Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Kung Fu Panda

I recently watched Kung Fu Panda...I thoroughly enjoyed it. Its an animated kids action movie that has a pretty simple point. I've learned that a simple point is often a good point. The point of the movie is "believe." Told you it was simple. Here's a synopsis of the movie:

Po is a lazy, irreverant slacker panda, who is also the biggest fan of Kung Fu around...which doesn't exactly come in handy while working every day in his family's noodle shop. Unexpectedly chosen to fulfill an ancient prophecy, Po's dreams become reality when he joins the world of Kung Fu and studies alongside his idols, the legendary Furious Five -- Tigress, Crane, Mantis, Viper and Monkey -- under the leadership of their guru, Master Shifu. But before they know it, the vengeful and treacherous snow leopard Tai Lung is headed their way, and it's up to Po to defend everyone from the oncoming threat. To do that he has to learn Kung Fu quickly so he can take hold of the dragon scroll and fulfill his destiny as the dragon warrior. As others start believing in him, he starts believing in himself and is able to pull of a miraculous defeat of Tai Lung.

Throughout the movie anticipation grows as to what will happen when the scroll is opened by the one chosen as the dragon warrior. The anticipation is strong, yet the event is well...uneventful. Po opens the scroll and there's nothing there except a reflection of himself. The point is that he must believe he can be the dragon warrior and defeat Tai Lung. A major part of the journey is that someone else must believe in him first.

No deep theology here, I just think we all need someone to believe in us. Someone who is for us. Someone who has our best interest in mind and thinks we can be a part of something bigger than ourselves. We all need someone who belives good things for us and is a part of our journey towards those good things. And I don't just mean God. I mean, theologically I believe God is for us and wants us to be faithful to the calling he has for us. But I mean in our relationships here on earth. God created us for relationships and even though this next part may be cheesy, I believe it. It reminds me of one of the lines from the book The Shack: "I suppose that since most of our hurts come through relationships so will our healing." Nobody believes in Po at first and he's hurt by it, but as people start believing in him and he starts believing in himself, he finds he can do amazing things.

If hurt and healing comes through relationships, then we should all take inventory of each of our relationships and ask ourselves whether they are causing hurt or bringing healing. Do you believe in the people you are in relationship with? Are you a positive or negative part of their life? Is there healing in your words, or is their venom? Are you the kind of person you want to be around? What is it like to live with you, work with you, play with you, eat with you? These are hard questions, but I hope you will ask them about yourself and become a more loving person because of them.

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