In an effort to not waste any time with what I watch as entertainment, I was thinking about “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and parenting this last weekend. One, what an epic movie. Could they have picked a better guy to be cruel to the primates than Malfoy?
So…a big plot element of this movie is that James Franco injects the ALZ-112 drug into the chimp, Caesar; and things get pretty freaky tiki after that.
And I was wondering. This idea of “creating a monster” is definitely not a foreign concept to life or film. I think about the guys who invented the nuclear bomb or what occurs in the movie “Frankenstein.” And who can forget that one must not feed a Mogwai chicken after midnight. Gizmo was cute; Stripe and his buddies were utter chaos!
So…things get crazy after Caesar gets more and more intelligent (but not necessarily more mature) because of the drug.
As parents, what can be our ALZ-112 drug to our kids?
Is it that first time that you give in to a tantrum?
Is it letting a kid watch “Family Guy” for the first time because all his friends are?
Is it giving your toddler soda (aka, rocket fuel)?
Is it letting your teen go on a “date” date?
I guess we could parent scared when we think about all things that we could “do to” our kids that could open up a whole can of worms of craziness.
Give in to too many tantrums, and you’ll raise a brat.
Let your kids watch the Griffin family, and they’ll become sociopaths.
Teach your kid poor eating habits, and they’ll be doomed to a life of poor health.
Let them go on a date too early, and you’ll have to stock up on ammo to keep all the boys away.
It’s enough to make a man (or parent) crazy.
But we’re not alone in all this. Yes, there are wise decisions. And I would encourage parents to (in spite of the tantrums, the begging, the crying, or the guilt trips) still think about, as Andy Stanley puts it, “The Best Question Ever.”
My paraphrase of this great book would be that we need to look at all of our life’s decisions through the lens of this question:
In light of our past, present, and future, what’s the WISE thing to do.
God will grant us wisdom if we seek it.
But also, something tells me, if we mess up, God can still work with the fallout.
Thank God nothing is so absolutely catastrophic as injecting the ALZ-112 drug into chimpanzees. Although sometimes it may seem like the fate of the free world rests on our decisions, I really want to stick with the words of Jesus:
“Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
It doesn’t get more “weary” or “heavy laden” than feeling responsible for the growth of a child. I get that. I was holding Evie this morning, and she was just sleeping in my arms. And I was thinking to myself, in the words of Jimmy Buffett, “Little Miss Magic, what you gonna be?” This is a question loaded with unlimited possibilities and, possibly, unlimited space to freak out.
Jesus is calling us to trust. I say listen to Him.