I’ve been having a really hard time with Christmas this year. Maybe because we were pretty much done with Christmas shopping before December, but for some reason it seems like Christmas will never get there. Like I said in my last post, I love gifts, and sitting here each night with gifts under our tree, and getting packages in the mail of things Riq has ordered for me has been killing me. So the other night we took some soda bottles back and Riq said I could use the money to get something I wanted. I got some of the best things in the world. I got… fingerless gloves that have a monster face on them. Booyah.
I read an article not too long ago online that was talking about immature adults. It focused on products for these “immature” adults. One of the websites it stated looked very familiar because I accepted a package Riq had ordered from the place just that day. It was one of my Christmas presents, the site just made me even more excited for whatever it is. The article focused on how adults, maybe more my generation of young adults, are just immature. They like video games and a lot of brands getting big right now are kinda cutesy, and, according to this article, we act like big kids.
I wasn’t upset when I read this article, I wasn’t angry or offended. I know I’m one of those people the article was talking about. I bought monster gloves and I still like to buy things out of quarter machines. I wasn’t offended, instead I was sad. I felt bad for them. I wondered if they were able to find joy in the little things, if they were able to believe in what they can’t see, or find hope in the odd places.
My favorite movie is Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. What the movie is about really resonates with me. Let me share with you this dialogue that I feel sums up one of the two big points of the movie, it is between Molly Mahoney, the main character who manages the magical store, and Henry [AKA Mutant], the accountant, about the store. Molly is trying to explain that the store is magic, and Henry just doesn’t believe her:
Molly Mahoney: I knew it. As soon as I saw that suit.
Henry Weston: Knew what?
Molly Mahoney: You're a 'just' guy.
Henry Weston: What's a 'just' guy?
Molly Mahoney: A guy just like you. Same hair, same suit, same shoes, walk around, no matter what, you think it's all just a store, it's just a bench, it's just a tree. It's just what it is, nothing more!
Henry Weston: Alright but, but this [looks over his shoulder] is just a store.
Molly Mahoney: I'm sure to you... it is.
I hope you get it, because it’s very hard to explain if you don’t. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Life is so much more than just living. Life is so much more fun and meaningful when things can’t always be explained, or when you believe that there is something more.
In the movie, the owner of the magical toy store is going to die and he plans on leaving the store to Molly. In the beginning of the movie he gives her a block of wood, because, “Unlikely adventures require unlikely tools.” Now, this is a spoiler alert, at the end of the movie the store is upset that Mr. Magorium has died, and it ceases to be magical, it turns grey. Molly is once again talking to Henry, getting ready to sell the store for good and move on from this “silly” part of her life. After all, it was Mr. Magorium who made the store magic and not her. She is upset that the cube is not doing anything, that it has not helped her one bit, she sits the block of wood on the counter as she talks to Henry.
Molly Mahoney: It is the congreve cube. It is supposed to help me unlock some great mystery or something.
Henry Weston: It looks like a block of wood.
Molly Mahoney: It is.
Henry Weston: You're supposed to unlock some great mystery with a block of wood?
Molly Mahoney: It is a magical block of wood. It is a block of wood that probably, in the right hands, would reveal some greatness that we can't even imagine.
Henry Weston: That's impossible.
Molly Mahoney: This is what you don't understand. What you have somehow missed. Every minute of every day in every corner of this store, what happened was the impossible.
Henry Weston: Do you honestly believe all that stuff?
Molly Mahoney: Yes!
Henry Weston: That this store was magic?
Molly Mahoney: You never saw it.
Henry Weston: That that block of wood is more than just a block of wood?
Molly Mahoney: Absolutely. I believe it with my entire heart.
That’s when the cube moves. That’s when Molly realizes that she holds the power within herself to make the store magical again. The thing I really want to point out is that through the entire movie Henry doesn’t believe the toy store is magical until the very end. Henry can enter a room and not once see the stuffed animals reaching out to him. He always seems to just barely miss the squid jumping out of the children’s book. He always has his back turned to the dinosaur skeleton moving around the shop. He doesn’t see it, because he doesn’t believe. To him it is just a toy store, and nothing more. He refuses to see what’s surrounding him.
In our last Catechism class we spoke about why the people of God always lost sight of what He has done for them and His promises after they got out of Egypt and were wandering through the desert for the promised land. We see it in the New Testament too, the disciples are grumbling because they’re hungry, again, and don’t know when they’re going to eat. Jesus says to them in Mark 8:17-19, “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?” The answer? Twelve. Twelve baskets full out of five loaves and two fish.
Somehow the disciples missed what was right in front of their eyes. We see it over and over again. Their doubt of who He is, how they always forget the miracles right after they happen, their fear that He will not protect them. We’re still like that today, maybe even more so.
I might be immature, I might be a little quick to believe the “unbelievable”, the “impossible.” I might love to watch Ghost Adventures on Netflix because I refuse to believe that demons, or spirits of some kind or another, or angels don’t exist, that they can’t interact with us. Sure, I may be wrong, but man is it so much more fun and interesting to be open to it. Sure, I might believe that there is still magic and wonder hidden all throughout creation and we miss it every day because our backs are turned to it, our hearts are hardened, that our eyes are closed.
In Mark 10:14-15 Jesus says, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” I have seen God do weird, magical, and crazy things in my life. So yeah, maybe I’m a little immature still. Maybe I love things like mittens with monster faces on them. Maybe I believe a block of wood can be more than just a block of wood. I’m certainly not naïve enough to think that I know everything about God and His magnificent creation. There are things I can’t explain, and I like it that way.
God is full of wonder and surprises. He has plans for you, He will take you on the most awesome adventures and do things in your life you could never imagine. God can do some amazing things, just don’t miss out on them because your eyes are closed, or your back is turned, or because, after all, it’s just a toy store. Just remember, the hero of every epic story is the one who believes. It isn’t the muggle, it’s Harry Potter. It isn’t Henry Weston, it’s Molly Mahoney.
Picture by Alaine