“If you love Me, obey My commandments.” John 15:13
It was just hilarious…till it wasn’t. In May of 2001 a film was released. It was simply titled, “Shrek.” I don’t have time to go into the details, but it was an animated film. One of my friends asked me if I had seen it and I told him I had not. He told me it was a must see. So…I did. Well, the bottom line is it turned out to be one of the funniest films I have ever seen. So, when I got to our small group at church, I joined the “you gotta see it” club. We would sit around the room telling our favorite parts of the movie, all the while laughing till our sides hurt. I watch it again and again and again. And then…it happened.
A while later, I sat down in from of the television to watch it again. As the film started, as the credits rolled, I waited for the first hilarious scene. It came and went but the most I could muster was a slight chuckle. And so, it was for the rest of the movie. Somehow, I had become so familiar with the movie that it had lost its appeal…its humor. And, to this day, I watch Shrek with only a mild interest. Like I said, it was funny, till it wasn’t.
I’m not sure how that happened but it might be like tuna casserole. You see, when I was in the fifth grade our school served tuna casserole…which, at that time I liked…a lot. That day, I enjoyed the hefty helping they plopped on my plate but later that evening I got food poisoning. It wasn’t pretty. From then till now, I don’t eat tuna casserole. I guess I was scarred for life. Now I didn’t get food poisoning from Shrek, but you might say, the end became greater than the beginning. Rather than remembering how it made me laugh…I remember how it didn’t and, well, so long Shrek.
Familiarity can be a great thing if it doesn’t keep us from loving and enjoying the things that matter. The whole “familiarity breeds contempt thing” can be a dangerous separator. Let’s make sure we guard the things that matter. Whether it is your family, or your faith, or your career, make it a habit to look for the good while choosing to ignore the not so good. Choose to remember why you love someone or something and never allow the dullness of familiarity to creep in. If you do keep it fresh, the result will be a renewing affection for the things that matter and a fleeting attraction for the things that don’t.
Jesus said, “if you love Me keep My commandments.” He wasn’t trying to grow a “let’s keep the rules club” but rather a way to help us keep our love for Him ever before us. He wanted to help us keep our love like a fresh wind blowing through our lives and not like a funny line heard too many times in a movie. So, in 2022, let’s work to keep our love for Him like the first time I saw Shrek—ready to see it again—ready to experience it again. Of course, if you find yourself struggling with all of this, just remember how much He cares and His desire to help you do life. You can rest assured that, “He’s got this.” Bro. Dewayne