I was recently scrolling through Facebook when I came across a post from a person whom I used to be close with. Once upon a time this person and I conversed on a daily basis, but now I can’t recall the last time we texted. Then I got to thinking, since I’ve really stopped including this person in my everyday world, I’ve been more blessed and happier than I’ve ever been. And I think I’m okay with that.
This person probably won’t read this, but seeing that status made me recall a lot of our past history, our past friendship, and how much they have hurt me. How much running I had to do, and how that not only exhausted me, it made me afraid. Afraid of who I was, and who I was becoming. It’s like we both decided to go out onto the Safari and poke at a sleeping lion. Then the lion wakes up…fight or flight, and I was running…in the wrong direction.
This brings me to one of my favorite movies growing up: The Lion King. Simba tried to outrun his past and forget about what he did (which, spoiler alert, we all know that he didn’t kill Mufasa) in hopes of continuing to be who he thought he was. Granted, he was tricked by an evil fiend who was supposed to be someone he could trust.
In 1 Peter 5:8 it is written, “Be sober, be vigilant: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (KJV). See, the devil walks around, he’s a lion in a zebra costume, to see how many he can devour before people catch on that he’s lying (he’s a-lyin’ [bad pun, I know]).
Simba’s life story in a way resembles my own. I had a carefree life, then I had to face a lion, my lion. I had to decide whether it was best to try and outrun or try to stand motionless in hopes that the enemy wouldn’t see me. I decided to run…and I kept running until I was thirsty…and still I ran. But God still kept His hand on me…for some odd reason. Eventually I took on the courage to face my lion, I took my sword, and I defeated my lion.
Since I was able to overcome the power of that lion, I shouldn’t dwell on what used to be, because I am more than my past. I have a God who lives within me, and I’ve gained the strength to take on the any lion who dares to trespass on my turf. The term Hakuna Matata means no worries, or at least that’s what they sung in the movie. “It’s a problem-free philosophy: Hakuna Matata.” When I have the power of God inside of me, I’m not necessarily living a problem-free life, because let me tell you, they do come. However, I am able to take on my problems ‘like a boss’ (as many kids will say these days). I’m able to face my fears, when the past decides to catch up to me.
Eventually, Simba’s past did catch up to him. Sure, he enjoyed spending time with Nala at first, but when she gave him the proposition to face it or to turn his back (again) he chose to stay where he was. He willingly chose to avoid his fear.It took a wise friend, Rafiki, to allow Simba to see who he was: someone who had to go back and face his fears in order to overcome his past. By running away, Simba’s problems didn’t go away, they [it] literally festered into a bigger problem that would be harder to defeat. Scar is obviously representative of the past problem, and each hyena symbolizes every outcome that has happened since he [Simba] tried outrunning the past. Like me, when I was running away every thing I did or didn’t do was an outcome of me choosing not to take on my lion. More and more hyenas were laughing at me because of my fear…
I stopped running, turned around, gulped more than once, and took the first step towards my fear, let out some battle cry as I began chasing after the lion that was trying to prey on me. I stopped talking to that person. I don’t think they really noticed, and if they did, well they never tried asking me why I stopped talking to them. They didn’t try reaching out for my hand and a stick to poke the lion. I thought that perhaps they got devoured themselves. Not quite. They were running yet too. But they had learned to ‘tame’ the lion by giving it some food. A temporary fix in a very dangerous, almost permanent situation. I hope they learn to pick up the sword and slay that lion, because feeding it will only make it hungrier. A hungrier lion is much harder to tame.
I learned that my past does not define me, but He does because He lives inside of me. Because of this, I’m not necessarily braver, I just have the strength to carry on. He is my Mufasa, and I am a warrior. The question remains, who are you