Today is Friday. It is one day after I originally planned to submit my second blog post. The problem is that a battle with the flu has thrown off my entire groove. As I spent two days in bed, Something huge came to my mind!! I don't know if it is the fact that I am closer to 40 than I am 30, or if parenthood has thrust this heaviness on me............... But I began to, in the midst of the Flu owning me............ wrestle with the thought of my ........... wait for it....................... MORTALITY. I know!!! How silly, that the flu would cause my mind to go there! A couple nights of fever and body aches, and all of a sudden I am wondering what happens when I kick the bucket!! Yeah.... I'm pretty jacked up.
Mortality is something that is a legitimate worry though. Am I right? There is really nothing more final than death. My worry though wasn't for me, but for those I leave behind. My beautiful wife and kids were what my mind kept railing to and my heart got heavier and heavier with every thought of it. How could they possibly survive with out me. Which, is a pretty selfish thing to think, right? How would this change the trajectory of their life? What burdens would they have to bear, because of my death? What does it look like to spend your childhood without your dad?!
These thoughts traveled through my mind and made an abrupt stop at.......... wait for it.............. BAMBI. I know!! weird!! So we have this little fawn, just getting adjusted to the world and all of a sudden, the poor guy has his world is jerked out from underneath him. His mother is shot by a hunter, which I believe to be Gaston. So as Gaston takes this poor fawn's mother with his own agenda of jerky, sausage and chili, Bambi is left trying to get life figured out. It is all incredibly sad. Gaston has a huge part of this kids life as a trophy. Some people will say, "Well, that's life.". Some will cock their head to the side like a confused puppy and say, "I'm so sorry.". Some will say, "Life goes on.". Bambi, though, is stuck trying to process everything that has just happened. So, what does a kid do? Is it fair? Why?
These are all questions that we face from time to time. In seasons of life, we face these questions day to day. We see the "tension" play out in every single Disney movie and every single life lived. The tension creates the climax. The tension, if viewed through the proper lens, gives birth to hope. Hope is what keeps us going. Simba loses Mufasa and journeys to become a better king because of hope. Wall-E is left in a wasteland and finds beauty in everything he comes into contact with and creates a better existence because of hope. Woody is stuck with an opponent for the affection of the one who possesses him, but instead comes out on the other side of it understanding the depth and breadth of LOVE because of hope . All of this tension gives birth to HOPE!!!
The problem is that we have to be intentional in driving circumstance toward hope. Disney is a huge blessing in this area. Imagine if all of our beloved Disney characters allowed their circumstance and tension to make them bitter as opposed to better. What If Bambi refused to trust after his mother's death. If he simply gave up on living. If he didn't meet Thumper or flower. If he refused to explore life, because of death. That steals hope. If we choose to view life and circumstance through the lens of hopelessness, then what happens to the world?
It's going to happen! Something or someone in our life is going to die and the hunter (satan) will keep it as a trophy in order to further kill our our hope. He will dangle the death of a dream, relationship, job or even a person in front of you to hold you down. It is the tool used by him to breed and strengthen bitterness that leads to the death of hope and the reign of circumstance. Jesus even tells us in John 10:10 "The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy.". That is our tension!! At the end of the verse though He says "I came that you may have life and have it abundantly.". Do you know what that means? He is our CLIMAX!!! He is HOPE!!! Through this lens, the hunter doesn't even have the fire power to keep you down. The circumstance breeds and strengthens hope and life. Simply because we have allowed Jesus to swap out the bitterness for betterment. That is life abundantly!! or Happily ever after or how ever you want to put it.
We are told in John 16:33 "In this world, you will have tribulation.", But Jesus says, "Take heart, I have overcome the world.". He is bigger than your tribulation! He is bigger than your circumstance! He is Hope! Satan can take as many shots as he wants. He can attempt to make trophies out of the low points in my life, but all he gets is a tougher target out of me. Not because of me, but because of the mindset that Jesus blessed me with. I am able to be better not bitter. I can enjoy my family and friends. I don't have to fear death at all! I can progress in my life, knowing love and peace, because Jesus turned the hunt into hope!