Hello. My name is Haley, and I am a student at Dallas Baptist University. Today, I’m writing this blog to share something with the world that I’m not very proud of.
I’m an addict. I’m addicted to something so powerful, I lost possession of the strength needed in order to resist indulging myself with it. In fact, over winter break, I transformed from an addict into a full blown junkie.
My name is Haley Briggs, and my drug…is Harry Potter.
Okay, so maybe “addict” isn’t the most appropriate word to describe myself in regards to the fascination I have with J.K. Rowling’s seven-book series. However, anyone who knows me well would definitely say that I’m a Harry Potter fanatic (especially when it comes to the most superlative character, Ron Weasley).
(Beautiful, I know.)
By now, most of you are probably wondering, “Why is this psychotic, twenty-one-year-old college girl still fixated on a series that was written for children?” Well, I’m glad you asked.
When I was in the first grade, my older brother began his voyage through Rowling’s fictional world of magic. At this point, my youth prevented me from reading the world renowned chapter books alongside him; however, I watched as he marveled over Harry’s world and the things that Rowling made possible within it. I was intrigued, but as I aged, I sadly lost interest in Harry Potter and began reading books about princesses and cheerleaders and everything that my current role model, Hermione Granger, would have hated. I was a Muggle, and I didn’t even know it.* Even so, the years went by, and, though I thoroughly enjoyed the parts of the movies I ended up seeing, I never really understood how wonderfully enchanting Harry Potter actually was. Until now.
It’s the first day of winter break. I come home, change into my favorite pajamas, and plop down on the most comfortable spot on the couch, swaddled in every blanket and pillow in sight. I turn on the T.V., start up the fireplace, and begin searching for something good to watch on Netflix. In approximately 8.5 seconds, with a Sonic cup in hand, I convert my parents’ living room into a paradise where I intend to stay until the daunting spring semester beckons me to return to life outside. Nothing could make this day better.
Or so I thought.
A few minutes into my somewhat colossal movie search, a strange figure emerges from the shadows of the hallway. As it moves into the light, I see my brother holding a stack of movies, still wrapped in glistening cellophane. He sets them on the coffee table, sits on the couch next to me, and forms a nest-like structure that is similar to mine.
“Wanna watch Harry Potter?” he asks, nodding towards the stack of 8 movies. “Sure,” I reply. Little did I know, this one word response would change my life forever.
Throughout the course of 4 days, I watched in awe as the characters of Rowling’s imagination grew and learned and lived. In roughly 1,186 minutes, I fell deeper and deeper in love with Harry and his friends. I marveled over potions, daydreamed about spells, and dreamed about jumping frogs made out of chocolate. Amazed, I watched for 19 hours and 46 minutes as witches and wizards mended broken glasses, healed fractured bones, levitated objects, and morphed into creatures of many kinds. In 19 hours and 46 minutes, one author’s imagination, portrayed in a series of motion pictures, clearly defined the meaning of courage, friendship, justice, love, magic, power, academia, family, loyalty, and kindness. I was obsessed. I was addicted. I was certain that nothing else had or would ever exist in the world that could ever compare to Rowling’s creation.
So, let’s flash forward to today.
As previously stated, today I’m writing this blog to share something with the world that I’m not very proud of. I’m writing this blog to admit that, over the course of winter break, I spent 19 hours and 46 minutes binge-watching Harry Potter, another 3 to 5 hours reminiscing about it by reading articles and watching videos on YouTube, and at least another 2.5 hours discussing just how mesmerizing the series really is with friends, family, and colleagues. That’s roughly 30 hours of my five-week break devoted solely to Harry Potter. Wanna know the sad part? Only 9 hours out of my five-week break were spent with the God and Father who created me.
Here I am, a Christian, entirely committed to imaginary friendships made with characters who fail to exist past the bindings of Rowling’s seventh book. There He is, God, entirely committed to strengthening a real relationship with a girl who hardly puts forth the time or effort to do so.
This. This is why I’m so ashamed.
I love Harry Potter and the qualities I see in Rowling’s writing; however, I find it disgraceful that I often fail to recognize the same qualities written in the Word of God. These qualities- courage, friendship, justice, love, magic, power, academia, family, loyalty, and kindness- were first defined by God in the Bible. From the age of two, I’ve heard and recited stories of Jesus doing miraculous things. He gave sight to the blind, turned water into wine, and brought the dead to life. He walked on water, calmed the deadliest of storms, and gave cripples the ability to walk. He was God in the form of a man, and He died on the cross so that we could be seen as sinless in the eyes of our Creator. We haven’t even gotten to the coolest part; He rose from the dead three days later without even saying “Wingardium Leviosa.”
If that doesn’t impress you, I don’t know what will. All I have to say is this: Harry Potter is great and inspiring and magnificent, but he ain’t got nothing on Jesus. So, from now on, I’m going to be addicted to Him. After all, He is the Potter; I’m only the clay.
*A muggle is a non-witch/wizard, typically unaware of the magical world.
Written by: Haley
Photo Credits: favim.com, thequeenstich.com, & clumsycrafter.com