My husband and I love the movie The Croods. It’s about a family of cavemen. Eep has always hungered for light; one night she ventures from the security of the cave as the last rays of the sun touch the earth. She stretches as far as she can to feel the warmth on her hand until it is gone. Then she sees another light in the distance, and is drawn to Guy’s fire. He introduces the family to new ideas, shoes, and the promise of a better life.

Eep’s dad is a loving father, but overprotective and fearful. Grug works overtime passing his fear on to his children. He wants to keep them in the cave where it is safe. What he doesn’t know is their world is coming to an end. Their cave won’t be able to protect them from the cataclysmic changes coming to earth.

When an earthquake destroys their cave, the family must trust Guy and follow him to a place he calls Tomorrow. Grug complains and argues every step of the way. His family is divided between the old ways and the life Guy offers. As soon as new dangers threaten, they’re tempted to run to the nearest cave for safety.

Only Eep refuses to go. Grug tries to convince her they must do it to stay alive, but his daughter has found something better. Here’s their conversation:

Grug: …it’s my job to worry! It’s my job to follow the rules.

Eep: The rules don’t work out here.

Grug: They kept us alive.

Eep: That wasn’t living! That was just…. “Not Dying”! There’s a difference.

Grug: …you have to listen to me.

Eep: We would be DEAD if we listened to you! Not aliveness. We have to follow Guy now.

See any spiritual applications in this conversation?

Guy is like Jesus, who brought light to a people living in darkness, offering hope for a better tomorrow. Unlike Guy, who dreams of a place called Tomorrow, Jesus has actually been there. He came in the form of a man to tell us how to get there, and to show us the way. He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12, NIV).

We are like the Crood family—huddled in the dark, afraid of danger lurking outside; surviving, but yearning for more than just “not dying.”

People like Eep, who catch a glimpse of the Light, want what Christ has to offer. And He’s waiting for those who will seek Him. Some will choose to follow Jesus and be saved. Others will hang back in fear only to watch everything they’ve trusted crumble to dust. Many will trust Jesus but waver along the way. I have done all three.

From a young age I yearned for more. I knew my own wretchedness and hated the darkness I saw inside myself. I longed for light and more than just not dying. The day I gave my all to Jesus was like coming out of a cave into brilliant light. Suddenly I had a reason to live. Even in times of tremendous personal pain, I have never felt more alive.

 Before that transformational day, I hung back in fear—fear of what my friends would say if I got “religious,” afraid of what I’d have to give up to become a Christian, fearing what God might ask me to do. My only regret is not following Him sooner. Even so, I have wavered at times.

Why would I do that, after seeing the light and getting a taste of real life? Why would anyone go back to their cave? Here are three reasons why:

Fear

Although Jesus has seen Tomorrow and knows how to get us there, it’s new to us. And our natural instinct is to doubt. I’ve been afraid to try new things for fear I will fail in front of everyone. All of us fear something out there, and when we take our eyes off Jesus, it doesn’t take long before we slip back into the cave. Sometimes we don’t even realize we have until we notice how dark it is.  

Rules

Like Grug, we think it’s our job to follow the rules. However, Jesus reprimanded rule-keeping Pharisees and teachers of the Law who rejected God’s plan of salvation. Being a rule follower myself, I begin to think I need to be perfect before I can leave the cave. We can fall into the same trap trying to earn our way to heaven. Forgiveness is free—bought and paid for on the cross.  

Habit

Old habits are hard to get rid of; cave dwellers tend to return to their caves when danger threatens. It may be dark and damp, but hey, it’s home. Even though I hate myself when I run to food for comfort instead of Jesus, it happens all too frequently. In the same way, people caught in abusive relationships or addictions often return to the same old trap, because it’s familiar.

The biggest reason why it’s so hard to leave the cave is because we have an enemy. Satan hates us and wants to see us suffer. Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;” but then He gave us this magnificent promise, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10, NIV).

So the question is, do we want to settle for just “not dying,” or do we want life—real life, full and abundant life with Jesus? Despite our fears, legalism, old habits, and all the other things that lure us back into the darkness. Jesus can lead us into the Light and on to Tomorrow where there will be no more darkness, no more death or sorrow or pain. If we stick with Him.  

#abundantlife #Iamthelight #Jesusislife #Croodliving #John10:10 #cavedwelling