I should write about something serious. I should be musing about profound matters of theology and social justice. I should…but…but…
I am thinking about troll dolls.
You remember troll dolls right? Of course you do. Everyone remembers them now. They just made a movie about the little creatures with the outrageous hair. The leading roles were played by Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick. It made a whole lot of money.
I never played with troll dolls, but my sister did. She had more than I could count. There is a significant chance she still has them tucked away in storage somewhere. My family doesn’t get rid of much.
They were silly little toys. They didn’t do anything, but for some reason people loved them. The movie is equally silly and surreal, though per standard children’s movie mores it has a redeeming message. A message punctuated by Justin Timberlake singing Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors”during the films emotional climax. It plays well. Because Cyndi Lauper and the 1980s always work.
So, what does this have to do with Christianity? Maybe nothing. I mean, I’m sure I could torture out some exegesis, tying the movie’s plot to substitutionary atonement or theories of the trinity. I could, but I’m not going to bother. Well, not exactly anyway.
My family saw the movie about a month ago. We all loved it. We got the soundtrack and sing along like lunatics. My daughter has toys from the movie. In strict confidence, I entertain myself playing with them too.
It’s fun. It makes me smile and it gives my kids the giggles.
After one particularly difficult day, I found myself sitting on the bed with my kids, singing along with the soundtrack while my daughter jumped on the bed. My son entered the room and before long we were all goofing around.
Bed time was put on pause while we played.
Sometimes, that is enough. In a world of endless trouble, a simple moment of joy can be enough.
Jesus told us to consider the lilies of the field and the birds. They don’t worry. They simply bask in the wonder of creation, in the light of their creator. They know they are taken care of. No fancy philosophy. No need for a seminary degree. Just joy.
Bad news will always be with us. There will always be another battle to fight. We should dedicate our lives to fighting those battles, but we need to make time to smile, to enjoy being alive.
Even the teacher in Ecclesiastes says that there is a time to laugh, and this comes from the book of the Bible most loaded with existential despair.
Find your laughter. Embrace joy. No matter where you are.
It may not be troll dolls. Or comic books. Or bottles of Yoohoo chocolate drink (assuming you are crazy) but there is something.
Find it and embrace it.
In spite of it all, the world is an amazing place.