If I were to name my favourite Disney classic movie, it would probably be one of the most difficult questions that I have to answer. But “The Lion King” was the one that was constantly on replay, simply because I saw a part of myself in Simba.
When Simba was banished by his treacherous uncle, Scar, out from Pride Land, young Simba ran away in guilt for causing the death of his own father, Mufasa. As Simba wandered into the wilderness, he spent his formative years with Timon and Pumba (a meerkat and warthog), and learnt to hunt for worms, and eat greens, slowly diluting his identity as a lion. Well, Hakuna Matata (it means no worries!)
The turning point came for Simba as he ran into Nala, his childhood friend (The trios down to two- you know what I mean!). She urged Simba to go back to Pride Land, but his shame and guilt hold him back. He refused and stormed off, and Rafiki (a wise mandrill and Mufasa’s adviser) was delighted to find out that Simba is still alive. Rafiki told Simba that the spirit of his father still lives in him. In the night sky, Mufasa visited Simba and told him to take the rightful place as King of Pride Land, and “remember who you are” (The son of Mufasa- the rightful king of Pride Land).
Growing up, culture and voices around me have placed great emphasis on achievements, as a mean for recognition, significance, approval, acceptance and a dignified place in society.
I received approval from people when I scored a string of A’s on my national exams; then attaining higher academic qualifications from reputable school; and then working with prestigious organisations…the list goes on.
And whenever I fall short or fail, I feel rejected, unworthy, unlovable and to the extent of questioning my existence.
I began to realise that my identity has been on the wrong anchor and that I have not fully embraced my identity as the child of God, an identity that is eternal.
I am grateful that on Epiphany, as God drew me to look at the baptism of Christ, I was reminded of my own baptism. Looking back, the year of my baptism was the year that I left home for boarding school. Since then, I went through some of the darkest valleys, and highest of peaks in my life. In those moments, God revealed Himself through the spirit that has been and will be the guiding hands for me.
Drawing a parallel to Simba to us Christians, the voices around us saying that our career, domestic roles, finances other things in life may dilute the voice of God. But in the darkest of nights of our lives, remember who you are- the child of God.
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:26-29)