Lessons from The Lion King: Part 1

John and Rosie love to watch TV. We try to be strategic and careful about how much they watch, because they get so sucked in. They usually get to watch a little bit before bed, especially when Ben is gone. I am able to get Clare down and it gives me some time to release the frustrations of the day so that everyone can go through the bedtime routine in a relaxed and loving manner, rather than uptight, hurry up, why aren’t you sleeping already I’m exhausted mood.

As we have explored different shows for them to watch, we have discovered that John has a sensitive soul. He doesn’t like to be scared or concerned for a character. After we have watched something a few times, he methodically will walk away from the TV during the parts that he knows upset him or make him uncomfortable.

Because of this, we have tried to introduce new shows and movies slowly, giving him time to learn the story and realize that everything turns out alright for the heroes and heroines. One of the ways that we have been doing this, especially for Disney movies, is by listening to the soundtracks and reading the books. Our current project is The Lion King. We have been listening to the soundtrack in the car, essentially on repeat, (the musical soundtrack since that really walks through the whole story) and borrowing the book from the library. Both John and Rosie know the whole story, can tell you what is happening during every song and John is even inserting himself into the scenes (Mommy, Simba and I have to give a mighty roar and chase the hyenas away from Sarabi and Nala). It’s pretty adorable, especially he and Simba’s mighty roar can solve almost any problem any character in any story is having.

Mufasa Needless to say, if I didn’t have the soundtrack memorized before, I do now. I have always loved the scene from the movie when Rafiki (the baboon for those who need a refresher) comes to Simba and helps him remember who he is and gets him to come home. Mufasa, from the cloud, tells Simba to “remember who you are.” In the musical, there is a song during this part. It is a reprise from earlier in the musical when Mufasa takes young Simba and tells him about the great kings of the past and how they look down on us from the starts. The song says “They live in you, they live in me. They’re watching over, everything we see.”

If we take these two ideas, “Remember who you are” and “They live in you” and think about Jesus, we have some powerful stuff to reflect on.

“Remember who you are.” It seems that this statement implies that I’ve forgotten something important about myself. What could it be? I know my name, where we live, what I like to eat and what activities I enjoy. But we all know that this is about something deeper. Something more fundamental.

Who am I? I am a human being. I have a mind that can make decisions, select a lifestyle, choose a career path and discern, to the best of my ability, God’s will.

And still, there is more to remember. I can go even deeper. All the way back to the beginning, when God saw that all was good. When God created the world, the Bible tells us He created all manner of wonderful things. Plants, animals, fish, birds, oceans and mountains – all were created through God’s love. And then we get to when God created man.

“God created mankind in his image;

in the image of God he created them;

male and female* he created them.” (Genesis 1:27)

We are made in the image and likeness of God. I am made in the image of God. Wow – it’s hard to believe. It is so much easier to say that Clare, my sweet baby, is made in the image of God. She is so innocent, so sweet, so pure. The only thing that shines out of her bright eyes is love and complete acceptance. Yes, she is made in the image of God. But me?

If I am made in the image and likeness of God, then that means I am capable of the purity that Clare has. I am capable of the love and acceptance she shows. I am capable of giving someone my complete attention, without judging them or their life choices. I am capable of childlike trust, waiting patiently for God’s timing rather than insisting on my own timeline. I am capable of sacrificing new clothes, a fancy dinner, a new electronic device, and using that money to help those who do not have the necessities of life that I take for granted. I am capable of so much, but it is much easier to do so little.

“Remember who you are.” The more I remember who I am, at the core, the happier I am. This is because I am in touch my Creator’s purpose for my life.

Looking forward to exploring “They Live in You” for Part 2 in a few days

Easter joy and blessings for you all