As a family, we sat down this afternoon to watch The Croods. I was a little leery based on what I heard and read from others. To my surprise, the story of Eep, Grug, Guy, and company was quite inspirational!
The Croods are the last remaining “cave people” in their prehistoric world. Grug is known as the “hardest working father in history” He often takes his responsibility to protect and provide for his family overboard, requiring them to spend weeks inside their cave. This does not go over to well with Eep, the rebellious redheaded teenager who can’t stand the idea of following status quo. Grug wants his family to live by the “rules” painted on the cave wall, while Eep wants to break the rules. It’s the same parent-teen conflict families have experienced since the dawn of time, heightened by the fact that Eep’s world seems to be ending. Literally. As the earth crumbles and volcanos erupt, the Croods’ cave home—the only place they’re ever truly safe—is destroyed. For a family whose motto is “never not be afraid” this could be devastating.
Fortunately for the Croods, they’re not quite as alone as they thought. Eep stumbles across Guy, a prehistoric teen heart-throb whose quick wits and creative ideas help save the day. When the Croods venture out of their cave on a hunting trip, the whole family—including Eep’s mom, brother, baby sister, and Gran works together like a well-oiled machine. While Grug seems old-fashioned, it is made clear he is doing his best to provide for his family. In fact, his character is as much the focus of the story as is Eep. It is nice to see a film that affirms the family unit!
Within this prehistoric storyline stands a clear example of what it means to step out in faith and follow Jesus Christ! So often we don’t know where that first step of faith leads. We feel like we are jumping into the unknown. Taking a leap of faith begins with us believing Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life! Eep may have had a rebellious side to her, but she was constantly seeking truth. The movie begins with these incredible words from Eep, “With every sun comes a new day. A new beginning. A hope that things will be better today than they were yesterday. But not for me. My name is Eep. And this is my family, the Croods. If you weren’t clued in already by the animal skins and sloping foreheads, we’re cavemen. Most days we spend in our cave, in the dark. Night after night, day after day. Yep, home sweet home. When we did go out, we struggled to find food in a harsh and hostile world…The Croods made it, because of my dad. He was strong, and he followed the rules. The ones painted on the cave walls. Anything new is bad. Curiosity is bad. Going out at night is bad. Basically, anything fun is bad. Welcome to my world! But this is a story about how all that changed in an instant. Because what we didn’t know was that our world was about to come to an end. And there were no rules on our cave walls to prepare us for that.”
Modern christianity can easily find itself in the same situation. In other words, we become so focused on what we cannot do and on what is bad that we miss the newness of life! We fail to see that tomorrow can be better than today because of the hope we have in a relationship with Christ!
I have also come in contact with many Christians that live everyday out of fear. They attend church on Sunday because God may not bless them if they don’t go. Their “religion” is based on the fear of eternal separation from God instead of in a relationship with the Creator who personally loves us unconditionally! Grug constantly said, “Never not be afraid!” He obeyed the rules out of fear. He failed to see the hope of a brighter tomorrow! He missed the new life of love, joy, and peace that could be obtained by following the Sun.
Life with God takes us out of our past and into a new hope-filled relationship with the Son! It is about experiencing the newness of each day! We, like the Croods, walk through a fallen, dangerous, and dying world. True life resides in God. We must put our faith in the unseen to survive the seen, as we hold up our hand and lift up our hearts to feel the warmth of God’s love!
The gospel shines through this entire movie! Guy shows up, bringing the news of the Sun! He challenges them with the bad news – they are living in darkness, the end of the world is coming, and they will be destroyed if they choose to stay living as they are. Guy also invites them into a new life through the good news of hope. He makes them fire that protects them and illuminates the darkness, while teaching them how to follow the Sun!
The Croods may have been a little crude in the beginning, but as they move towards the sun, they become less and less ignorant and more and more like a loving, compassionate family on mission! As they follow the sun they are transformed. They get out of the darkness, escape annihilation, relationships improve, people change, love is freely shown, and even their enemies become their friends through their example of hope!
Towards the end of the movie, Grug says, “No more dark. No more hiding. No more caves. What’s the point of all this? To follow the light. I can’t change. I don’t have ideas…” Grug knew that his ideas were not going to save his family. Instead, he had to rely on the power of the Sun!
What are you doing to follow the Son – Jesus Christ? As Christians, we have the promise that the Light of the World, the Son of God, never sets! He never hides behind the clouds or is overtaken by the storms of life. He is stronger than anything we will ever face! I John 4:8 says, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” When we place our trust in a relationship with Jesus, we have the hope of a brighter tomorrow!
I encourage each of you to gather your family, pop a couple of bags of popcorn, and enjoy The Croods! Discuss the pursuit of a brighter tomorrow as a family!