Intellectualism and Joy

You all know the type of people I’m talking about…. The snobby smart people.

“I don’t like Doctor Who because the special effects are so bad and the plot is so predictable and the monsters are so hokey.”

“I don’t listen to Nickelback because their sounds is so mainstream.”

You all call them hipsters, but I think this type of snobbery goes beyond hipster…. It’s intellectual cancer that steals joy.

There’s nothing that deflates my happy balloon quite like someone criticizing something that was created for the sole purpose of being enjoyed. So you didn’t enjoy it. Okay. Well I did. Your supposed smartness didn’t do anything except rob you of joy. And maybe me a little bit too.

Remember when you were a kid and everything was exciting? The neighborhood park felt like Worlds of Fun and the local walmart was the size of the Mall of America? You could sit and watch Arthur or Star Wars or The Lion King for hours without even thinking about plot formation or character development or how good the animation/special effects are.

Those were the good days. The days of joy.

I ran into this when I watched The Lion King at the age of 15. I had already read Hamlet(and had been told that The Lion King is similar to Hamlet) so the whole time I was comparing the two stories. On top of that I’m not a huge animal fan. The end result was me wasting two hours of my life on a kids movie that I was too snobbish for. Instead of enjoying the movie I was critiquing it. My only comment at the end was “Hamlet is better. Nobody dies in The Lion King…”

I get a lot of crap because of that.

In How I Met Your Mother, when Barney and Nora are dating it comes out that Nora doesn’t like Ewoks. Barney freaks out thinking that Nora was over the age of 12 when Star Wars came out, which would mean she is 37 and Nora lied to him. He later finds out that she didn’t watch star wars until she was older and she really is 29.

Nora is a snob.

Children are too smart to be above things. If they’re excited about something they let it show. If they enjoyed something they say so. They are pure and honest and untainted by expectations of what something should be like. Untainted by reality.

Jesus talks about how the Kingdom of God belongs to child-like people. People who come to Him honestly and openly.

I think in my relationship with God I have a history of being a spiritual grown up. Of being too responsible and mature to come running to Jesus. In every day life it’s all well and good to be responsible and mature. I guess. But Jesus longs for something different. Not for the snobbish, intellectual enjoyment of Him, but the childlike glee of untainted joy.

We’ve lost that. We’re all a bunch of snobs that are too grown up for Jesus. Too caught up in our theology and science. Too stuck in the issues to just revel in the person of God. Take a moment and revel, folks. Take back joy.

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One Response to Intellectualism and Joy

  1. bekahcubed says:

    A very interesting thought. I think there’s a place for both. We are to be child-like (which I often think must be referring to our need to be absolutely dependent upon God), but we are also to be “wise as serpents” and to “test the spirits”.

    As Christians, we need to be critical and discerning but also need to jump in with full assurance. We are to question but not to doubt.

    Now, what I think you may be referring to most is cynicism–and I don’t know that THAT is every commended in Scripture.

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