I wanted to write a blog post about hope. You see, I think as we journey together into the colder months, we need some hope to give us the ability to endure. Be be persistent. We need hope to remember who we are as things get darker and colder. So, here’s a blog for those of us who need to have some hope.
Months ago, Pre-Covid-19, I did a class about a subject, which I can barely remember. I should probably dig it out, but for the purpose of this blog, just know, in order to make my point, I showed a scene from Disney’s “The Lion King” where Mufasa comes back from death and tells his son Simba to “remember who you are.” https://youtu.be/lQd22F5onyM
You see, Simba has been hanging out with Timon and Pumbaa, who had saved him from death years prior. However, Simba had forgotten who he was – the one who was to inherit the Kingdom and take his rightful place as ruler. I used it as the metaphor to remind my class to “Remember who they are” – that is children of God. God wants us to rise and fly to our highest purpose.
However, sometimes we forget that we are children of God – and rightful inheritors of God’s grace, love and kingdom.
Who Are You?
Now before I start to sound all existentialist, religious and weird on you – I don’t mean to! But I think sometimes, with all of the outside noise in this world, we forget that we are indeed, God’s children. We forget that we have this insanely powerful light inside ourselves which yearns to shine. Instead, we hide the light inside of our souls because we are too afraid to embrace our inner gift. Our genius. Our God-given abilities which if we don’t use, we whither and die a slow death. Death by fear or by hiding. We sicken in our soul and turn away to distraction. You can fill in the blank of what is the distraction you yourself use to numb the pain of not doing what you know you were placed on this earth to do. (Remember, we are spiritual aliens? What is our mission? Only you yourself know that answer! If you have forgotten, you must contact the mothership…)
Do You Remember You?
Many years ago, I went to camp, so I’m in this Facebook camp group. From time to time, I get a notification that someone asks the question, “I’m so and so from bunk 4 in 1978, does anyone remember me?” They so desperately want to be remembered by others, but really I want to know, do they remember who they were? If we could reconnect with that younger version of ourselves, before we were encumbered by old ideas about how limited we are, then we can remember who we are.
In the last book of the Torah, (Old Testament), in Deuteronomy, Moses spends his time reiterating the things he wants the Israelites (and all humanity) to remember. He beseeches them to remember who they are. That they are children of God and worthy of great things. They don’t have to become enamored with the idol worship and empty pursuits in which the neighboring tribes participate. They (and we) have everything they need – they know all they need to know to succeed. They just have to remain focused on the idea that with God at their center, they cannot fail.
Learn How To Fly
There’s a story I just told to a good friend of mine about the baby eagle who got injured after he fell out of the tree. He was taken in by a bunch of chickens who lived on the nearby farm. They taught him to do what they did every day. The ran around squawking, they pecked at the feed on the ground. Never did they look up to see the other birds in the sky flying around. But one day, the eagle looked up and saw an eagle flying around. Something within him awakened and he wished, “oh how I wish I too could fly like that.” He walked around to the other chickens to show them the eagle, but they brushed him aside. “Why in the world would you ever want to do that? You have everything you need right here! You have the food that the farmer provides, and you have us chickens. Who could ask for more?” But the eagle in his heart longed for more.
I don’t want to give away the ending. Instead, I’d have you write your own ending. The Hemingway-esque, poetic pessimist would write that the eagle died, unfulfilled. The optimist would write that the eagle perched himself up on a low stoop. Then he went to a higher perch, and then higher. First he fell. But he got back up and tried again. Slowly and methodically he taught himself to fly. And one day, since he believed he could fly, he finally did.
Give Yourself The Spiritual Grace To Fail
It’s funny. We have children, and we want them to become independent, but we also want to keep them safe. So we give them these messages: “Be careful.” “Don’t run so fast!” “Don’t climb so high.” And yet, only by falling, failing, getting hurt, making mistakes and otherwise stumbling, is how we learn. We never learn how to grow by staying safe. We learn to grow by falling down and failing.
Can we begin believe this spiritual truth? In God’s universe, there is no such thing as failure, just opportunity to try again?
We forget this truth because we think we are chickens – not eagles! Yes, we can fly. We can remember who we are. We can be like the nascent Israelites, who just begin to enter the Promised Land and we can succeed. Sure, we will suffer pitfalls and setbacks along the way, but we can still prevail. It is only through failure that we learn the ways we can soar. The most important thing to remember is to keep trying!
So I Ask You Again: Who Are You?
Are you an eagle? Do you believe that you can fly despite the messages of the chickens? Can you remember who you were before you were encumbered with all of those empty messages and limiting beliefs? If not, this is the time to get busy.
- Write a letter to yourself from your youthful perspective when anything and everything was possible
- Journal about the messages you received and who gave them to you. And then pray to be able to forgive them for being wrong
- Offer gratitude to the Universe for the ability to remember who you are and to reconnect to that spirited part of you that seems to have lost the way.
- And finally, if all else fails, go get a copy of “The Lion King” and watch the movie. You can remember that we all have a special and specific part to play in the jungle, and are intrinsically all a part of the circle of life.
I hope this blog post gives you some hope along the way. Please drop me a comment and let me know if it was helpful! Until we meet again, may you be blessed on your spiritual journey!
Another blog about hope: