Two friends and I went to see Disney’s Moana yesterday afternoon. I was excited for sure (I tend to either like movies or LOVE movies…so it’s always exciting for me) but gosh it’s a good one, y’all. And in a way that only a God as kind as ours would do, He put His hand right over a pain point in my heart while I watched Moana.
I don’t want to give any movie details away, but as brave little Moana heads out on her mission, she carries a glowing green stone with her, the visible symbol of what she is called to, the important work she’s been chosen (by the ocean) to do.
When some time has passed (about an hour for us, a few days for her) and Moana has done everything she knows to do and is still failing, when she is deeply disappointed and out of strength, in the middle of the night out on the ocean in her canoe, she decides she can’t do it anymore. This calling on her life is too much and she turns to the ocean and with the stone in her hands, begins to speak to the waters.
“Why did you bring me here?” she asks, “I’m not the right person. You have to choose someone else. Choose someone else. Please.” She holds out the stone, offering it back to the ocean, and a wave reaches into her palm and takes the green stone and lets it drop through it’s water to the bottom of the sea. And then Moana cries.
And so did I, right there in the movie theater.
Because I don’t know about you, but there are days that I look back to God and open my hand and say, “take back this calling, please. I can’t do this. Let someone else have it.”
I want Him to choose someone else.
It feels too hard.
I tried and didn’t succeed like I thought I would.
This isn’t how I pictured my calling, my life, my ministry, my future. (Can I get an amen?)
Just this week I said to God, “Hey, I didn’t sign up for this and I don’t like it. Do You even care about that?”
(Sure, I’m talking about being single, but also some other areas of my life that are in a bit of turmoil currently.)
Somedays, not most days, but probably more days than I want to admit, I ball up all the things I feel called to write about and talk about and live through and I stretch out my hands and ask Him, “Why did you bring me HERE?” And I remind Him I’m not the right person. And I ask Him to choose someone else. Please.
And it makes me cry.
Throughout the film, Moana has a mantra about who she is, where she is from, and what she is doing. A few minutes after this heartbreaking scene when she gives her calling back, through a series of flashbacks and a visit from someone in her past (no spoilers here!), she remembers who she is. She remembers her unique spot on the planet. She remembers what this is all for. And she dives deep into the ocean after that glowing green stone. Moana grabs it for herself this time. What was handed to her before is now something she is choosing, because she sees how much it matters.
(And now I am a MESS in the theater.)
Because for every conversation I start where I hand back to God all that He has called me to do and the life He has given me, He speaks up quickly and reminds me of who I am and why I’m here and what this is all for. And then I have the strength, and the genuine desire, to CHOOSE this life for myself. To believe that it matters, to be grateful for the calling and the opportunities and my unique spot on the planet.
Phew. I didn’t plan for Moana to talk to me about God and my calling and remind me to persevere and even rejoice in where I find myself today- personally and professionally- but she did. What a beautiful and kind moment from God to me in the middle of an animated kid movie. What a way to remind me that yes, He does care and yes, He does see, and yes, all of this matters. And I’m really really grateful.