Monday, January 7, 2013

Semester Reflections: Dorothy

At the end of every semester I like to reflect and pick at least three big themes God has helped me mature in during the previous season.  Many times this takes the form of an essay, journal entry, or blog post.  Today I journaled and now I am blog posting, hopefully you can relate and respond to my lessons as well.

Without going into much detail, the three big themes I picked out for Fall 2012 are DorothyGrace, and Money.  I plan to go into more detail on each theme in separate posts.  First, I shall conquer Dorothy.

Hopefully you all know the lovable character Dorothy from the movie "The Wizard of Oz."  Dorothy is a young girl searching for who knows what when she finds herself in the middle of a tornado that whisks her away to a magical city of munchkins, witches and a large yellow brick road.  After landing in this city, Dorothy's mission is finding her way back home.  Along her journey to find the Wizard of Oz, whom has all the answers, she picks up three friends who are also in search of something.  Throughout their journey together they encourage each other, laugh together and cry together.  The group of four find themselves fighting evil monkeys, begging gatekeepers to let them pass, and all sorts of other exciting things.

The reason I have titled this post "Dorothy" is because I heard a sermon once about doing discipleship "Dorothy style."  It really helped put discipleship in perspective for me, and when my roommates and I watched "The Wizard of Oz" about a month ago, it hit home to me what Dorthy-style discipleship was all about.  In fact, I realized that had been a huge theme of my semester here.

Dorothy did two things that capture the essence of discipleship.  First she entered in.  Dorothy was on a journey when she met Scarecrow.  She had one task to fulfill and she knew how to get there.  Very easily could she have dismissed Scarecrow and went on minding her own business, making the journey alone and deceivingly much faster.  I see most of us today doing just that.  We are very task-oriented individuals, and we are also very aware of the ever ticking time-bomb.  Therefore our society tends to think the "me first and me only" mentality is the fastest and easiest way to go about a job.  When in fact, this is a lie from Satan.  "Me first and me only"  leaves you lonely, confused, and destroyed by Satan.  Dorothy understood this, and so she chose to enter in.

Follow this link to see a clip from the movie:
(I apologize there was no embedded option on this video.)

Dorothy could have easily kept going, ignored the scarecrow, and  focused on her desires, but instead she chose to enter in to a relationship with Scarecrow.  As you saw in the video, first she asked him a few questions about himself, then she introduced herself, and soon she was helping him down off of the pole and inviting him to journey with her to the Emerald City.  THAT is what discipleship is about.  Entering in.

The same process is repeated when she meets Lion and The Tinman.  Dorothy is quick to invite others along for the journey, despite the fact that she herself has not much clue of what to expect or what to do.  That's where her second inspiring action takes place, she journeys with.  Discipleship isn't about knowing everything then pouring out to others when you think you know enough, it's more about journeying with others and finding out TOGETHER what it takes to achieve the dreams and goals God has put before each of you.  You don't have to know everything and you definitely don't have to need only to lay everything before God and take each day one step at a time--you and your teammates.

The biggest blessing of this fall has been living with two of my sheep.  I've seen and lived discipleship on a deeper level than I've ever seen.  It's been extremely hard, it's been very humbling. and its been very encouraging.  The growth and beauty I've seen come from these two girls has been more of a lesson for me than anything else I've experienced.  I've seen first hand how one person can't go in the journey alone, and the value that close Christian community brings to a family.  This was how the church was designed to live.  This is how the Acts Christians did life.  Discipleship was life.  Life was discipleship.  Today we separate the two, when in fact it was meant to be one sanctity.

At times during the semester I tried to hard to focus on my outward ministry, and it was during those times that our household was rocky and tense.  It took a great roommate and friend talking frankly with me to pull me back in.  The truth is, God blessed us all with the community of each other, and first and foremost that is our focus..."to build one another up in love."  It may have took several months for me to understand the opportunity at hand, but living and breathing discipleship daily gives believers the perfect opportunity to serve God by "not giving up meeting together...encouraging one another daily..etc." (Hebrews 10:23-25)

What a huge blessing this Dorothy Discipleship semester has been.  God has really humbled me and taught me throughout it all, but I am forever grateful for the opportunity and praise my God for his goodness.

If you have a chance over this break, I'd like to encourage you to watch "The Wizard of Oz."  Study Dorothy and how kind and gentle she is while she invites others to join her on her journey.  However, she realizes the journey isn't about her at all.  It's about helping others find what they are looking for too.