" Run away, and never return!"

My bride and I settled in to watch a movie last night. She suggested "The Lion King" - the new version. I was hesitant. The animated version came out when my kids were young, and we loved it...even visiting Disney World on vacation around that time. I was afraid that like a lot of remakes, this one would fall flat.

Oh, was I wrong.

Africa has always held wonder for me. It was initiated in my youth by watching Tarzan movies, and enhanced by listening to missionaries who served there. Books by Hemingway and Peter Hathaway Capstick, and National Geographic magazines captivated my imagination about the Dark Continent.  I am entranced by Africa's flora and fauna - especially lions.

The movie showcased some of the beauty I saw in Tanzania. As I watched my mind whispered "this is what Eden was like".  It was fabulous.

This is no children's film friends. If you have seen it you know the scene where Scar orchestrates the death of king Mufassa and with a beguilingly soothing voice manipulates the young prince Simba into thinking he is responsible for his father's death.

"Simba, what have you done? The king is dead, and if it weren't for you, he would still be alive. What will your mother think of a son who caused his father's death? A boy who killed the king.  What will the others say? "

"But I didn't mean it, it was an accident...what should I do?" Simba asks

"Run. Run away and never come back", replies Scar, taking out the royal linage in a coup.  Simba does run. shamed and fatherless.

Later as Simba grows into young adulthood, comes a question...THE question ..."who are you?"

We have all faced the question. What if  people really knew us...knew what we had done, or didn't do. Would they love us or reject us? And so we run. We build walls. We isolate.

Simba had forgotten who he was because of manipulation and shame. He had stuffed that part of him away. But it did not change who he was. It merely distorted his perception of his identity. An encounter with the spirit of his father awakened his identity;  "remember who you are".

Such truth here. We have an enemy who has tried to blind us to our true identity, manipulating us with shame,  in an effort to usurp the throne.

But as surely as we have en enemy, we have a Father who calls to us...."remember...remember who you are".


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