• Michelle Burkhardt

Lions, and Tigers, and Bears- OH MY!


Kansas, 1900’s, we all know the story of Dorothy with her sweet dog, Toto and their adventure through the mystical land of Oz. Just like most of you, I have lost count on how many times I have watched The Wizard of Oz. In addition, being a huge fan of Michael Jackson, who starred in the The Wiz, the Motown musical version of the original film, I am well acquainted with the characters and the storyline. To recap, and connect to the point of this post, Dorothy is NOT happy with her life in Kansas, and her unexpected, tornado-induced trip to Oz helps her realize how wonderful her life was back on the home front. Yet, to get back home, she has to face her fears and seek the help of the mysterious Wizard who resides in Emerald City. Along her travels, she meets three characters battling with issues of their own - a hay-stuffed Scarecrow who believes he doesn’t have any brains, a rusty old Tinman who believes he has no heart, and a cowardly Lion who believes he lacks courage. At one point in the movie (before the lion enters the scene), they are walking through the dark forest feeling quite uneasy and chanting, “Lions, and Tigers, and Bears-OH MY”, when one of their worst imagined fear jumps out in front of them- The Lion (I know, if you read my last post, I seem to be on a Lion streak 😊).


Interestingly, I think the recent events in the media have the same effect on us that the chanting did on Dorothy and her crew. To explain, we keep reading, and reading, and reading—listening, and listening, and listening to all the negative news of 2020 - over and over again. To illustrate, turn any news channel on the tv, read a syndicated newspaper, or open any social media venue and you will see many articles/posts on the Covid-19 pandemic, the economic devastation, and the racial protesting/rioting tension. Thus, I often wonder if the continued focus on all the negativity will just continue to divide this country even more instead of reporting on ways to heal it. Before I continue, I want to make it clear that hiding our heads in the sand is NOT what I am advocating. There is a huge difference between staying informed and over-kill. The news wants us to stay anxiously glued to their reports. Not for knowledge, but for political promotion and gain. Is Covid real? Of course! Is our economy at its worst in history? Absolutely! Does racism in all forms still exist? Beyond a shadow of a doubt! However, regurgitating the adversities with biased agendas takes away from finding genuine solutions to move forward.


Moreover, from a Biblical perspective, it is important to ponder that “what we fear most, is where we trust God the least”. Recently, a devotional that I was reading on my YouVersion app, connected Dorothy’s experience with our country’s current predicament. Think about that for a moment. Dorothy, the Scarecrow, & the Tinman feared wild animals and instead of finding strength inside (Christians call this the Holy Spirit power), they kept repeating the words that scared them the most. Similarly, instead of problem solving, the media just keeps pointing to the problems while highlighting the divisive state of our country. Ironically, as the story goes, the Lion was more scared of them than they were of him, thus, showing that they wasted too much time and energy worrying about something that did not happen. How many times have you fretted over something that never transpired? I know I have! Thankfully, through the Holy Spirit’s help, I have learned to Not worry about things that are beyond my control. Therefore, instead of chanting, Corona, and Recession, and Violence-OH MY, I sing, the chorus, “I will trust in You” by Laura Daigle while finding ways to be a part of the solution.


Ultimately, the more we highlight and emphasize the adversities of our time, the less we will overcome them. Half the year is almost over, and I pray that the second half will be about rebuilding this great country through understanding, love, and support. By remembering that Jesus is our Healer, our Guide, our Counselor, and our Peacemaker, we can be confident in our ability to return our nation to our Sweet Land of Liberty - Home of the brave, home of the free:

Back to the Land that we love!

**Laura Daigle – Trust in You

LIVING WATER
COMMUNITY CHURCH

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