(Photo by Selma Komisky)
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WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS
Having Fun is Holy
Dancing Lessons Learned From Star Lord
By Jasmin Patterson
We first meet Star Lord (also known as Peter Quill) in the opening scene of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Throughout the film, his character becomes known for carrying around his Walkman, popping in his headphones at random moments, and blissfully dancing to his beloved 70s tunes.
About halfway into the film, Star Lord’s fellow Guardian, Gamora, approaches him and asks why the Walkman is so important to him. He answers, “My mother gave it to me. I had it with me the day that she died. She liked sharing with me all the pop songs that she loved growing up.”
As they continue their conversation, Star Lord tries to get Gamora to dance with him to the music, and she tells him she doesn’t dance because she’s a warrior. Once again, Star Lord is ready with the perfect response; he explains to her the premise of the movie Footloose, in which Kevin Bacon’s character “teaches an entire city that dancing is the best thing there is.”
You’re probably asking why this simple exchange between two characters in a superhero movie is a big deal. Star Lord found so much meaning, joy and strength in life through a seemingly insignificant, trivial thing. I think you and I have a lesson to learn from him about that.
As we mature in our faith, some of us can become more like Gamora. We have the “warrior” mentality that values all the serious and important stuff about life and faith– and we should value those things. Pursuing the spiritual disciplines that help us grow in our faith and honor God in how we manage our natural responsibilities in life is vital.
Can I let you in on secret, though? Just because you love Jesus doesn’t mean you have to stop having fun! Remember, God created the whole world and everything in it. It all belongs to Him, not just the “spiritual stuff” (Psalm 24:1). One of my favorite Bible verses says this: “Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it but receive it with thanks. For we know it is made acceptableby the word of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:4-5 NLT).
Of course, anything God’s Word says is sinful isn’t acceptable for us. And, we should acknowledge as well that people can misuse good things God created in ways that don’t please Him or help others. The overall message of this passage, though, is that God intends for us to receive the good things He’s created and to enjoy the life He’s given us. It actually honors Him when we do that.
My absolute favorite thing in the world is spending time with God alone and with His people, but you know what else makes me really happy in life? Going to concerts, because I love music so much. Keeping up with pop culture news. Reading a good mystery novel. Watching House Hunters on HGTV and building the designs on The Sims. Going out for a meal with friends.
All those things are a source of joy and rejuvenation for me. They’re sacred and special gifts from God in their own way. God designed me to love those things so they could enrich my life. He’s given you things like that in your life too and you don’t have to be ashamed of them. I spent years feeling guilty for my “non-spiritual” hobbies until God taught me that He’s in those parts of my life too.
Star Lord and the other Guardians are constantly facing an intense situation as they work to defeat the film’s villain, Ronan. Even still, Star Lord takes moments to tune into his Walkman and dance. From his hobby and passion, he finds the strength he needs to keep going and help his friends overcome their foe to save the galaxy.
I believe God wants to empower us through Star Lord’s story. I believe He wants to empower us to embrace the simple joys of life without shame and to find Him in those things. I believe He wants to empower us each day with renewed strength to persevere in life – strength that comes from His Spirit and that comes from simply taking a moment to enjoy what you love.