God just finished speaking to me through “Imagine That,” Eddie Murphy’s newest (and predictable) kid flick. The plot was telecast from moment one. The stereotypes were all there, waving madly and jumping up and down so we would be sure not to miss them. His daughter was angelic, so as to yank on the heart-strings. Eddie was Eddie—flamboyant, overacted, as usual.
But I was with my family, so I was in “daddy mode,” which meant that when the workaholic dad finally came around and got his priorities straight, just in the nick of time, I was fighting a “good for him” lump climbing my throat. I’ll even admit to a few tears diving down my cheeks.
All this is predictable. I’m a softie. What I didn’t expect was hearing God in it.
I’ve been listening, waiting, reflecting, for weeks now. Nothing big has come to me. I was getting impatient. Frustrated, even. Come on, God!
And then, in the final moments of the movie, God tells me that this is the message he’s already been speaking and that I knew it deep down but had pushed it aside, ignored it while waiting for something more cosmic and grand to come along but why would he waste his time and mine with that when I wouldn’t even see the plain truth right in front of me which was my mission right now in life is to pour myself out like a drink offering for the hearts and souls of my kids? Yes, it came as a run-on flow of thought, just like that.
So I look to my right down the isle in the cheap theatre, smitten again by my awesome family, repenting of my inattention to them, resolving to do better. The message has come in less defined ways: An “ought to” here and there, a twinge, an idea, a word spoken by a visiting friend. But I was tuned in to the wrong channel, dismissed it as noise, moved on. Not anymore.
I got it, God, or I’m starting to. Show me what to do next!