Ya’ll know that story right? I want to talk about the story of the Wizard of Oz to use it as a metaphor about how we pray to God.
When was the last time you watched the movie “The Wizard of Oz?” I think the last time I watched the movie was in college, listening to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. Apparently, all my friends were convinced that the music of Pink Floyd synchronizes with the story of the Wizard of Oz…. I dunno man… I guess under the right…. Conditions… Pink Floyd and the Wizard of Oz go together? I’m not much of a Pink Floyd fan… never cared about that style of music, just always made me feel bored… I was more entertained watching them get their mind blown, then watching the movie itself. But this blog isn’t about being a music critic! It’s about comparing the Scarecrow, the Lion, and the Tin Man to how we pray and ask for things to God.
Let me make two things clear before talking about using the Wizard of Oz as a metaphor for our communication of God concerning our needs and desires.
Firstly, God is always listening to your prayers. No matter what, God is always inviting you to pray and ask. Afterall, Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 7:7-8, “For everyone who asks shall receive.” Never feel too shy or embarrassed when you come to God in prayer. He loves to hear your voice.
Secondly, You are made wonderful in the eyes of God, there is nothing wrong with you, because God has given you all that you need to live a full, exciting, fulfilling life. It is just that sometimes we need God to guide us and dig deep within ourselves in introspective reflection on who we are.
The Scarecrow, the Lion, and the Tin Man all are pursing going to see the Wizard of OZ because they want to ask the Wizard something they need/desire. The Scarecrow wants a brain, the Lion wants courage, and the Tin Man wants a heart. But what we find out in the movie is that as they journey on the yellow brick road, all three of those characters have the opportunity to learn that they already have all those things within them. A good example is when the Tin Man steps on a bug and cries over his mistake, showing his tenderness in the process. The Lion found ways to practice courage when it is needed. And the Scarecrow is able to solve their problems with logic and reasoning. The point is that they all have those gifts within them but just never realized it.
Maybe they were too overwhelmed by their failures that they feel that they don’t have a brain, courage, or a heart. But we know that you can only get those things with practice. So now think about what and how we pray to God and how God may respond to you.
It you prayed to God to give you courage, and if courage is only gained and realized when you put it into practice, then wouldn’t it be fitting for God to give you opportunities to practice courage? God wants us to be recognize His majesty but also for us to be self-empowered. We have always been told that God answers all our prayers, which I think is very true, but sometimes we expect God to answer a different way. Maybe we feel just like the Scarecrow, the Lion, and the Tin Man and think that like a magic potion we will be given those things and suddenly our lives will change forever at an instant.
But the whole point in which God put us in earth is about us becoming, it’s about growth. For example as much as I would love both of my kids just to skip the terrible twos and skip being fussy, and just have them skip to the age that they get to college, and be independent instantly… it’s not going to happen, it will take at least 13 years for my oldest, and 16 years for my youngest to have a shot at independence. It’s the long haul, and throughout those long years they will learn, they will experience, they will grow, and find out that they are special and that it is God who has already given them the ability to move mountains, only if they are %100 believing and use everything that they are given to it’s fullest potential.
Think about what we pray to God and how we pray and let go of what your expectations are. God answers them, but he answers them in a way in which He gives us the opportunity to get to where we need to get going. If you pray for money, God isn’t just going to give you a ton of money, but God is going to set up the opportunities for you to get money. Give you a chance to write a good resume, get the proper educations for a job, apply for the job, get the job, and the job gives you money. Don’t look at God to be a magician, but look at God to be your Almighty, All-knowing Guide. If you are praying for patience, guess what, God will give you opportunities to practice patience. If you are like me and praying God for you to e a good parent…. Well I realize that God’s not going to zap me to be a better father, but that God has surely given me ample opportunities to be a better father by putting me in situations that forces me to make a good decision for my family and children. Each day I pray for this, God just throws me a certain situation in which I must be the best dad I can be. Some of the times I look like a pro, other times, I make the wrong decision. But life is long, and God is working on each and every one of us to be a better person than yesterday.
Hey this is Rev. Brian Choi's random thought throughout my week. Most of this stuff, will probably be about family, church, fishing, music, movies, food, whatever I think of, hopefully it will have some sort of theological reflection (maybe).