Have you ever wondered why an all-powerful God who can do anything He wants, chooses imperfect people to do His will, instead of just doing things Himself? I know I have. I have prayed, and wondered why; why Moses? Why David? Why Saul? The list goes on and on throughout the Bible, of men and women alike with sordid pasts, huge flaws, and obvious sins, chosen for a God-given purpose.
Like last week, I am going to use Moana as an example, because I feel the imagery is so powerful. There were a couple of scenes between Moana and Maui, that really spoke to me. The first one, when Maui asks her why her people sent her, Moana responds, "My people didn't send me. The ocean did."
Maui's response is both sarcastic, and interesting; "Makes sense. You're what? Eight? Can't sail? Obvious choice." He begins here, to plant seeds of doubt, where Moana has otherwise had great faith, by pointing out her flaws. She is young and unqualified.
David was also young and unqualified when God asked him to face Goliath. But God equipped him.
Moana remains faithful, and responds, "It chose me for a reason," to which Maui continues with, "If the ocean's so smart, why didn't it just take the heart back to Te Fiti itself?"
I know that the Polynesian and Christian theologies are very different, but in this film, what appears to be the god-like being, is actually the ocean. The ocean brought the heart (or the calling) to Moana. The ocean did not make her take action. It could have picked her up and thrown her out to sea, but it didn't. She felt the call, she responded with faith and obedience to what she felt was asked of her, and as a young, unqualified, mere mortal, she set out on a dangerous journey, in faith. It occurred to me that none of these feats, these acts, these miracles; would have been nearly as impressive had the ocean just done it, itself. Have you ever thought about that? There would be no story, no journey, no testimony if God just said, "Fine! I'll do it myself!"
No, God gets the glory, when we, mere mortals, do the impossible He has asked us to do. The miraculous happens, when God uses ordinary, flawed people, who don't have any supernatural powers at all, to do His work.
But are we listening? Do we hear Him when he calls? Or are we allowing people to plant seeds of doubt? Are we turning our backs on our callings because they seem impossible?
When Moana acted in faith, she was able to restore life to her island, feeding her people. But do you think that she was the only one to have ever been called to this task? Or perhaps the first to actually listen? We understand that the heart of Te Fiti was stolen a very long time ago. We're also told that the demonic volcano Te Kā, immediately rose up upon the theft.
The restoration here, had been needed for a very long time, and Moana's grandmother tells her of how she is just like her father; that her father felt that call to the ocean as well, but when danger struck, and his best friend died, he turned back. He then made rules against anyone traveling beyond the reef because of the dangers. Could it be that the ocean had been calling others before her as well, her father included? Could this problem have been resolved sooner? Maybe, but no one else was listening.
When Maui's seeds of doubt finally begin to influence Moana, we see her looking defeated, saying quietly, "The ocean chose me for a reason."
Maui responds, "We're here because the ocean told you you're special, and you believed it."
"It chose me."
"It chose wrong."
And Moana begins to give up. She asked the ocean to choose someone else.
Who, in the Bible, have we heard this from?
But Moses said, "O Lord, please send someone else to do it."
As Moana hesitates to give up, she is reminded of how she was called, and how she got as far as she did, and a line she sings that really stands out, is "And the call isn't out there at all. It's inside me!"
She realizes that this call isn't out there, in the world, it is within her. We often search everywhere for our purpose, but right where God put it, within our hearts.
Moana acted in faith, to her calling, even though it could have brought her to her death. Moana continued to do what was asked of her even amidst doubts and fears. The ocean did not force her to her calling, but when she acted in faith and obedience, the ocean was there when she was in real danger.
Yes, this is fiction. Yes it stems from a different theology, but the parallels were too important to miss.
Real history of real people has shown us that what God is capable of doing through mere mortals is astounding, if/when we walk in faith. What has God been calling you to? Are you uncertain? Or are you scared. You're only human right? But what if you answered that call? What could our God do through you, if you only listened?
Today I pray that we all take the time to listen, answer that call, and that we act and walk in faith, knowing God has a purpose for us that's even bigger than we could imagine. What would our world be like if we all followed our calling?
As a wife, mom of 4, and business owner, finding time to spend in the Word, can be difficult, so I get it! Come join me each Monday for a simple message of hope, faith, and encouragement amidst some honest mommy moments.
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