Who’s the King of Your Wild Things?

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Wild Things and Monsters

I recently wrote a post for poemachronicles.com called Vampire Jesus and the Monster House (you can read that here). It touched on how we see the gods we serve, and what lies inside our imaginations. I felt honored to write for such a successful website, but I also feel that our community deserves to take the concepts in that article even further. So here we go…

One of my favorite children’s books is Where the Wild Things Are. The movie is even better. It’s the story of Max, a boy that is far too wild for his mother’s taste. He misbehaves and makes mischief, then travels to a far away land where the Wild Things are. Max becomes their king, and (especially in the film) he learns to honor, interact with, and value each of the Wild Thing.

Max can teach us a lot about being human. He embraces a truth that most of us are afraid to even face.

“We are all filled with Wild Things, and somewhere within us is where the Wild Things are.”

Max, like most of us, thinks he can rule over his Wild Things. He tries to be their king, and promises that he can keep the sadness away. As you can imagine, he can’t quite keep the wild things in check, or himself. His control isn’t enough, and sadness, anger, hurt, all come barreling in like a wild rumpus. I won’t tell you what happens though, because it’s worth the watch.

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Like all good art, Where the Wild Things Are shows us ourselves. We see our monsters, in wild, scary, embodied form. Like the story of John 1, our abstract world becomes flesh in front of us, and we get to respond.

Each of us have different Wild Things. Mine were my anger, my fear, and my sex drive. I told my wild things to just calm down and obey, that I would be king and keep the sadness away. It didn’t work, because I–like you–am not a very good king.

A Good King 

A mentor of mine taught me that Jesus likes me. All of me.

“Modern Christianity has flattened Jesus into a religion machine that wants to euthanize anyone and anything that doesn’t fall in line, but the real Jesus is so radically different.”

Flat Religion Jesus wants to silence our anger, shame us for being scared, and drug our sadness away with “joy” that never makes us happy. This Jesus is probably a worse king for our Wild Things than we are.

Here’s the thing though:

The real Jesus–the one in the Bible who is actually alive–is actually the author of your wild things. He made your anger. He breathed in you the gift of sadness and the motivator of fear. He made you a human being with drives, desires, needs.

Many of us are afraid of our Wild Things, or we try to control them as if we can be king, but Jesus is the good king that we need. There is not one part of who you are that Jesus doesn’t know and love. He leads the Wild Rumpus like a Conductor leads a symphony, allowing each part to play in harmony. He doesn’t make them all march in line like a marching band, but rather lets them fulfill their true roles like actors in a great play. When we begin to listen to Him as king, we learn to love and embrace our Wild Things.

We discover that they may be wild and untamable, but through alignment with the Divine, that wild freedom gives us the fullest life.

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Your heart is where the Wild Things are, and Jesus delights in being their king.

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Where the Wild Things Are didn’t get the props it deserves. If you are looking for a beautiful movie to enrich your life, I really encourage you to pick it up. If you want to support Real Hope Rising while you’re at it, use one of the links below to make your purchase:

Where the Wild Things Are [Blu-ray]

Where the Wild Things Are (2009)

  • This post contains affiliate links, which means realhoperising receives a commission at no cost to you if you make a purchase using this link. To hear more about how afilliate links work within the values of realhoperising, check out the about page here.

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