God can use anything to get our attention, from a song on the radio, to a kids movie. As a recovering Pharisee (aka, avoid-anything-not-blatantly-God), this was hard for me to accept, but Disney’s Frozen blew my mind (5 Lessons from Frozen I didn’t see coming here).
I recently saw “Oz, the Great and Powerful ” (2013, with James Franco), and it was chock full of heart lessons. Here are three that touched me, and I hope you too. (Warning, Spoilers!):
1-Goodness trumps Greatness Every Time…
Oz was determined to make a name for himself. As a carnival magician with swindles up his sleeve, he finally gets caught and escapes in a hot-air balloon. Quickly sucked up into the Tornado and about to die, Oz cries out to something bigger than himself:
“I don’t want to die! I haven’t accomplished anything yet! Get me out of here and I’ll do great things! …Give me a chance!..”
The storm calms and Oz lands in a kingdom of people tormented by an evil witch, their only hope a prophecy of a great wizard who will fall from the sky and rescue them. Oz learns riches and the throne to the land will be given to this wizard so he starts playing the part. But in the process of his con he develops genuine concern for the people he encounters.
How many of us are willing to learn and/or change from our life encounters with others? Sometimes the most difficult people can be like tools chipping away qualities we could use less of, e.g. pride, or build more of, e.g. patience…
2-God knows all our mess, but still Loves us deeply
Glinda, like any good witch, is kind to Oz, but this means even more when we realize she has been aware of his disingenuous plan. She notes some of his character flaws, including egotism and “fibbing,” but still encourages and even believes in him. She only asks him to believe in himself.
Watching Glinda was like watching Jesus, or God–totally aware of our less than perfect hearts, yet totally, authentically kind to us and always affirming our true identity of goodness, even greatness…
3-The thing we fear we may never become is probably the thing we are destined to be…
In the end, Oz lives up to the hopes of the people, becoming the “Great and Powerful” Wizard they were waiting for. But it was his goodness, manifested by self-sacrifice, that shined the brightest, making him a truly noble King.
Glinda gives a verbal high five: “I knew you had it in you all along...”
“Greatness?” asks Oz.
“No, better than that. Goodness.”
Wherever you are in life, no matter what you’re striving for, take a lesson from Oz: Real wealth comes from helping others, lots of help will be provided–often times without your notice–along the way, and never forget what Glinda/God says about you: Your Life matters and you can make a difference– in fact, you make the difference!
Are you ready for your adventure?
- More on your identity/divinity? Check a glimpse from Superman–one day Clark Kent had to decide to be Superman
- More on the Love/Hate War? Check: Sometimes we need mud in our eyes to see straight, or Igniting Heaven on Eeath.
- Do you struggle with pharisee tendencies? Check my about page, or Who would you rather rule: Jesus or a Pharisee?, or God’s Glass Elevator.
Thanks for reading! How have you found encouragement along the way? Feel free to share in the comments?