Monday, October 26, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are

One of the many privileges of being a nanny is that my job often includes things like taking the children to movies I wanted to see anyways! I've seen Harry Potter, Toy Story 3D , Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and most recently Where the Wild Things Are. What I really liked about this movie (and the book it was based on) was that it dealt with anger...anger is such a taboo emotion in our society. In the film Max is faced with HUGE feelings of anger...he doesn't really seem like he knows how to deal with them, which isn't at all unusual either for a child his age or in this society where we tend to pretend anger doesn't exist. Max ends up running from his mom in rage and finds refuge in a clan of imaginary, great monsters who recognize him as King of the Wild Things. Max unleashes his angry energy by creating, destroying and one point in the film he sees that there may be some negative consequences of his rages when he sees how he has hurt some of the other Wild Things (as he hurt his mother.) Max eventually seems to ride out the tide of the angry emotion and decides to "return home" where his mom embraces him in a hug and seemingly all is forgiven. The Bible tells us "Be angry and do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your anger." (Ephesians 4:26) So there is no question then, that we may be angry. Further, we are created in the image of God, who is described many times as being angry with various situations in the Bible. Additionally, we see Jesus (rightly) angry at the people exchanging money in the Holy Temple. Anger is surely a core human emotion. Our charge then, is to learn to to be angry without sinning. Max may have messed up (sinned) in that he disrespected him mother, but he was right not to let the sun go down on his anger. Its essential that we all develop healthy and holy responses to our anger and teach them to our children or the children in our care. An important part of that process is to identify anger, not attempt top bury it but rather release it, and before the sun goes down!. Try things like tearing paper, making angry music on the piano, finger painting, screaming into a pillow, going for a run or punching a punching bag. If you notice you are often angry, and triggered by minor things, then it may be time to explore that further. Although anger is a core emotion...God is "slow to anger" and I think we should be too. Love in Christ, Zealia

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