This week marks the eightieth anniversary of “The Wizard of Oz” film. On August 11, 1939 there were three test market showings. Fun fact taken from the Cape Cinema website:
“Special within our history is the premiere of the Wizard of Oz in 1939. It is difficult for many to believe but we proudly hold a poster from one of the anniversaries of that premier in our lobby, right above the Box Office. Part of the difficulty is the conflicting information you may find online. Our premiere of the show took place on August 11th, 1939 which was one day previous to the technical world premiere. As one of three test markets, we played the film before anyone else and feature a showing every year on its anniversary. For those wondering, Margaret Hamilton (the Wicked Witch of the West) was engaged at the Cape Playhouse at the time and arranged for the showing on Cape Cod, far away from the other test markets in Wisconsin.”
The movie’s theme is what all lifestyle coaches and even to some extent licensed counselors advise- when we have questions about our lives, we generally already know or have the answers in our “toolbox”.
In the case of the three compadres with Dorothy- the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Woodman and the Scarecrow- they are reminded by the Wizard that they already possess courage, a heart and a brain. They did not have to keep looking for it but rather recognize that which was in them. In Dorothy’s case, she learns that one cannot run away from consequences for there is no place like home. The things she desires in life have been with her all along.
Yet, I cannot help but think it was the journey down the yellow brick road and the collective purpose of the four friends going to see the wizard that helped mold and shaped them. I cannot help but think that while we may have the tools within us, those tools sometimes lie dormant or are not fully functional until we experience life. Either we must have a chance to rise to an occasion or a chance to allow the experience shape the tools into what is necessary for us to continue along the journey.
I have seen it time and time again with friends and relatives who find that they do have the courage, heart or mind to traverse through tough situations. They may feel ill equipped for the journey or that a wicked witch is after them yet they persevere. If they were to be asked about their capabilities before the events, they would probably say that they couldn’t do it yet they do.
While I believe that we have many of the tools needed to help us in situations, I believe those tools are placed within our grasp by God. He knows what we need for this life journey. We need to trust Him that we will have everything we need when we need it. Sometimes the tools are a gift in the hand of a friend or stranger. Sometimes the tools need to be reused, cleaned and dusted off. Sometimes the tools need to be taken out of the box. And sometimes the tools have to be used over and over again.
Regardless we do not have to look too hard to find our tools. We just need to open our eyes, pay attention to our surroundings and be present. To ask for assistance when needed. To join with others in the experience. To hold on tightly even if the wind blows stronger than we can handle.
What about you? What do you already possess but for some reason don’t realize it? Creativity? Organization? Kindness? Grace under pressure? Resilience? Courage? Intelligence? Love?
Are you trying to get away from home? Physically? Emotionally? Spiritually? Why is that? Is it due to some tragedy? To some experience completely out of your control? Or behavioral consequences? What is home for you? More than just where we were raised, home can mean many different things: sanctuary, peace, familiarity,
Who are your compadres for your experience? Are you traveling solo or with others? Do you know where you are headed? What tools or information or equipment do you think you need?
Of course, with all analogies the story can only be taken so far. And, we know that The Wizard of Oz is just a story. However, God’s story and His care for us is real. “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Tools that we can rely upon.