Years ago when my daughter was young I used to enjoy taking her to cartoon movies. At this time in my life I was hearing messages a lot through movies. I would receive amazing insight into my personal life and also messages about life in general just by going to the movies. I remember at one point in my life when I was about to make a huge change in my life, I was warned through a movie to watch my back, because my closest friends would be the ones who would stab me in the back, and it turned out to be the case. Knowing this in advance was helpful to me because I saw it coming and was prepared.
Anyway, I remember taking my daughter to the movies at one point to see the first Toy Story movie. I was given two separate messages contained in this one movie. At the time I was in charge of a group in my church and one of the messages had to do with the character of a true leader. In the movie, Woody is kind of the leader of a group of toys until his position is challenged when a new toy is introduced into the little boy's room. It is a space man named Buzz Lightyear. In Woody's attempts to maintain his position as leader, he decides to forget the welfare of Buzz and the other toys. The toys revolt against him and he only regains his position as leader of the toys when he forgets his own agenda to tend to the needs of the toys he has been leading. This taught me that a true leader always has the needs of those placed in his care at the forefront of his mind, even if that means he loses his position. This taught me a lot about noticing the true character of those placed in leadership positions.
The other message I received had to do with the character of Buzz Lightyear. When he is first introduced into the movie, he has no idea that he is a toy. He is sure he is savior of the Universe, whose spaceship has crashed landed in a boy's bedroom. Most of his time is spent in trying to get back to fulfilling his purpose of saving the world from evil. At some point in the movie he realizes that he is a toy, and he completely loses his will to live. It showed me that purpose is what drives us on, and sometimes when we realize that we are not meant to save the world and maybe our purpose is not at all what we thought, for a time we can be completely incapacitated until we regain our sense of purpose. Buzz eventually learned that his purpose in life was to be there for one boy, and he finds comfort and peace in that new purpose.
In retrospect I can see that soon after I saw the movie, I completely lost my sense of purpose. I realized that everything I believed about God and my purpose no longer held truth for me. It took me a long time before I allowed myself to hear messages again or to believe that I did, in fact, have a purpose.
Fast forward to last week. My grandson was sick, and I stayed home with him all day and we watched cartoon movies all day. It had been a long time since I had gotten a message from a movie. I had seen all of his movies, several times, and I was trying to find something different. I happened upon a movie called "UP". This is a story of two children, a boy and a girl, who from an early age, dream of flying and adventure. They grow up, marry, and grow old together. They always have a penny jar in which they save up for those adventures they intend to take but never do. They get a flat tire or some other unseen expense, and have to break open their penny jar. Eventually the wife dies and the man is left alone. He decides to take that trip and plant his house on the top of the mountain they always dreamed of living on. He fills up thousands of balloons, attaches them to the house, and off he goes. However, on the way, he finds that a small boy has stowed away on his front porch. The rest of the movie is about the adventure he finds on the way to that mountain in South America, which, by the way, he never reaches. The message to me was that sometimes we have a purpose which we spend our whole life pursuing, and it seems that it is always just beyond our reach. On the way we have these things that seem to take us away from our "purpose", these "interruptions", so to speak. The message that I got from this movie was that sometimes the interruptions are the very adventure we were looking for in the first place. Sometimes we think that all the things that take us away from our planned purpose are just obstacles to our true purpose, but the Higher Wisdom says, "no, these interruptions ARE your purpose." We spend our lives looking for what we think will give us peace or enlightenment or a sense of purpose. All the while our children and our grandchildren are looking at us with eyes of wonderment. The people we wait on everyday at work are just waiting for those words of kindness that they so desperately need. Just like the message of Buzz Lightyear that I got so many years ago, sometimes our sense of purpose is not to save the world. Maybe our purpose and our adventure is to bring joy and hope to one person at a time, in our daily lives. This is our adventure. Find one person every day who needs a smile or a touch of kindness. Find a bird that needs to be rescued from a predator or rescue the earth from those who thoughtlessly throw trash out of the windows of their cars. Our purpose does not have to bring us fame or notoriety. Our purpose does not have to be financially lucrative.
Just for today, in your quest for enlightenment, or a sense of purpose, or that great adventure you have been waiting for, take time to realize that every day of your life IS your adventure. You don't have to strive to be enlightened some day in the future. Just BE enlightened. You already are fulfilling your purpose. Go to work, show love to someone. Do something nice. Enjoy that time with your kids and grandkids. If we are always looking to some point in the future when we will have arrived at some goal, some point in time when we can say, now I have done what I have come to do, we will never get there. Every day is an adventure. Get out there and live it!!