Someone asked me the this week, “What do you mean ‘you listened’ to some movies last week?” And a good question indeed. Most people watch movies, but when you’re driving a mini-van home from a mission trip (if it was a volvo, I might have actually felt safer watching a few more scenes), you listen to them while the people in the back seats actually watch them.
We had the privilege of watching the classic film Billy Madison on the way back from MS. One scene hit me particularly hard. Ms. Vaughn (Bridgette Wilson-Billy’s recent 3rd grade teacher) told Billy (Adam Sandler), “It doesn’t feel so good to be called a loser. Perhaps you’ll be nicer to those whom you called loser when you were in high school.” In the movie he immediately calls up Danny McGraf (Steve Buscemi) and apologizes for the things he said 10 years ago. It moved Danny so much that he erased Billy’s name from his “People to Kill” list.
The neat thing is that I was actually quite convicted while watching, or rather ‘listening’ to the scene (when you watch a movie nearly 20 times, you don’t really need to actually ‘see’ it). I had referred to someone as a ‘loser’ the other day, and God really convicted me. I will hopefully be erasing that word from my vocabulary.
Even something as stupid (though incredibly funny) as an Adam Sandler film can serve devotional and didactic purposes if we are actively engaged with the film. But it can do the very opposite if we become oysters and just take in everything.