“….it means no worries for the rest of your days. It’s our problem-free philosophy…..hakuna matata!”
Somewhere around the 4th hour into my 6 hour drive home from the mountains last night, I needed something to keep me awake for the rest of the drive home, so I pulled off the freeway and found a Target in hopes of picking up an audio book to listen to in the car. After being told by a salesperson in the book/music department that “no one listens to books on CD anymore”….yea, that actually happened…I browsed the music section for something that would keep my attention for at least the next two hours.
So, I picked up the Adele CD that won so much attention after the Grammies (loved it, though a bit too angsty for keeping me awake) and I also bought the movie soundtrack to….The Lion King. And I drove through Africa all the way home!
I remember seeing this movie years ago with our kids and have watched it a few times over the years. I LOVE the story and the music….it just has it all. And I had so much fun listening to song after song, music cranked up to feel the rhythem of the drums, singing along and picturing the characters and movie scenes along the way.
This morning when I got in the car at 7:45 am for the 20 minute drive to work, the CD was still in the player, and….did I mention I had it really cranked last night?…..so as I pulled out of the driveway, the opening African chant to Circle of Life nearly made me jump out of my seat….I loved it! But it was another Lion King song that really got my attention this morning.
If you’re not familiar with the story, the Lion King, Mufasa, is a wise and benevolent leader who is training his young cub, Simba, to one day take his place. Simba has his share of youthful indiscretions, and mistakenly believes he is responsible for the sudden death of his father. Simba runs away to avoid the heartbreak and shame, and finds himself in the company of new friends with a “problem-free philosophy” where he grows into a young lion with no worries. That is, until his childhood friend, Nala, finds him and reminds him of his responsibility, of his calling as the son of the King. The kingdom was suffering under a tyrant; there was hunger and chaos. But Simba wants no part of it….hakuna matata, man!
And that made me wonder what types of things I might be tempted to run from….things I don’t want to face because, maybe I don’t think I’m up to the challenge, or maybe it’s just easier to spend my days getting my meals from under logs and running from hyenas…..metaphorically speaking, of course! And who are the people affected by my decision to stay removed – who won’t be who they could be because I am not willing to become who I am called to be…..?
I’ve lived long enough now to see that there is no “one perfect path” to take in this life. There are choices we make day by day and minute by minute that eventually make up the sum of our lives. And the good news for people who believe that God walks with them is that, even the rebellious….the mistaken….the runaways are continually called back into wholeness, back into grace…..and called back…. home.
Simba eventually learned that the thing he was running from was the very thing that was intended to set him free, and would give him purpose and meaning. He was called to be a child of the King…..
I truly believe each of us is created to be in relationship with our Creator. The same Spirit that took human DNA and breathed life into the molecules from before we were even born continues to call us by name and into our destiny as children of God. We can run…we can deny…we can rebel….but we’re only hurting ourselves and wasting the precious days given to us by doing so. And, just as Nala reminded Simba who he was, God’s Spirit comes along side us to remind us of who we are…..and to call us to come back home.
When we are walking in our true calling as children of God, we are free to be all that we were created to be, and our lives have immeasurable impact on the world around us. So, I can claim my life as my own, and run from my destiny, ignoring the call of God, or…. I can turn and walk into the light of God’s creative plan for my life. And the irony is, surrendering my plans, my resources, my future back into the hands of the Creator actually releases TRUE…….