Thursday, May 19, 2011

There's No Place Like Home

My all-time favorite movie is The Wizard of Oz.  No, I'm not kidding.  One of my very first childhood memories consists of myself and little red ruby shoes.  Yes, I did own a pair - now I've converted to red..... heels. 
I had just finished watching The Wizard of Oz (probably for the tenth time over by now) when my mother told me to put on my shoes - because just like every other day, we were going out!  I remember running to the shoe cupboard and and being faced with a difficult decision.  What shoes am I going to wear today?  (Is it sad to say that I still have this same issue NOW!?)  Did I want to wear my most treasured and prized possession - cute, red, sparkly slippers (although they were too small and practically in shreds)... or did I want to graciously give the plain old boring white shoes a run?  Because I'm me, I chose the red.  It didn't matter that they were too small and falling apart with every step, I wanted to be like Dorothy in the movie and wear magic red shoes!  I felt like a princess guarding a secret that nobody else knew I had.  I had something that I thought only I could have - I was special and wanted to stay that way.  I wanted to be different.  I remember the day I went to the shoe cupboard, and my red slippers were nowhere to be found.  Oh, how sad and frustrated I was that I had to wear my white ones - which were actually identical in design, but.... just white.  I remember crying on the floor as my mother told me she had to throw them away because they were too small and not "pretty" enough for me to wear anymore.  I felt as though I had lost my identity.

"There's no place like home" I would sometimes say to myself, while clicking my heels together with my eyes shut tight hoping to wake up in a world that was different to what I currently knew.  When I was young, if I was in a place where I didn't want to be - I would do exactly that.  It never did seem to work instantaneously like I wanted it to.  But, if I was patient enough then someone would eventually pick me up and carry me out to the car to enjoy the ride to our next destination.  It was pleasant and enjoyable - until I was bored of that "world" also.  Then, the clicking of the heels would begin again.

I'm five days shy of my 21st birthday and I still wish I had long lasting red ruby shoes like Dorothy.  How wonderful would it be to click your heels three times and find yourself at "home" again?  I never really realized how applicable this movie has become in my life until recently.  Sometimes I find myself not appreciating or being happy with the life I currently live.  At that point, I conjure up thoughts of wanting to do something a little bit more 'exciting' without taking in the potential negative consequences.  At first it seems all fun and dandy - thrilling even.  But pretty soon something happens and I find myself on a "yellow brick road" longing for the life I never appreciated.  Along the way, like Dorothy, I find a brainless scarecrow, heartless tin man, and a cowardly lion - three aspects of this journey that could be symbolic to what it is that I'm trying to discover within myself?  Knowledge, Love (feeling), and Courage (strength, faith).

Close to the end of the movie, Dorothy finally has everything she needs to go home and is about to take off in the hot air balloon when Toto runs away.  Of course she runs after Toto but she cannot get back into the hot air balloon.  She has come all this way and has endured so much, only to stay stuck in Oz.  Although Dorothy is as sad as can be, the Good Witch, Glinda, tells her that she has always had the power to go home.  Glinda never told her this in the beginning because she knew Dorothy would not believe her.  All she had to do was click her heels together three times and repeat "There's no place like home". 

Throughout the movie you see the shoes have protected Dorothy more than she has realized.  It is because she never took them off, that she is kept safe and out of the sight of the Wicked Witch.

How bliss would life be if we studied the gospel a little deeper, loved a little more, and believed with fewer inhibitions? 

We often wonder why bad things are happening to us after we've done everything we are supposed to, when really - we don't know what it is that we are preventing from happening because of what we are doing.  I think as long as we have a clear purpose in mind, stick to our yellow brick road, and discover ourselves along the way - then we have everything we need within our reach.

Where are your red ruby slippers?

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