This is what I did with my time during the days leading up to Easter:
On Thursday I tried to finish a paper, but could not concentrate so I rushed to the room of my dormitory, packed my bags of clothes and some homework that I planned to do for the weekend that did not get done as planned, and took the 20 minute drive home. I walked into a full house of kids playing the Wii. My little brother, his friend, and the brother of his friend were home for Spring break; so was my niece.
My older cousin came home. She told me that she got the Netflix app on the Wii. We watched two apocalyptic movies. One was tellingly titled 2012 and another was called Legions, an unconventional tale about the birth of a modern-day Messiah and an angel’s quest to make sure that he is alive and is not slain by other angels.
On Friday, not any other Friday. On Good Friday, I discovered that Netflix had the entire first season of Glee and that my brother’s friend loved Glee. I had seen only a few episodes after my friend told me only good things about it, so we watched from episode one to episode 22, which we finished late Saturday night pushing into early Sunday morning.
On Saturday, my cousin invited me to watch a movie that I would say that I don’t care for too much–that is Madea’s Big Happy Family (she must never know this.) The plot, the screenplay, and the characters were poorly developed like most Tyler Perry movies. But I laughed throughout the movie and was entertained by the responsiveness of the audience. Plus it was good to hang out with my cousin and her friend.
On Sunday, not any other Sunday–Easter Sunday, I slept-in, missed church, did not care that I missed church, and took the kids to the park after they woke me up in the early afternoon, coming from church dressed in their Easter best. It was the door bell, not them that actually woke me. It was also the donuts they brought that kept me from returning to the couch for more snooze.
It did not feel like Easter. This year, there was no Easter dinner since my mother had to work. No Easter communion to partake of. I talked to a friend who took a sporadic trip to the midwest. She asked me how my Easter was going. I told her, “boring and filled with snotty, disrespectful kids.” The kids started to annoy me. They could not stop talking about how boring my life was, or how unkempt I was, or how they lamented getting older because it would mean that they would have a life similar to mine. Nine and Twelve-year olds can be brutal without even realizing it; they don’t know what they are missing by not being 21. My brother’s friend spend the week telling me that I desperately needed a comb and he finally found one and made it his business to comb my hair and talk about how my hair was full of peas.
I had to get away. I snuck up to my parent’s room–when the Saturday evening was getting late–to watch Chicago. I was watching a movie about promiscuity, murder, and fame on a very holy day. It turned dark outside and began to pour and thunder. I could see lightning as I looked up at the three sky lights. All along I thought that I would get struck by lightning and it would be God’s punishment on me for not recognizing His Holy Day. I started thinking of the movie 2012 and about the end of the world. I was going through my apocalypse, but could not seem to turn the movie off to pray, read scripture, do something holy; the movie was that entertaining. But what if God came at that moment and I was not prepared?
I began to ask myself, if Easter is not a good day to watch Chicago, when is it a good day to watch it? If it is wrong to watch Chicago one day, what makes it okay to watch it on any other day? How am I to treat certain holidays in comparison to regular days? Are there any set rules? In creating such rules, am I resorting to the bondage of legalism?