So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” – Isaiah 55:11
In many ways, Moana is the classic “follow your heart” story. But as the movie progresses, it becomes clear she is really obeying–not disobeying–a higher authority and “calling” on her life to accomplish something that is bigger and more important than her life or her heart’s impulses. She is obeying this calling for the sake of others, not herself.
In this way “Moana” has a general compatibility with a Christian’s calling to follow Christ. We are to lay aside our desire to satisfy our wants and surrender to a quest story and purpose that God has written for us that is bigger than our lives and is more about saving and helping others than it is about helping ourselves.
Serving others can be contagious. Once we work service into our schedules and see the benefits, it becomes a way of life. Serving others usually requires no special talent or ability. It does take a servant’s attitude to want to serve others coupled with looking for opportunities to serve. If we have the servant attitude, we will see opportunities. The reason most of us do not see the opportunities to serve is that we are continually thinking about ourselves instead of others. “Not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (Philippians 2:4)
The starting point of being of service is to realize that we have things to contribute and so we should contribute them to the greater good. While we may not change the whole world as Moana did, we can change our small part of it. Limitless possibilities exist all around you.
There may be an elderly neighbor who would appreciate a meal, or leaf raking, or simply a visit. Nursing homes are usually welcoming of people — even entire families — who would like to give help and companionship to their residents. Volunteering at a children’s hospital can boost the spirits of not only the small patients, but of yourself as you bring joy to a sick child. Meal programs, soup kitchens, women’s shelters and homeless shelters always seem to be in need of workers and donations. Regardless of how or where we serve, the most important element is to remember our obligation as Christians to bring Christ to others. We should be reminded of Matthew 25:40: “’I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’
- Is Moana a hero? Name a hero you had growing up. What made you want to be like him/her?
- What would helping others look like in the life of a believer?
- What can we do this week to make more of the opportunities we have to help others?