I would rather not talk about the domino effect of death that I’ve seen happening lately, or the fact that I can’t keep a few goldfish alive for two weeks. Nor do I want to talk about the fact that the anniversary of ‘my faithful servant’s’ passing is coming up sooner than I’d like it too. Despite all the dying, I don’t want to have some in depth eternal destination conversation. Heaven or Hell comes down to a personal choice in the end anyway. I would however, like to talk about the circle of life and by that I mean The Lion King.
There’s too much sadness swirling around this season so I thought an antidote might be nice. For me something that provokes happy are things like coffee and tattoos and those wonderful lions Disney created. For the record I realize that I am now a legal adult well above the target audience for the timeless animated film. However, I’ll never be too old for Simba or Scar and I’ll probably always want to fast forward the part where Mufasa is let go and tear up when Simba sees him laying under the tree.
Recently I joked with a friend that The Lion King taught me everything I need to know about life. There’s definite truth to that, the staples in that movie about honor and leadership and identity have stuck with me throughout the years. Who would’ve thought you could learn so much from African animals?
The hyenas crack me up, Ed reminds me of my dog Teva, and I think Scar isn’t all that bad, he’s just misunderstood. As Zazu pointed out “there’s one in every family.” I might just be the Scar in mine. Simba has his moments and Nala shows how females get things done. Mufasa is my favorite lion, you can’t beat the voice of James Earl Jones paired with a majestic mane. I often wonder who has more hair between Mufasa and I. This childhood movie is so close to me because it was a good memory for me as a kid. I was a very angry, very difficult child who was always struggling in some way because I was living differently. So if you really think about it, this isn’t some random article about a ’90’s cartoon film. That movie to me represents goodness and freedom. When I was younger I could just sit there and watch it and be happy. I didn’t have to worry about not being like everyone else. Simba acted like a warthog and whatever Timon is for years (or however long it took him to cross that bridge) but that wasn’t him. Simba was a lion but more than that he was a king. Sometimes we run and end up trying to fit in when really, we were born to stand out and in order to do that you need to remember who you are.
I love the lions, I will always love the lions, I even have my own lion that was given to me as a gift but I think the best character in the whole thing is none other than Rafiki. He’s such a delightfully insane baboon. I’m choosing to think he’s wise over wacky because that monkey taught me so much. My favorite scene is when he talks to Simba about the past. It’s true, and I laugh every time. I’m blessed to have my own personal Rafiki in my blood line, she gives all the great advice without holding me over a huge cliff.
When peace feels like it’s slipping through your fingers like sand, go ahead and find a little bit of happy until you get your footing and can relax, breathe, and believe again. For me that happy is The Lion King. When I’m feeling burdened and I can’t exactly remember that scripture on peace I still remember Hakuna Matata and if I can think about no worries for the rest of my days I’ll eventually be led back to the truth of God and everything will be just fine.