The Example of Dumbo
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
I'm sure you remember Disney's classic movie, Dumbo. While we might not remember all the names of the characters, most of us recall their unique personalities. It is fascinating to watch the movie and see how Dumbo brought meaning to their lives.
I'm becoming somewhat of an expert about this movie, as I have watched it with my son many times. And there is something about Dumbo that is memorable and important. He was utterly sincere. He tried so hard to please others with enthusiasm.
There are important parallels for us as Christians. We know that we are small like Dumbo was to the other elephants, as we are to God. Yet Jesus lives His life within us and gives us a calling and gifts to nurture others and to help build the Church, just as Dumbo helped build up the circus. The real power to do God's work comes from him. Anyone who tackles these important responsibilities with faith as small as a peanut is no small elephant. He is a giant--the largest mammal on land--because of the new life of Jesus lives within them!
But, from time to time, we all bog down and become tired and weary. From time to time, all of us struggle with our spiritual responsibilities and stop carrying that peanut of faith. We may be disheartened. Perhaps we don't feel appreciated. Perhaps, just when we thought we were sincerely giving our all to helping to build the kingdom, someone criticized the quality of our work, just like when Dumbo caused the pyramid of elephants to fall. And now it's hard to sing, "Hi, Ho, Hi, Ho, it's off to Church we go!".
There is good news for tired, weary, and discouraged workers! We can take heart by repeatedly watching the video, Dumbo, and learn the lessons from it. The Church is like a circus: We all have our parts in the show we put on, and I am the ringmaster. Dumbo's mother elephant, is like the church, the mother of us all. Sometimes, the church becomes angry and is restrained when other older, fat elephant churches of this world make fun of her helpless, sweet, little Dumbo church baby through their gossip. Sometimes we innocently become drunk on the Spirit, like Dumbo did, and see strange visions; then we become lost.
We might find ourselves up a tree, like Dumbo, not knowing how we got there, or what the meaning is. We forget that "If we have ears to hear, we can fly to our goal, like the wings of an eagle". We should take comfort from the example that Dumbo found in his new friends, the crows. Who can forget, "I've seen everything, I've seen a rubber band, I've seen a peanut stand, but I've seen everything, when I've seen an elephant fly". Sometimes God will provide us friends like the crows. They will swoop into our lives, see our needs, and take compassion on us. Remember the lead crow's mercy, by giving Dumbo the "Magic Feather" to give Dumbo the courage and confidence to fly.
Brethren, when we become discouraged, we need to remember that "Magic Feather". It can give us confidence and courage to use the power which we did not know we had within us, that was always there; it will cause us to be able to fly!
In the end, we will discover that the "Magic Feather" was just a lie, just as Dumbo came to find in that moment of crisis. He had the power to fly all the time. We will, as Dumbos, learn that what we thought was an external power helping us, really was a power we had all along. It is just that, the other elephants made us believe that we were small and insignificant. We have to have our friends lie to us and make us believe in delusions, just like the crow did for Dumbo, for our own good. When we learn that we have the power, we can become Dumbo heros! We can save the Church without help from an invisible, magical, mystical "Magic Feather".
We can all be heroes and get the circus train back on track. The "I think I can, I think I can," will become "I knew I could, I knew I could!"!
Like Dumbo, we need to be packing our trunks to ready to move when the need arises. When people tell us, "My what big ears you have," we can proudly respond, "the better to fly with!".
When we are transformed by the life that Jesus lives within in us, we can follow the example of the hope and courage that has come before us with Dumbo, Pinnochio, Snow White, Bambi, Alladin, and so many other examples of faith in our lives. Indeed, we will be able to say, "Now I've seen everything, when I've seen an elephant fly," just as the church is flying today! Then we can proceed out into this world "to be as wise as crows and harmless as pigeons".
In Jesus' love:
P.S. We are sending out a video that we will show to all our congregations, giving you the background and insight into our ongoing plans for the sale of Disney Movies. We are planning for each congregation to receive the video just after everyone has had a chance to see Dumbo again. And thank Larry Flynt who made it possible to do this through our First Amendment rights!
Satire By Douglas
(c) Copyright 1999, all rights reserved
(Just in case Joe Tkach wants to use this on "God's People"
just like he used the Snow White story)
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