Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Life outside the window
Do you ever have days where you feel like you live your life just looking out the window, dreaming about what you think you might be missing? Are there times that you know that there is more to life than what you can see, but feel trapped because your life is lived according to what is within your view?
Thinking of this makes me think of the Disney princess Jasmine, from the movie Aladdin.
Here is a young woman, a princess, who has everything at her beck and call: wealth, servants, opulence, a full-grown tiger for a pet, princes from around the globe wanting to woo her and marry her. Who wouldn't want her life?
Yet Princess Jasmine is miserable. Her experiences have been limited to life within the palace compound. She lived her life restricted to the confines of royal life, yet yearning for the freedom that she sees through the view of the palace window.
Of course Jasmine's story doesn't end there. But for too many people, it does. Oh, they don't all live in an Arabian palaces with untold wealth, but they do spend their lives just looking out the window, feeling trapped by their circumstances. The widow whose children won't call. The alcoholic who wants to be free from the bottle but just can't. The housewife who is frustrated with her couch-potato armchair athlete husband.
What sets apart the widow, the alcoholic, the housewife, and the couch potato from our young princess is this: The princess accepted an invitation to live life more fully. Someone asked her, "Do you trust me?" She took a step of faith, and began an adventure that changed her life.
It's difficult to take the first step to change. It's scary, unless you can trust that there is something more out there, a confident expectation of something better beyond the view from the window. For the widow, relief from her feelings of being forgotten; for the alcoholic, sobriety; for the frustrated couple, a renewal of the love they shared when they first married. But until they take that first step, life is limited to the view from the window.
But what does it really mean to "trust"? To trust implies that you believe in and rely on someone's integrity, strength, and ability. On a personal level, there are many people who put a certain degree of trust in me. But for someone to completely rely on my integrity, strength and ability would be utter foolishness on their part, because sooner or later I will surely let them down!
There is only one person whose integrity and strength and ability we can fully rely on, and that person is Jesus Christ. Scripture confirms time and again that Jesus lived a life of faithfulness and integrity. He is worthy of our trust. He stands at the door and knocks, extending an invitation to put our trust in him. When we accept, we are no longer "trapped" in our palaces. We are set free! And perhaps for the first time in our lives the windows are thrown wide open. We were once afraid to step forward, because we were alone. Just like Jasmine and Aladdin's magic carpet ride, when we walk confidently with the Savior, we walk with exhilaration on the adventure of our lives!
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I've often felt like Jasmine when trying to meet other people's expectations!
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