Roland and I took mom to the movies after our Saturday Thanksgiving dinner. We chose “Brave” because it was the shortest wait. Mom enjoyed it which in itself made it worth it. I felt intrigued by the parallels that seemed unfold – for me anyway.
Merida is typical of many teens – many who have gone beyond teen hood but still place more faith in self than a higher being.
Merida’s mother attempts to prepare Merida for the role of princess and what expectations are included and what the future holds – none of which fit into Merida’s own plans of “freedom” of expressing herself, of taking on adventures without the hassles of trying to please everyone by fulfilling a role that is clearly NOT the fate she would choose for herself.
The story incorporates the legend ofthe wisp.
“The will o' the wisp definition if we could actually define it would go something like this: a supernatural luminescent, flickering or dancing white to blue light occasionally seen over bodies of water, in meadows, and in forests . . . There has been a lot of theories as to what the will o' the wisp meaning or message really is. As previously mentioned, many people in Scotland, Ireland, and England thought that the will o' the wisp was actually lights emanating from fairies.” - It is the “wisp” that Merida follows with the belief that it will change her fate.
When she meets a witch who agrees to give her a spell, she is guaranteed that her fate will indeed be changed. Right away I figured that her fate would indeed be changed – but not in the way Merida had hoped or expected.
Often we think that we want our lives to go a certain way – or perhaps it is expected of some of us to follow in the footsteps of the family business or practice. Perhaps it’s expected of some to make the most of his or her education. And perhaps there are many who feel that restrictions have been placed upon them and that freedoms have been taken away. We seek a path that is pleasing to us and follow our hearts or the legendary “wisps” or perhaps we turn to a more powerful source. Perhaps we acknowledge deity and ask for assistance to take us down the road of our desires.
Like the witch in “Brave” our Father does provide us with assistance, often sending us tools that we may “grow” our own blessings. But often we don’t realize that what has been “planted” is not at all what we had asked for – or thought we had asked for rather. Often we are given a different path, or another direction and must go with it in faith and do our best to understand why we have been placed in a certain position, when really, that is not we asked for at all. Or did we?
The following day I was to give the lesson in our youth class. I had read the lesson, tried pondering it, tried studying, but it just wasn’t coming together for me. It’s not that my understanding of the material was limited (as is often the case) but just seemed that it would be majorly short if I didn’t get the participation that I needed.
I may have mentioned it before – only I can’t find where – we have only one youth. In addition there is the other class instructor and two of the young men instructors (one who is married to the instructor that I alternate lessons with) and a brother who would like lessons as they are simplified to the youth.
I wasn’t well prepared. The lesson itself was on the name of the church (3 Nephi 27), the desires of the twelve disciples (3 Nephi 28), and the pride cycle (4 Nephi). I can’t remember why Bro. Basic brought up the Liahona – but Jack held up his Ipad and said that it was the Liahona. And the Young Men leaders ran with it.
Jed compared it to the compass used by Lehi and his family and pointed out that the Ipad or smart phone can be used for direction just as a compass. We can choose to follow in faith or we can be misguided by our own weakness or pride. We can find tools that will help us on the path to eternal life or we can find paths that may lead us to destruction. I had never thought of that before. I thought it was a cool analogy.
I feel quite blessed to be serving a calling in which I am learning more from the class members than I imagine they can be learning from me. I feel quite blessed with the class participation and the profound thoughts that help me simplify and better understand things.
I feel blessed too to view things in a way that many people may not. Such as finding God’s message hidden in a Disney/Pixar animation. That was definitely not intended.
I’m grateful for analogies and parables and those who are gifted with words to speak to the intelligent but also explain things on a “Dick and Jane” level that I too may understand.
I’m grateful there are those who can translate Isaiah. I still don’t grasp all of it. There are some who have viewed me as one who is knowledgeable in the scriptures. There is a lot that I do understand. But there is even more that I don’t.
I’m grateful that we have wisps and Liahona’s in our lives to guide us if we will but have the faith to follow. I'm grateful that there is a force greater than ourselves who really does know best.