Shrek, the Final Chapter–Family, Friends and Foes

In the last installment of this family movie favorite, Shrek and Fiona aim to leave on a high note (and leave some exploded birds behind). The basic premise is: Shrek wonders what his life would be like had he not rescued Princess Fiona from the tower. In the present, Shrek seems content but bored with the same day-in-day-out routine of family life with a loving ogre wife and three ogre babies.

Rumpelstiltskin makes his entrance as the bad guy by offering Shrek a magical chance to experience just one day without the responsibilities of family. As expected, things go horribly wrong and Shrek realizes that he is living out the lyrics of the “Big Yellow Taxi” song (not literally, of course).

“Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone…”

The beauty of Shrek’s character development over the entire span of films is that he found himself in a group of misfit friends and eventually his own family. These days, many people are transplanted in different regions, states or countries because of work. They are left to develop new circles of friend that serve as their makeshift family. Like Shrek, Donkey and Puss-in-Boots, sometimes these new ‘families’ are made of the strangest collection of misfits but are just as loved as a favorite, silly aunt.

When Jesus asked the twelve disciples to join him, do you think they found it strange that fishermen were consorting with tax collectors and political activists? Jesus didn’t. Jesus asked Judas Iscariot, the one who He knew was to betray Him, to come and be a part of His group, His makeshift family.

Sometimes we feel like our makeshift family of misfits is not as good as our ‘real’ family or vice versa. Sometimes we feel like we don’t need family or friends at all; we can do it on our own. Like Shrek, wouldn’t life be better off if we could do it by ourselves, with interruptions, for just one day? Don’t you think Jesus’ ministry on earth would have been as effective, if not more effective, if He didn’t have a group of twelve pestering Him for answers all the time?

Jesus knew that His time on earth was short. He surrounded Himself with friends, family and even foes and taught them all the same. How He treated His makeshift family is a wonderful example patience and forgiveness, of openness and commitment.

Things worked out for Shrek in the end and he realized family and his crazy friends made life worth living. Do you have room in your makeshift family for one more misfit?

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