I caught a couple of minutes of The Wizard of Oz this weekend – the part where Dorothy, Scarecrow and Tin Man meet the Lion. He was all bluster and bravado until Dorothy smacked him on the nose and he turned into a scaredy cat. It’s an amusing moment in the movie, and it hits a little close to home for me.
It’s not that I go around trying to frighten people. But I have often put on a facade of being strong and totally in control, especially around other people. But, like Lion, when I’ve been faced with unexpected challenges, that mask crumbles pretty quickly. I’ve even blubbered like him a few times!
When Lion went with his new friends to see the Wizard, he had no idea what a journey he was beginning. They all imagined the yellow brick road would be smooth, and the great and powerful Oz would quickly grant their wishes. But, as we all know, it wasn’t that easy. Each of them had to go through some trials and tests before learning that they possessed what they needed all along.
I can relate to that. I’ve been praying this week that God would give me more courage and boldness to speak His truth. But instead of just receiving a spiritual “download”, I’ve been put into some situations where I’m being challenged to speak up. Why? He knows that when I learn by experience, the lessons will have more value. The qualities I asked for are already ther by His design, waiting to grow.
Lion faced his own fears as he helped take down the wicked witch. In doing that, He discovered a deeper pool of bravery beyond his surface. His growl changed from an expression of pride to a confident statement about himself. And part of the reason was a new focus away from himself to those he cared about and the greater mission.
Do you want more courage or more heart? How about more patience, or joy or peace? God has already put those qualities inside you, and they’re waiting to be discovered. Will you let Him send you on your own journey?