Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Lessons I Learned From THE WIZ

Lessons I learned from THE WIZ


That movie is my all-time favorite. As a 7 year old girl, I was mesmerized by the music and costumes. I ran around my home singing the songs at the top of my lungs. I knew the dance moves like how I knew the dance moves to every New Edition music video years later.

The Wiz was my first experience with positive black images in a movie. The family dinner scene was my favorite and thinking of it, brings tears to my eyes. There was such love emanating from the matriarch towards all of her loved ones. You could feel family unity in that entire portion of the movie. Those were the days.

I loved the scarecrow most of all, and not because it was Michael Jackson’s character, but because of the gentleness of the character. Imagine my happiness when I found out my parents were taking me to see it live. We saw it on stage when Stephanie Miles was Dorothy. At the show, I sat on the edge of my seat the entire time and fell in love all over again.

When the movie came out on DVD, I immediately purchased it to share with my, then 7 year old daughter. She didn’t care for it, but I watched the DVD often from my own enjoyment. Several years later, I was able to introduce my youngest daughter to the movie and she instantly connected with it. Here I was with a 2 year old, singing my heart out to the songs and working on the choreography once again. She’s 15 years old now and still pulls the DVD out to watch by herself. I love that.

Needless to say, when I found out the WIZ would be on television, live, I was elated. I set my DVR to record it in case I wasn’t able to watch it at that very moment. The excitement and anticipation I had was almost too much to contain. My daughter reminded me often to make sure it was set to record.

When we watched it together, we sang, once again, at the top of our lungs. Needless to say, she were pleasantly surprised to see iPads, the Nae Nae and the Quan in the movie. You know that gave us an energy boost. We had the television volume set up high and danced in the middle of the family room together. My husband and son were quite annoyed that all of this was going on while they were trying to watch football on the television in the basement.

In the midst of watching The WIZ, God started speaking to me. I thought, “Wow, God! Really? You want to show me some things about my life through The WIZ? That’s cool.” These are the things I learned and I hope they bless you too.

·       Dorothy, identity crisis: She was in a new place but wanted to turn back. She wasn’t willing to give her new life a chance. Her desperation to turn back led her into big trouble and heading in a new direction. That was a place where she was not able to leave easily. She then longed for the very place she initially despised. How many times have you done that? I know I sure have and regretted it every time. What are you trying to hold onto that needs to be released in your life? The other day I clearly heard, “you have to release something to receive something’. What/who do you need to release to move forward?
·       Scarecrow, no self-worth: He was surrounded by naysayers and folks who wanted him to stay stuck. He eventually believed their lies about him and the lies became his reality. He sang “You Can’t Win” with all his heart and believed the words to the song. It wasn’t until Dorothy came along and told him otherwise that he have an epiphany that he had value. I’m learning that I have to surround myself with positive and forward thinking people who will encourage and propel me to a better future. It all starts with belief. Who is speaking into your life? What are they saying? Is their voice bigger than yours? Is it bigger than God’s?

·       Tinman, heart issues: He thought he needed a heart but he already have one, he just didn’t know it. He shared how the “witch” changed him from a person to his current state. He believed he did not have the capacity to love. He too needed a surrounding change. He was put in numerous situations where he had to activate the love he already had to save Dorothy. At the end, he realized that love was in him, he just had to act on it. Are you holding onto pain and hurt from the past? What has made you put up a wall to your heart? Who do you need to forgive to begin the healing process? Is it yourself?

·       Lion, fearful coward: He needed courage to overcome his daily life circumstances. He was afraid of everything and everybody. He, too, needed to see that he was not defined by his situation. Lion is who I related to the most. I had to realize that God has given me the grace to endure and overcome everything that comes my way. I found my voice when confronted a supervisor who literally harassed me daily. Once I spoke up for myself, she stopped. Doors began to open and eventually I found the courage to quit that job. Then I found courage to start a nonprofit. As I took steps towards what God had for me, I had to dig deep to grab courage and to rely on faith to get me through those scary times in my life. What are you fearful about when it comes to moving forward in your life? What is one simple thing you can do to get you closer to becoming an overcomer?

·       The Wizard, phony fraud: He gave the appearance of being ferocious, all mighty, dominating and one to be feared. Everyone in OZ knew to stay away from the wizard because of his reputation. In reality, the wizard was lying to himself and others. He used scare tactics to hide his insecurities and to keep others from getting close to him. Having been a failure made him resort to lying about who he was. Once the veil was removed, we saw immediately that this person used deception to be accepted and even worshipped. I remember being in Germany and surrounded by some mighty women of God. I quickly took on their mannerisms and their way of doing things. Soon after, my husband would check me on what I was saying and doing. He continued to remind me that I was not being true to myself by mimicking them. I didn’t want to do it but I felt that if I didn’t, they would think I was not as holy as they were. I praise God I have a husband who set me straight and eventually those friendships faded. Are there mannerisms that you display that are not the true you? Are you doing and saying things that are not you? Pray and ask God to free you from that. Be the REAL YOU! Your blessings come to you this way.

Quick recap:
·       Leave the past in the past. Let it GO!
·       Exchange the devil’s lies for God’s truth about you. His truth will set you free.
·       God is LOVE! Love is your foundation. Let it fuel everything you do.
·       Take courage! God is with you! He will never leave you nor forsake you.
·       Stop playing charades! Be authentic. After all, you were created in His image.
·       Once you find out who you are and where you belong, you now have an obligation to help others. You are blessed to be a blessing for such a time as this.

You can win!

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