At times, looking backwards is the best way to go forward.
One of my favorite movies is Disney’s The Lion King. Simba’s transformation from a boy
into a man speaks to the path of being an on-purpose person. You probably are facing challenges with roots behind and the promise of growth ahead. Circumstances may conspire against you, but they need not define you as you’ll read from The Lion King.
Deceived by his Uncle Scar, Simba believes he caused his father’s death. Simba flees and adopts the "no-worries" lifestyle of Hakuna Matata and is presumed to have died. Simba grows in size but not stature. Assumed dead, his boyhood friend, Nala, stumbles upon Simba and awakens his memories of his father’s strength and majesty. Self-doubt floods Simba’s mind as his past and present collide. There’s a pivotal scene in the movie, when Rafiki, the cleric-like mandrill, and Simba engage in a dialogue as Simba ponders his identity.
This On-Purpose Proverb reminds me how easy it is to get caught up in the doing and not the being. How easy it is to let life’s minutes slip through one’s hands like sand in an hourglass. At times it seems the world is stacked against us – pulling us off-purpose. Other times – we do it to ourselves with our failings and foibles.
Yet, I remain extraordinarily hopeful. A deep-seated sense of purpose offers me perspective so I know the times I am off-purpose. My purpose gnawingly reminds me that there is more to life and work than mere
existence. Yes, each of us makes a meaningful difference provided we diligently seek to be on the path of purpose. Which road will you choose?
Adult Simba: I know what I have to do. But going back will mean facing my past. I’ve been running from it for so long. [Rafiki hits Simba on the head with his stick]
Adult Simba: Oww. Jeez… What was that for?
Rafiki: It doesn’t matter, it’s in the past.
Adult Simba: Yeah, but it still hurts.
Rafiki: Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it, or learn from it.
[swings his stick at Simba again who ducks out of the way]
Rafiki: Ha. You see? So what are you going to do?
Adult Simba: First, I’m gonna take your stick. [Simba snatches Rafiki’s stick and throws it and Rafiki runs to grab it]
Rafiki: No, not the stick. Hey, where you going?
Adult Simba: I’m going back.
Rafiki: Good. Go on. Get out of here.
[Rafiki begins laughing and screeching loudly]*
Consider your past. Are you running from it and repeating the same mistakes or learning from it? The past informs on-purpose persons for the future and frees us to boldly live our God-given call as the person we’re designed to be. Now go be on-purpose.
*Dialogue © Disney, 1994, The Lion King