Friday, December 17, 2010

Love The Ones You're With

(Email subscribers need to go to my blog to see the first movie clip)

Another annual tradition at the Miles house is to watch the movie Home Alone.

Although we do have the DVD, it comes on TV about five times a day on various channels, so it is always easy to get good dose of Home Alone laughter anytime!

Just in case you have not seen this movie, it is about a little boy named Kevin McCallister, who is the youngest child in a large family. His immediate and extended family members are all spending the night at his house, so they can all leave the next day to travel to Paris for the holidays.

His family was getting on his last nerve, and after an outburst in the kitchen where he created a mess with the pizza and drinks, Kevin was sent to the attic bedroom as punishment. He was so upset, that he wished he would never see his family again.

Through a series of mishaps and errors and oversights the next morning, and in the chaos of running late and trying to get everyone to the airport, his parents forgot that he was sleeping upstairs. So Kevin was left behind, and left home alone.

Kevin and his family lived in an upper income area, which was being targeted by thieves, so he spends the remainder of the movie not regretting that he had wished his family away, but also trying to protect his home from burglary.

Some of the tactics that Kevin uses to protect his home makes my stomach lurch a little bit, but in the end, it has a wonderful lesson about the importance of family.

In fact, for anyone who has ever felt as if they could not stand their family for one more millisecond, much less another holiday, this movie becomes great food for thought.

No matter how much we love our families, we would probably all have to admit to having at least one of those moments when we wished our family was different or better, or not around at all.

Just like Kevin did, in the midst of chaotic holiday gatherings, or anytime throughout the year, you may have found yourself wishing deep inside that you were alone, or that everyone else was gone. In fact, you may be dreading the family get togethers already! Or you may just be dreading school getting out for Christmas break, because the house will be full of kids, and void of quiet, for two weeks!

But what if there were no more gatherings with family or friends? What if they were gone? What if you were left without family? What if the house was completely quiet for the entire holiday season?

What would life, and the holidays, really be like if our secret wish came true? Would we run around the house in exhuberant celebration like Kevin? Would it be all we imagined? Would it be a time of joy? Or....

....would our wish end up being something we quickly learned to regret? Would we long for what we once had, realizing how precious it really was?

In this movie, when Kevin first realizes that he really is alone, and that his family has disappeared, he is ecstatic! He has an awesome time jumping up and down on the bed, eating popcorn and rubbish, watching violent movies, having the house all to himself - all the things his parents would never allow him to do.

But it does not take him long to realize that loneliness, fear, despair, regrets and new wishes are filling his heart. Although he hated a lot of things about his family, he soon began to miss all the good things his family brought him, such as security, protection, companionship, affection, friendship and love.

He realizes that although his family was not perfect, he still needed them and loved them... and missed them.

Even though we see quite the opposite of a sweet, gentle, loving family in the movie - whic included belligerent kids, sibling rivalry, the bullying brother, the nagging sister and the mean old uncle - there is genuine love for each other underneath all of that. And in the end - they miss Kevin too and regret not treating him kindly, or loving him like they should have.

As the movie progresses, and while Kevins mother is desperately trying to get back home to him, Kevin learns a valuable lesson that we can tuck into our hearts for this Christmas, and all the holiday celebrations to come.

He learns that family can sometimes be a mess - but that family is precious, and it is ours.

Kevin thought he wanted his family gone - but when they were - his heart ached for them to return. He wanted them back.

The Bible has much to say about the importance of families. God provides countless verses and stories about the value of the husband and wife relationship, the relationship between parents and children, and even relationships among extended family members.

His Word teaches us that the institution of family is of divine origin, and meaningful purpose. All these things lead us to the understanding that family is valuable in Gods eyes, and therefore it should be valuable in our eyes as well.

Family - with all their quirky ways, inadequacies, craziness, difficulties, habits, mistakes, faults, differences in personalities and perspectives on life, and even loudness - is a treasure. Unfortunately, sometimes we forget that truth, until they are gone.

Kevin teaches us, and the Bible reiterates to us - that family really is a gift.

A gift that we have been given by God. A gift that we should treasure and never take for granted.

A gift that may seem a little crazy, off the wall, broken, chipped, cracked, dented, imperfect and slightly used - but a precious gift nonetheless, and one that can never be replaced.

Hug the ones you love this Christmas season, and love the ones you are with. Christmas smiles.

(Bonus clip: I found this hilarious, and perfectly relevant short music video about Home Alone, and I just had to share it! Watch it below and enjoy. Email subscribers will need to link over to my blog to view the clip.)

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