Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Lessons from a High School Musical

We all need a little help from our friends. It's true whether you're Dorothy Gale, traveling the unfamiliar territory of the Land of Oz, or you're in a waiting room at a hospital, waiting on news from a surgery.
Earlier this month, I went to my alma mater, Skyline High School, to see my niece, Madison, as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. The unspoken messages have stayed with me long after the familiar strains of "We're Off to See the Wizard" and the applause faded away.
Dorothy is a dreamer. She doesn't get right home from school because she's too busy picking flowers, watching clouds and dreaming about faraway places Over the Rainbow. Sure, she loves her family and her home, but it's a big world out there, and she's curious about what she would find if she could just get away from RFD 2 and explore it.

But then a tornado carries Dorothy far away from the familiar Kansas homestead she shares with Auntie Em and Uncle Henry. And, all of a sudden, Dorothy's biggest goal is to get back back home to the very place that she dreamed about escaping. I've been there. You want to escape a place or a situation, and then when it happens, you realize that it wasn't so bad after all.
Dorothy becomes a hero to the Munchkins after inadvertently crushing the Wicked Witch. The little ones are glad to point her on the way to the Land of Oz, where they advise visiting the Wizard for a way to get back home. Little ones often point the way, if we just listen.

There are other predictably helpful people along the journey, like the Good Witch.
Photo by Caden Patterson from Facebook. My photos with the Good Witch were blurry.
Sometimes, the people who think they are lacking some important attribute just don't realize how valuable they are.

The Scarecrow didn't think he had a brain. But he supplied much of the know-how and logic to get Dorothy where she needed to go.
The Tin Man thought he didn't have a heart. And the Cowardly Lion was sure he didn't have enough courage to make the trip. But they found enough of both to help Dorothy escape the Jitterbugs and the Wicked Witch's equally wicked sister.
Even the scary things sometimes don't look as scary when the lights come up.
We may be walking a yellow brick road or city streets. We may have to stop and get the rocks out of our shoes as we walk pebbly dirt roads. Obstacles inevitably come our way. They take a million different forms - whether situations or people or even just doubting ourselves.

But we find the most valuable asset isn't what we're wearing, even though those ruby slippers do have pizazz. And it's not always the expert who helps us find our way. It's often in the brains and heart and courage and prayers of the ordinary people around us.  They are the ones who help us find the rainbow's treasure. And we don't need a Wizard to help us when God is there for each and every step, through the hills and the valleys. Thanks, my friends. Please keep the prayers coming for Randy.


  1. Fun to see your take on the Wizard of Oz since our church, here in Houston, just finished our stewardship campaign using "Somewhere Under the Rainbow" as our theme We used key points from the Wizard of Oz in the sermons & pledging materials. This was especially fun for those of us transplanted from Kansas.

    1. What a great idea for your church! I'd love to hear more.

  2. Great insight on life from a Classic movie/ play, Kim.