Alright, opinion time. Princess and the Frog is a treasure. I absolutely loved the animation on that movie, and the music was fantastic. Coming out of that movie is an incredibly fun little ditty that is the subject of today's post. For those of you who don't know the song, or if you do know the song and just want to listen to some awesome music, you can find it here. I suggest you go and enjoy before reading further.
Back? Did you start dancing and clapping? No? Just me? Well then...
A Tale of Two Sons...er...Frogs
At the core of Princess and the Frog is the story of the Prodigal Son. For those who don't know the story, you can read it here. For the sake of this illustration, Naveen is the younger son, Tiana is the older son, and Mama Odie is the Dad.
The Needy One
You see, like the younger son, Naveen doesn't really care about his parents or his identity, he just cares about the pleasures that those relationships can bring him. He cares about the money, the parties, and the ladies. He thinks that as long as he can have money, as long as he can indulge his passions and desires, he will be happy and be able to live life to the full.
Mama Odie smacks him right in the face. She delivers one of the best lines, "Prince Froggy is a rich little boy, you wanna be rich again. That ain't gonna make you happy now, did it make you happy then? No!" It's so good! So many of us aren't happy in life - we struggle and we wallow and we gripe and complain. We keep looking for the next fix: the next game, the next theme park day, the next movie, the next job, the next relationship, the next move, the next con. These things brought me pleasure in the past, surely there is one version that is so good that it will bring me lasting joy and happiness?! NO!
You Gotta Dig
Here we come to the title of the song. What's the solution? You got a dig a little deeper! We have to dig beyond our wants and our desires. We have to dig beneath the things that we believe will please us. We need to discover who we truly are. Now let's be clear here. I am not saying that I need to discover who I am. I am not saying I need to jump over to Buzzfeed and find out which Disney Princess I am (for some reason I got Mulan which is just way off, I'm totally a Belle). I am saying that I need to see what it means to be truly human, and what Jesus has done to make that happen.
The Image of God. This is a wonderful concept that really frames much of my worldview. Genesis 1:27 says, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." As the image of God, men and women were made to reflect the Creator and to rule the Earth as His representatives. We were made to reflect God. So, when I say that we need to discover who we truly are, at the core I am saying that we need to discover who God truly is, and who He has made us and called us to be. We need to see the heights and the glories that we were made for, and the incredibly low, small, paltry, broken, tainted things we settle for. We need to look at Jesus the Christ, and see what it means to be truly, wonderfully, perfectly human. We need to look at Him, and know that by His grace and His mercy, by His love and His sacrifice, by His life and His death, one day those who know, love, and serve Him will be with Him, and like Him.
You Don't Have Far To Go
One thing that is beautiful about this song and about this parable is the fact that Naveen and the younger brother truly don't have far to go before they can once again be who they were meant to be. Why is that? Because Jesus came not to call the good, the noble, the upright, the perfectly religious. Jesus said, "I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." (Luke 5:32) Those who are "farthest away" from God are often the ones who truly have the shortest distance to go, because when God's light shines on them and reveals who they are and who they could be, they recognize their need. Praise God for His wonderful grace! And thank God for this song and this parable.
Well, that was a lot about Naveen, but what about Tiana? We'll examine that next week in Part 2!