“Angels can fly because they can take themselves lightly…Pride is the downward drag of all things into an easy solemnity. One ‘settles down’ into a sort of selfish seriousness; but one has to rise to a gay self-forgetfulness…It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light. Satan fell by the force of gravity.”– G.K. Chesterton
In Marvel’s latest blockbuster, Thor: Love and Thunder, the god of thunder (played by Chris Hemsworth) returns to the scene after the events of Avengers: End Game. Alongside his ex-girlfriend Dr. Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and a couple of other returning heroes, Thor sets out to defeat the God Butcher (Christian Bale), who seeks to eliminate all of the gods.
There are a few eye-opening themes in the film worth noting: the nature of God, the importance of children, but what will surely catch the attention of any viewer is the consistent sense of ridiculousness that hovers over the story. Left-and-right, the characters are cracking jokes and fumbling around the screen, often getting themselves into comedic circumstances. I’ll offer an example.
At the beginning of the film, Thor saves a particular kingdom from being conquered. As a prize, the king gives him two massive goats—about the size of rhinoceroses—who continually scream. Throughout the film, the goats will disappear for a bit, but as soon as they’re almost forgotten, in they come with their high-pitched screams. It’s completely ridiculous.
Upon reflection, I’m reminded of a particular app that’s become popular in recent times. During periodic moments of the day, the app will cause one’s smartphone or smartwatch to beep. Whenever the sound is heard, it serves as a reminder to bring the Lord back to the forefront of one’s day.
For me, these goats serve a similar purpose in the film. As Thor and company traverse the universe on a quest with personal and cosmic significance, here come the goats, restoring lightness of heart to the viewer.
What a reminder for us in the Christian life today. Yes, the story of salvation is one of eternal significance. Yes, our role in it is important. Yes, a degree of seriousness is required. But while we’re on our journey, the screaming goats remind us not to take ourselves too seriously. We don’t save. God is the one who saves. So chill. Don’t let the day go by without a good laugh. In humility, fly with the angels.