesus left His home in heaven and gave His life for the wild things (us) on planet earth!
Maybe you’re in a Max phase right now? You’d rather be a million miles from your home and family in a place where you’re king of all you can see, but I’m telling you that there’s a better alternative. Actually, don’t listen to me. Hear the invitation from Jesus that is meant for you today:
Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends (Revelation 3:20, NLT).
The knock you hear on the door of your heart is made by the hand of Jesus Christ. His desire is to come into your life and trade your anger for peace, your depression for joy, and your loneliness for friendship. He wants to meet the needs you have that cannot be met by any human relationship.
And keep in mind that you are not alone. Your friends are feeling the same things that you are, which is why you can’t keep the news about Who loves them best of all a secret. Let them know that Jesus chose death on a cross over living in eternity without them, and by trusting Him for salvation, He’ll come into their lives and they’ll “share a meal together as friends” with the King who really does reign over everything.
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
This week, ask your friends about the movie Where the Wild Things Are and pray for an opportunity to talk to them about the Person who loves them best of all. Use the themes of the movie that revolve around loneliness, anger, and tie it in with the fact that Jesus chose to die for us rather than live without us.
Accelerant: Feed the Fire
The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying:
"I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with loving-kindness (Jeremiah 31:3).
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:37-39).
Lane Palmer serves as a writer for Dare 2 Share Ministries (D2S) in Arvada, Colorado, a ministry committed to energizing and equipping teenagers to know, live, share and own their faith in Jesus. For more information about D2S, please visit www.dare2share.org.