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Thundercats and Spiritual Formation

Updated: Jan 31, 2019

On January 23, 1985, three little boys in Alabaster, Alabama were introduced to the ThunderCats. As far as we were concerned, our Saturday mornings were booked for this cartoon.

We did all things Thundercats. Adventures in the backyard turned into arguments as to who could be Lion-O. We had ThunderCats pajamas, t-shirts, bed sheets, lunch boxes, and action figures. Just so we are clear, no one did lunchboxes better than the 1980’s.

We had the ThunderCats video game. You better believe that mom and dad still have our ThunderCats toys, alongside the original Star Wars toy series.

The first toy that ever broke my heart was my Lion-O Sword of Omen. I lost the sword in Alabaster, Alabama. I can remember it like it was yesterday.

But then in 1989, TV executives tore the heart out of the chest of all three Hale boys by cancelling the show. As quickly as it came into our lives, it was gone.

Of course, this was pre-DVR and series being produced for VHS and DVDs. So there was no way to rewatch our beloved episodes. It was just gone.

Over the years, there have been rumors of the cartoon being adapted into a movie. The latest buzz came in late 2018, but that was soon squashed.

For four years of our lives, ThunderCats was the source of so much joy, adventure, and imagination. But that was a long time ago.

It sounds so silly, but how often is our journey with God similar to this beloved children’s cartoon.

We all have a unique process of being formed by God.

For some, you were given the tools, mentors, and spaces to enter into a healthy life-long process of being formed and reformed by God.

Yet, for some raised in the church, knowing the Bible was the primary methodology of spiritual formation. We were raised to know the stories, memorize scripture verses, and have the ability to recite its books in order. For some, this often led to a one-sided relationship with what can feel is an idle book of sayings.

For some, we deconstructed the complexities and difficult questions about our faith, which can all too often met by others with concerns, judgment, or lack of help. When questions are met with resounding “no’s,” one’s spiritual direction can lead to any number of paths. For some, this leads to a divorce from the church.

And still for some, we were never given the critical practices and tools to engage in a deeper spiritual formation process. So even the discussion of such a topic seems relatively unfamiliar.

For many, our relationship with the Spirit of God reflects my journey with a 1980’s Saturday cartoon. It was something that was once really important to us; we still have the merchandise to prove that we still somewhat care about it, but it doesn’t really inform who we are today and who we are becoming tomorrow.

Despite where we are and where we have come from, the Spirit of God dwells among and within us. It is the Spirit of God that is inviting us into something deeper and more vibrant than what we have ever experienced before.

Consider what it would look like for you to reexamine how you are formed and being reformed by God. Consider what it might look like for you to engage in new practices of spiritual formation.

Consider what it might look like not to revive something from the past, but participate in something new God is doing.

As you consider, you are invited to engage in some of our weekly opportunities of spiritual formation that create a healthy space for dialogue, community, and development.

Consider participating in the spiritual formation hour on Sundays at 9:00 am, the new Off-Limits Theology Conversations gatherings on January 23 and then the first and third Wednesdays at 6:30pm, or the Theology and Philosophy Connect Group.

Consider partnering with others in a developmental relationships centered on discovering the vibrant, beautiful, and deeper spiritual journey that God is inviting us all into.


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