To be honest, I didn’t love it. Everyone is dysfunctional (although some will argue that that is life, I didn’t like that there wasn’t anyone to really aspire to in the movie, especially considering it was a children’s movie), the pacing seemed off and I felt disconnected from it. I (and my immediately family all) preferred the more involved storyline and connectedness to the characters in Moana. HOWEVER, my cousin’s family was just the opposite. They didn’t care for Moana and they loved Sing—which as I think about it isn’t a surprise…it suits them and their personalities and senses of humor. Rather than focus on what I didn’t like, I want to focus on this: God uses our passions and our joy to impact the world around us.
It may seem ridiculous that singing could change so many lives, but in the movie it did. Everyone’s life was impacted for the better when they dared to follow their passion for music—not only their own lives, but their relationships and the lives of their families and friends as well. Is this reality though?
I think we have to look no further than the internet sensation Chewbacca Mom .
Her simple love of Star Wars and laughter combined with her willingness to put herself out there and share her joy with others impacted the world. Pretty much literally. Check out the Wikipedia entry and be amazed at all that transpired because of that one video of her just laughing. According to Wikipedia, “As of [Mary 24, 2016], the video had gathered over 140 million views on Facebook and was the most viewed Facebook Live video of all time.” That video brought her trips and scholarship money and all sorts of things, but perhaps even more than that, a platform to share Jesus, the source of her joy, with others. It wasn’t anything genius or even intelligent. It wasn’t particularly motivational. And it certainly wasn’t anything important, like rescuing a child out of sex trafficking or stopping hunger. It was just contagious joy. She shared what she loved, what brought her pleasure, with others…and THAT was transformational.
If I’m honest, sometimes I struggle with this. I think I have to do something great or brilliant or truly important in the world. And I hope I do. But sometimes we miss the point that God considered it great and important to create beauty in the world. He considered it great and important to rest—so much so a day of doing nothing but resting (and honoring God) is actually commanded. He considered celebrations (and therefore joy and laughter and connection with others) so important he ordained feasts for His people. To that point, Jesus’ first miracle was at a wedding, turning water into wine—not exactly “great and important” in the way that healing the blind is, and yet, SO great and important it was his first action in “ministry”. Maybe He wanted to remind us that He doesn’t look at things like we do (Isaiah 55). Maybe He wanted us to see that there is great value in joy and beauty and love, not just romantic love, but things we do for the love. He does, after all, use the foolish things of this world to shame the wise (1 Cor. 1:27).
So, Chewbacca mom is a constant reminder to me of these truths—that joy and delight can impact the world; that I don’t have to be brilliant and important to make a difference; that our passions in life can impact the world, no matter how trivial they may seem. And I think this is the great message of Sing. Beauty can change the world and our passions matter—but they won’t change anything if we keep them hidden. We have to take risks and allow ourselves to be vulnerable, to be seen, to be heard.
Questions for Discussion:
Who was your favorite character/what was your favorite storyline in Sing, and why?
Do you think music can really make that big of a difference in people’s lives? Why or why not?
Why are careers in the arts (singing, painting, writing, etc.) more risky than other careers like being a teacher or an accountant? (Not just financially, but emotionally? Why is it harder to say I want to be a singer than it is to say I want to be an accountant?)
Do you believe God can use your passions and the things that bring you joy to impact the world?
What “foolish” things (things that may not seem that “important”) have made an impact on your life and/or have you seen make an impact in the world?