This is Tim’s article, which will appear in the Evening Leader either Feb 17 or 18, depending if there is a paper published on President’s Day.
In my lifetime, I have read a whole lot of books. When I was in college and seminary, I read so much that I lost my love for reading. For many years, all the reading I did was for continuing education and to keep my senses sharp for what was the latest trends in the world of theology and how Christianity translates to today.
Well, I must have been good last year because Santa Claus brought me an Amazon Fire. I am not convinced I was actually that good, but that gift came with a no-return policy, so I am keeping it. What I really like about the Amazon Fire is that it is back lit; I can read in the dark without turning on a light.
I don’t want any games on it and I don’t have internet at my house, but I saw it had a Kindle app on it. So I downloaded a couple of books, normal preacher books. But after reading them, I began to branch out to other books. Much to my surprise, I discovered a little wizard in training named Harry Potter.
I know I am like 20 years behind, but I have never read any of the books nor have I seen any of the movies. All I remember about Harry Potter is how many people were upset at these books when they were first published, convinced they were turning children to witchcraft or some such thing. I am halfway through the third book, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and I have to tell you that anyone upset about Harry Potter warping children have clearly not watched any children’s programming on TV. SpongeBob Squarepants, Peppa Pig and that Baby Shark song are far more of a concern for what they are doing to children than anything Harry Potter could have ever done.
J K Rowling is an incredibly talented writer. Her Harry Potter stories are clearly written for younger readers to comprehend, but this 45-year-old is really enjoying them. In the story, I am angry at the aunt and uncle Harry Potter lives with because the Dursleys are just awful. I am distrusting of Professor Snape. And I wish I had friends like Dumbledore, Ron and Hermione. I wish I had a faithful pet like Hedwig, and even the ability to speak to snakes would be pretty cool.
All in all, I have really enjoyed the adventures of Harry Potter. Every night, when I lay down and try to slow my mind down and go to sleep, I spend a few minutes tagging along with Harry Potter.
Sure, there are great lessons about friendship, commitment, sacrifice and inner strength in the Harry Potter stories, but that isn’t why I read them. They are good stories about a greater fantasy world where we get to see the clash of good vs. evil. Harry spends more time confused and doubting himself and always relies on his friends, who almost always come through. Those last few minutes of my day are probably my favorite to turn a few pages along with Harry Potter.
I am not telling you to run out and buy Harry Potter books, nor am I saying that you need to read these stories. The purpose of this article is to let you know that not everything in life has to be life and death. God created a whole world out there and we can’t just focus on what is aggravating to us. God gave people talents for the others to enjoy and I hope that you will not miss an opportunity to see someone do something well. It will help you appreciate your own life more, to be able to step back and appreciate the talent of someone else.
There are plenty of things in this world to smile about. Sometimes we find them in the most unexpected places.