My kids and I went to see the new release of Disney’s The Lion King this morning. I loved this movie as a kid and probably can’t even count the number of times I’ve seen it. My oldest and I had to seriously restrain ourselves from making the experience a sing-along. It was the same classic movie from my childhood with great new animation. And though I could recite most lines from memory, I walked away with a new perspective, inspired to remember who I am.
(Details from the movie ahead. Spoiler alert. . . wait, is that even possible for a movie that most of you have likely seen multiple times?)
Years after his father’s death and his own disappearance, Simba is confronted by Nala with the sad reality of the demise of his pride and homeland. Though he attempts to ignore his role using his new mantra of “hakuna matata” the wise Rafiki urges him to look deeper by asking, “Who are you?” He then stirs up memories of Mufasa as he instructs Simba to “remember”.
As images of his father flood his memory, the reluctant and somewhat stubborn Simba does just that. He remembers.
He remembers that he is the son of a king. He remembers that his father’s spirit lives within Him. He remembers that no matter what happened in his past, his future is still in front of him.
As Simba watches his father’s figure disappear in the sky, he remembers who he is. Inspired and energized, he rushes off to find Nala and save the kingdom from Scar.
As I watched Simba sprint away, the word “remember” resonated in my heart. Maybe it’s because I so often forget who I am.
I, too, am the daughter of a King whose Spirit lives inside me. The mistakes of my past, even the past five minutes, do not define my future.
But I forget.
When I get annoyed with my kids, I forget that our Creator designed them just for me.
When I feel unappreciated as a stay-at-home mom, I forget that my Lord sees every bottom wiped, meal prepared, and piece of laundry folded.
When I get frustrated by behaviors I’ve already corrected a thousand times, I forget about the grace Christ extended to me on the cross and His command to forgive even seventy-seven times.
When I am exhausted to my core, I forget that Jesus promised rest to the weary.
When my husband and I don’t see eye-to-eye, I forget that God created us for each other, to be a team—stronger together.
But you know what happens when I remember? When I remember that I am a daughter of the King and His Spirit lives inside me, I am able to do more than I ever could in my own strength.
Like Simba racing back to the Pride Lands, I can turn to face the challenges of my own day. When I remember who I am, His Spirit fills me. And as Beyonce sings in “Spirit”, her new addition to the soundtrack, I am reminded that I was made to “. . . be one with the Great I Am.”
Walking out of the theater with “starving” kids who didn’t want to get into the “too hot” van, threatening to wet their pants because they had to “go SO bad” I took a deep breath and remembered who I am. I let His Spirit replace the frustration with calm and the annoyance with grace.
And I was grateful for the new lesson from an old favorite.