#778 – Nerd Joy


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The sad truth is that most nerds probably experience more nerd rage than nerd joy.

When we were younger we found so much joy in all of our favorite nerdclinations.

We didn’t care that the Thundercats spoke more slowly than the slowest Ent.

We didn’t care that no one could figure out that Prince Adam was He-Man, even though they looked exactly the same.

We didn’t care that a tribe of teddy bears took down the Galactic Empire’s most advanced and well-trained troops.

Plot holes, bad writing and nonsensical characters weren’t enough to snuff out the pure joy we got from watching and reading our favorite nerdclinations.

Somewhere along the way, though, our joy turned to rage. Now a lot of nerds only find joy when tearing down their favorite nerdclinations.

We can’t appreciate The Avengers because the characters talk to each other without Bluetooth comlinks.

We can’t appreciate an issue of Wolverine and the X-Men because Wolverine shouldn’t have enough time to run a school, be an Avenger, lead X-Force and have his own personal adventures.

We can’t appreciate the prequels because George Lucas didn’t do anything we wanted him to do.

We’ve lost what it means to be a nerd and find joy in our favorite nerdclinations. Layers of cynicism have grown in our lives and our hearts have been hardened like Pharaoh’s. The simple joy of watching or experiencing something for the first time has been replaced by nitpicking every scene or every panel.

Thankfully, though, nerd joy is not dead, as we can see in the video below.

That video brings a smile to my face. That little boy’s reaction to seeing Superman fly is worth more than Lex Luthor’s fortune. Years haven’t whittled away his joy and replaced it with cynicism. He is simply awestruck at Superman taking his first flight.

We should strive for that kind of joy and awe in our lives. Not just with our favorite nerdclinations, but with everything.

We should have that kind of joy and awe when we see God’s hand in a sunset.

We should have that kind of joy and awe when we hug a son or a daughter, a niece or a nephew, a wife or a husband.

We should have that kind of joy and awe when we watch our favorite super heroes come to life in big-budget, Holly wood movies.

Cynicism and snark are easy. Joy and awe take a lot more intention. Joy and awe are also much more transformative. They can also have a bigger impact in the world, both for our favorite nerdclinations and for our God.

What helps you find joy and awe in your life?

Thanks to Uproxx for sharing the video.


2 comments on “#778 – Nerd Joy”

  1. Great post, Scott! Really fine work.

    Do joy and awe always take more intention, though, or don’t they sometimes — maybe even usually — take us by surprise? Like Jacob waking from his dream to exclaim, “Truly this is the gate of heaven, and I knew it not”?

    Just a thought, and not meant as snark (nerdy or otherwise). As usual, you say so much with your well-chosen words and illustrations. Thank you for The Christian Nerd!

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Mike.

      I agree that joy often takes us by surprise. I think the intention comes in cultivating a heart that can be surprised by joy. If we’re not intentional about softening our hearts to be responsive to what God is going, then we’ll end up being hard-hearted cynics.

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