A new client has had me working day and night for the last month and a half, so blogging (and sleep and relaxation and smiling) has been sporadic at best. Perhaps the mental numbness this has brought on explains how I was able to sit through the entirety of 1989’s Beware: Children at Play. Here, let me share some of the pain…
Still, despite the bad acting, the bad dialog, the bad haircuts, the bad… well, everything, besides all of that, I couldn’t help but notice a nugget of truth in this scene. As we see here, it almost never fails that when you put two or more intellectuals (even wannabees like me) together in an enclosed space, they’re bound to get so caught up in the wonder of their own intricate arguments (gratuitous use of Shakespeare is a sure sign things are getting out of hand) that they often forget the simple, but decidedly more urgent, things which need to be attended to.
And Christians are no more immune to this than anybody else. That’s why it’s always been nice to have people like the 14th century monk Thomas à Kempis around to help us keep things focused where they need to be. “What good does it do to speak learnedly about the Trinity” he queries in the third paragraph of The Imitation of Christ, “if, lacking humility, you displease the Trinity? Indeed it is not learning that makes a man holy and just, but a virtuous life makes him pleasing to God. I would rather feel contrition than know how to define it.”
Ow! But if you can handle that kind of direct to-the-point style, then get thee to a computer (ah crap, Shakespeare reference) and pick up The Imitation of Christ either to read online or download to your mp3 player. Yeah, it was written over 700 years ago by Thomas as an instruction manual for incoming novices to his order, but it’s still invaluable today for cutting through the clutter. I’ve got a couple of different translations in pocket sized format just right for adoration and my car library. (What, doesn’t everyone have a car library?) Now if you can’t handle that brand of disciplined spiritual instruction, I suppose you could always check out one of the more recent “Spiritual” best sellers out there like say The Secret or The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment. But personally, I’d rather watch Beware: Children at Play two or three times before subjecting myself to that. I like my crap to at least have entertainment value.