Have you ever been in an argument with a friend or someone you care about, and were so determined to win that you lost a precious friendship instead?
Once I was on a bus and was feeling upset because of something that I cannot remember now. I think there is a saying, “If you cannot remember what it is, it may not be that important.”
In this case, I only remember the feelings involved. Now I feel like I wasted that moment feeling upset over something that I cannot even recall. I do recall that it was no big drama, though – what a relief!
It is not easy losing small battles. In our secular, material world, winning small battles means we are on our way to winning the wars. Unless we are able to define what we really want to win, the outcome of small battles may not matter much anymore.
I see a lot of grown-ups pretend to lose when they are playing games with young children. Why is that? Love for the children would be my reason to let them win when I am competing with them.
I myself had the experience of a friend letting me win a board game we played. I didn’t know what was happening, but I still won the game I was playing for the first time, against someone who said that it was their favourite game and had played it for many years. When I think about it, my friend was able to create a positive situation. I was happy. Do I still remember how to play the board game? Not really. I just remember being content and our friendship blossoming.
I watched a programme on TV about a young lady who fell off her motorbike. The narrator said in a kind tone to the anxious viewers, “Nothing was hurt, except her pride.” Pride sometimes causes us to do silly things because we don’t really want to hurt our pride, and not hurting our pride tends to be at the expense of good relationships.
I grew up in a community environment. I come from a village overseas where everyone in the village knows each other. We didn’t have house numbers, so we used a PO Box at the post office centres for mail. And if anyone came to the village for the first time looking for me, since everyone knows everyone, that person just had to go to any house in the village and ask for directions.
I am glad people there are still living in peace and still know each other. There were ‘once in a blue moon’ misunderstandings and arguments. But forgiveness and tolerance was what I always saw while growing up there. I realised the members of that community had to make a bit of sacrifice to get along. It’s just that, for them, it’s not a sacrifice – it’s their learned way of living.
Something that I always enjoyed growing up was being able to watch Disney movies and television shows. Now being 21, watching and even re-watching a lot of movies, I noticed how many of them have good messages for the children watching them and some Christian messages too. The movies always take you to wonderful and magical places; they teach you to be good and honest people, to respect your elders and love your friends and family, and to be there for them when they need you.
This suddenly got me thinking, isn’t this what God wants us to do? Some of those things written are similar to what we should be doing – in a way it is like acting like Jesus. It is so easy to watch and learn what to do in these movies, but when it come to real life, doing some of them can be so difficult. Small things like telling the truth, being nice to your younger or older sibling, or even saying I love you to your parents can be difficult. Even I can slip up on some of these things, especially being nice to my older brothers, but I still love them.
One movie I really love is Beauty and the Beast. I love the moral of the story, which is to not judge people based on their looks and first impressions, that true beauty comes from within, and to be kind to others and not only think about yourself. The inner beauty of the beast was uncovered through, love, patience and sacrifice; it then became something so beautiful. This is such a powerful message to come from a children’s movie and it’s an important message to get across to people of any age.
Another message I found in more recent movies is things happening for a reason or something being like fate or destiny. Like when Cinderella looses her glass slipper at the ball, I mean, it was an easy way for the Prince to try and find her, and leaving just one shoe behind just in order for him to do so doesn’t seem like a common thing to do.
How about Merida, from Brave, who was finding her fate and started following the wisps? All she had to do was follow the blue light. It kind of looked like she had chosen to follow an angel in the direction that God would like her to be going. Or even Pocahontas having unusual dreams that she doesn’t understand. That sounds very similar to having visions from God, something I used to get a lot of growing up, but I never understood it was from Him.
In all these movies, they always end up going on some crazy adventure, and sometimes I think we do that too; some good and some bad, but there is always a reason for it. Some people might say that things happen for a reason, like in life when we get a new job and have to move – the reason it happened may be because it was God’s plan for us.