Like many of you, I grew up in a home where sneaking snacks into the movie theater was normal. My parents would pack goodies we had hanging around the house or we’d hit up a local convenience store and purchase snacks at less than half the price you’d pay for them at the movie theater. We’d drop those yummy treats into our inconspicuous bags and off to the movies we went.
I couldn’t wait for the lights to dim so I could whip out my snacks. The funny thing is, most times I wasn’t even hungry. I guess there was something thrilling about sneaking in snacks and getting away with it, scanning the aisles to see if an attendant was lurking in the shadows, and trying my darnedest to softly open a package of chips and not draw attention to myself.
I was all about that sneaking snacks into the movie theater even when I had my own children. I remember preparing for the movies one particular time. I packed little juice boxes, mini bags of chips, Nutri grain bars, and those cute little Smuckers frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I stuffed those snacks for my family of four right into my big black coach bag. We arrived at the theater but were not able to sit together. We were separated by a huge aisle, so hubby had one kid and I had the other.
When the lights went down and the movie was about to start I whispered to my daughter, “Give this to daddy.” My daughter walks across the aisle, sticks her hand out and with her strong voice says, “Here daddy! Here is your peanut butter and jelly sandwich!” This child was born with a voice that carries. She doesn’t know the concept of whispering. Anyway, Hubby quipped, “Go sit down!” I felt so bad. At that time my daughter was six-years-old and didn’t realize we snuck those snacks into the theater. All my children knew was, mommy, brings snacks from home in her big black bag.
Why I Stopped Sneaking Snacks Into Movies
Now my daughter was about seven-years-old. Our family was in the kitchen preparing for the movies. You know the routine. I’m tossing snacks in the big black bag and I see my daughter whizz by me with a pink Disney characters backpack. I observed her as she grabbed chips, a strawberry shortcake pastry, and a juice box, and tossed them in her little pink backpack! I said, “Taraji what are you doing?” She said, “I’m bringing my own bag of snacks to the movies.” That bothered me. Something about it seemed wrong. I saw myself in what she was doing. A strong conviction gripped my heart. I thought, what am I teaching my children? How to be deceitful, and sneaky? These characteristics cross over into other areas of life, so this did not sit well with me at all.
I’m not one of those “Do as I say, not as I do parents.” If it’s not good for the child, many times it’s not good for the parent either. That very day my husband and I decided we’d rather pay a fortune for snacks at the concession stand or eat nothing at all. The cost of teaching our children to be people of character (virtuous and honest) is worth it. So, that’s why I stopped sneaking snacks into the theatre. If my children are going to emulate what I do – I better start doing a better job at following God’s standard of living.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:12)
But Ty, it’s not that serious… It’s just snacks geesh… Everyone does it! As a Christian, I don’t want to do everything everyone else does… Listen, if I’m hungry and I happen to find a Snickers bar in my bag that I completely forgot about, I’m gonna gobble that candy bar up right then and there, along with the over-priced nachos I purchased at the concession stand.
My point is, there’s a difference between intentional and unintentional. God expects a higher standard of right living from us. I find that God challenges me in the littlest things to see how I respond. How else will I mature and reach a higher standard of living in Christ if I’m not challenged to? If I respond the way He expects – then I move on to the bigger issues He wants to deal with me about. Hopefully, I respond by quickly making the necessary changes. That’s how character is developed. I’m a work in progress folks – no perfection here!
I Believe in Sowing and Reaping
Movie theaters make a living off of the astronomically priced concession stand food. Why? Because movie ticket sales “supposedly” go straight to the movie studios – not the theater. This is someone’s livelihood. “No outside food or drinks allowed” is the policy of these establishments. No, it may not be written in plain view for you to see in most theaters but the policy exists on most of their websites. Plus, why would we sneak snacks if it was ok to bring them?
You may be thinking, does this woman think she’s the “no sneaking snacks police?” Lol! No… But I have a small business, so I get it that there are rules and policies that customers are expected to adhere to. But I also wouldn’t charge such outlandish prices for my services. My solution – eat before I go or I’ll just have to be prepared to fork over a good chunk of my paycheck to the concession stand business.
Sowing and reaping is a Biblical / universal principle. I want to sow good seeds into my children, my business, and any other things I’m entrusted with — and I want to reap a blessing from them. Thanks to my daughter, I’ve been clean of sneaking snacks into movies for six years now. If I can do it — anybody can do it.
Food for thought: “And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them” (Luke 6:31)
This article was written by Tytenisha Osgood, author of Confessions of a Praying Woman. Tytenisha’s blog, Purple Linen Coats reflects her passion for sharing God’s truth and her diverse interests. She resides in Massachusetts, USA with her husband and children.