A youth devotional using “Night at the Museum”
A few weeks ago, at a youth lock-in, I shared the following devotion with the youth based on the movie, Night at the Museum.
What makes you happy? What do you enjoy doing? When was the last time you did something that really made you happy?
There is much talk about the search for happiness. In the Christ-following life we go beyond speaking of happiness to that of the real joy we find in Christ. We believe that in Christ we can live fulfilled lives.
Where and in what ways do you see people search for happiness? These may be the right or wrong places to search, in your opinion. (These may include relationships, marriage, jobs, hobbies, extreme sports, God, success, money, accomplishments, etc.)
God’s Word promises, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29.11, also 12-14a)
God has a plan for each of our lives. How do we find that plan? How do we choose what we do? Some choices are not right or wrong, so how do we choose between two good choices? Who influences our decisions (friends, parents, authority figures, TV, media, celebrities, advertisements)? What influences our decisions (personal motivation, giftedness, want to impress or please others)?
During my senior year of high school, the volleyball coach wanted me to play volleyball. We were just getting a volleyball team started, and during gym class, the coach and I discovered that I had a pretty mean serve. But I was soon heading off to college to major in music education. My mother thought I should be devoting my time to music. What was the right decision? What did I want to do?
In “Night at the Museum,” Larry was a dreamer and an inventor. But that wasn’t paying the bills. His successful ex-wife was threatening to cut off his relationship with their son, Nicky, because Larry’s lack of employment was difficult on their son. A conversation follows between Larry and Nicky.
Hey, Nicky, look at me. Look at me, man. I wanna tell you something’. I know that things have been kinda up and down for me lately and that’s been hard for you. But I really feel like my moment’s coming and when it does, everything’s just gonna come together. You know?What if you’re wrong and you’re just an ordinary guy who should get a job?
Larry sets out to find a job and he is plunged into a challenging situation. And beyond the negative voices of his ex-wife and the career counselor, and the doubts of his son, Larry finds an encouraging voice in Teddy Roosevelt.
Welcome to the family, Lawrence. See you tomorrow night.Well—Oh, actually, I gotta be honest. I don’t thing I’m coming back.What? You’ve just begun.Yeah. Well, this is not exactly what I—Lawrence!Yeah?What did you do before you took this post?Uh. Well, I’ve done a lot of different things. I, um—I invented this thing called the Snapper.Did you give up on that as well.No. I didn’t. No, I just hit a few roadblocks. You might have heard of the Clapper.Lawrence.Yes, sir.Some men are born great. Others have greatness thrust upon them. For you, this is that very moment.
It took someone else seeing Larry’s gifts to spur him on to action. God is at work in you revealing who you are yet to become, revealing the gifts that he has given you. God’s Word says, “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1.6)Be thankful for the gifts God has given you, and tell someone else the gifts and talents you see in them.