Thursday, March 20, 2008

Horton Hears a Who

"Blessed are those who do not see, yet still believe." John 20:29

The elephant Horton (voiced by Jim Carrey) believes there is a whole world on a grain of sand, but his whole world doesn't seem to believe him.

Where do you find yourself in this story?

Are you like Horton who believes despite not being able to see what he believes to be there? Are you like the Mayor of Whoville (voiced by Steve Carrell) who prophetically challenges his peers who blindly believe what they cannot prove? Or are you like the majority of the animals of the forest or the Who's of Whoville, most of whom go about their daily routine without a care in the world (big or small) and who have lost their passions whatsoever?

Whether you are the ardent believer or the prophetic challenger, the movie Horton Hears a Who seems to be asking us to do one thing: be passionate and enthusiastic, and even dare to be different... and don't be like the forest or Whoville crowds, who are neither passionate or enthusiasitc.

The world needs believers and prophets. Sometimes they might sit on different sides of an argument, but they are both passionate about their world. And this film shows us that the story is complete when we can all work together (as the Mayor and Horton do).

When I was in college, I belonged to a student political group. I found myself having more fun debating and having conversations with students on the other end of the political spectrum or on the opposite side of an issue on campus. The students on campus who didn't care one way or another, who sat on the sidelines or who showed no passion, were the ones who I had a more difficult time working with.

In a sense, both passionate groups are strong believers.

Both believe that faith can move mountains and both are dedicated to making that faith a reality. And both might be guilty of having "blind faith" because they follow in the footsteps of the disciples that Jesus spoke of when speaking with "doubting" Thomas in the New Testament: "Blessed are those who do not see, yet still believe." (John 20:29)

When I find myself getting lukewarm in my faith life, I pray that God may infuse in me a passion and zeal for the gospel and the wisdom to know what to do with that enthusiasm.

Horton did not back down from his faith. The Mayor did not back down from his challenge to Whoville. And because they had this incredible enthusiasm, they remained true believers that their world would be saved and transformed.

In my work with young adults, I often tell people that belief is great, but passion and energy for that faith is even better. Don't be a lukewarm believer. Don't be a Who, but strive always to be Horton or the Mayor.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just watched the movie today and totally agree with you. I also feel that our faith is about believing, even when you can't always see. Sometimes God works through people, and that helps me to keep my faith. Other times, I feel like he is present in something like a beautiful sunset.
I hope that I can stay like a Horton, and spreading my belief to others, and helping them to believe in what they can't see.
(I thought Horton was really cute, for an elephant.)
Would you agree that sometimes, especially in society today, that it could be quite the challenge to stand up for our faith, when others are against you?
Just something it got me thinking about.
Anyways, I enjoyed the movie and am glad that I decided to see it.