Once again, Jeremy David Trist asked, so Jeremy receives. This time, I'm thinking about the relationship between Tangled's When Will My Life Begin. Tangled is an adorable movie that makes me happy to be alive. Rapunzel is so sweet, generous, and kind that she makes everyone around here a better person. Flynn Rider is a scoundrel with a heart of gold that proves love is a powerful redemptive force. Accompanied by Maximus (a mighty steed whose nobility is only matched by his majestic mane) and Pascual (a clever, hilarious, and snarky iguana), they go on a wonderful adventure full of hope, joy, and friendship.
But, at the beginning of the movie, Rapunzel is trapped. Rapunzel has spent her life in a tower, a small room not experiencing the wide world she belongs in. It's not until she breaks out that she meets, and helps redeem people, is reunited with her true family, and lives the fullness of life she was meant for. While she has a life full of activity, she feels like her life hasn't truly begun. In the same way, the Scriptures tell us that life apart from Christ might seem full, but it's really just busy. It's only when we are united to Christ, when the Spirit indwells and empowers us, and when the Father adopts us that our lives truly begin.
Busy But Not Living
Rapunzel is full of activity. Seriously, go watch the song again and see how stinking productive this girl is. When I'm on my own I'm all about sleep, video games, eat, read, sleep again. Rapunzel is amazing! But there is an emptiness in all her activities. She's busy, but she isn't truly living. The same is often true of our hearts apart from Christ.
Paul puts it this way in Ephesians 2: As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts.
We might be doing lots of cool things, but we are basically just being zombies. Life is found only in the source of life, God Himself. When we are doing things our own way, just doing whatever we feel like, things might seem full and busy, but in reality, we are missing out on the fullness of bounty of what God really has in store for us. We settle for what we can come up with, rather the trust the Creator of Universes to come up with something far better. We trust our feels rather than trust His goodness. And we trust our desires more than His love. We miss out on so much.
More For Others
There are a ton of lives that would be far worse if Rapunzel never broke out of her tower and intersected their paths. Rapunzel is a bursting forth of life and joy that can't help but transform people. The world around us desperately needs us to break free of the towers of sin and shame that bind us. God's love and light and joy and power and truth need to shine forth and bring transformative healing and redemption to those around us. When we allow ourselves to continue being busy in our towers instead of bursting forth and having our lives begin, only Satan wins. There are men and women who don't even know what they are missing out on, who don't realize they were made for so much more. So I ask you, myself, and the Lord who empowers and frees us, when will our lives begin?