This is my third, and final, post about Frozen. The comic relief of the movie is Olaf, the talking snowman. Which by the way, is any movie not made better by a talking snowman? I think not! Olaf has but one dream...to experience summer. We, of course, know the irony of this, even if we are full time Floridians. The moment summer awakens around us, with its humidity and relentless sunshine and rain which adds more humidity to the air...snow does not stand a chance. It starts to melt away.
Yet, even as we laugh at Olaf's dream to some day experience the beauty of summer, how many of us cling to dreams that are far-fetched? On the other hand, how many of us had a dream that we persistent, persevered and waited patiently until...wait for it...it came true! When is a dream worth pour our sweat and tears into pursuing and when do our dreams have a snowball's chance in...well you know the cliche?
That is the rub. Throughout Scripture God calls God's people to do unthinkable things and take huge leaps of faith. Abraham and Sarah leave the only home they know. Noah builds an ark when there was not an ominous cloud in the sky. Moses goes back to Egypt, the very place where he is a wanted man. Deborah, a great judge, uses her wisdom to thwart a foreign army. Ruth bucks conventional wisdom and goes to a land that had just suffered a famine. I could keep going, but God seems to be a God who nudges us toward what is difficult.
At the same time, people do resist. Every single prophet, starting with Moses, initially offers a reason why she or he cannot possibly do what God is calling her/him to do. The best example is, of course, Jonah. Who turns tail and runs in the exact opposite direction of where God called him to go. Thus starting a long line of men who refused to ask for directions when lost. The disciples are famous for this too. Think of all the times after a parable they said, "Um Jesus, we don't get it." Or Peter walking on water for a split second until he saw what he was actually doing and sank. Or Peter denying he even knew Jesus in the middle of the night. Or Paul thinking he knew exactly what to do with Christians, until he got stuck by a blinding trace of God's grace.
Yet, there are also moments when it is not wise for us to risk everything. Think of the woman who put her last two coins in the temple coffers. While most preachers really like that image, especially at stewardship time...I actually read Jesus words as condemning practices that prey on the poor and religious institutions that have unending appetites for more, more, more. Despite what we may think, Scripture is not a divine rule book. Or if it is, the rule book is about as clear as NCAA rule book is today. The contradictions of Scripture are not there to disprove Scriptures' wisdom, but rather to invite conversation into the wonderful diversity of life.
Too often today we want religion boiled down into simplistic steps we can apply to our life. Yet, too often our lives are wonderfully complex and uniquely messy. Such that, for some of you, I could say, "Risk, dream, get out of your comfort zone and do something different." Others reading this, I could say, "Slow down. Breathe. Rest for your endless Martha-like tasks are making your soul restless." And others, I might say, "Well, it is a little of both." And still others, there might be a fourth way yet to be explored.
Original Christians were not named after Jesus, rather they adapted the identity as, "The People of the Way." While there was one destination (whole/holistically following Jesus), there were multiple and endless ways to reach that destination (which honestly most of us do not reach in our life times). So we, like Robert Frost, stand at countless pathways and forks in the road. Sometimes we need like Olaf and Rev. Dr. King and Bishop Tutu and others to dream impossible dreams. Other times, we need to face reality. And here is the good news that supports us no matter where we are in life's journey: there is more than a trace of God's grace found down ALL pathways. Sometimes, even if we missed the road where we could have taken a leap of faith, there is always another exit ramp and another way the dream manifests itself.
By the way, eventually our good friend Olaf does experience summer with a little help from Elsa. You will have to see the film to appreciate that fully. Which reminds us that when we dream dreams, it is good to listen to the wisdom of the Beatles, we all "get by with a little help from our friends."
May the traces of God's grace in your life guide you this week as you listen to where God is nudging you to go. And may our dreams and hopes and deepest desires find a taste of reality in our lives this week.