The cowardly lion is yet another misfit character in the movie the Wizard of Oz. He was whiny, wimpy, complained all of the time and had an irritating habit of twisting his tail. He was a big baby that was constantly hiding behind everybody else when faced with trouble. Along the trip down the yellow brick road, he seemed to drag everyone down with the weight of his despair.
Here was this lion: greater than anything else, King of the Jungle, beast of beasts, larger than life, by all appearances, reduced to a beaten kitten. How could he not see this? He was a lion, that is what he was created to be.
Why didn’t he know it?
The Lion was taken from his mother as a cub. He was taken to a lab where experimental tests were performed on the young cub. He didn’t know that he was a King, he didn’t know that he was a magnificent animal and was a symbol of power, of courage. He didn’t know who he was and whose he was, thus, never acquiring the necessary lessons of life to warrant him to be the King of the Jungle. He is essentially withered to nothing but a wimpy kitten. Through his journey with Dorothy he was forced to step into the role he was meant to live and found that his courage was always there. What made the difference? He was loved and developed love for his companions, he had a reason to dig deep enough to find that courage, confidence and power within.
He didn’t know how strong he was until being strong was the only choice he had.
Courage is required in almost every basic human activity or endeavor. For instance, to allow yourself to love and commit to another person takes immense courage. Separating from our parents and forging an independent life for ourselves is a courageous act. To survive an abusive, traumatic or abandoned childhood with some sense of dignity and integrity intact demonstrates tremendous courage and resilience. Getting old demands courage, becoming 50 this year…takes courage.
Jesus Himself offered words of encouragement for our lives in this world: I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.] – John 16:33
To persevere rather than quit. To act with integrity rather than being a crowd pleaser. To take responsibility rather than put blame. To embrace reality rather than retreat from it. To move forward in life rather than regress or stagnate. To create rather than destroy. To love rather than hate. To deal with your own imperfections, rather than not. To consciously face the inevitable facts of life rather than denying them. Courage is living the Word no compromises and what we don’t do with it. Like the Cowardly Lion, who constantly looks for courage outside himself, we may already be more courageous, more heroic, than we imagine. Acknowledging our past acts of courage, tapping into our innate capacity to be courageous. To know when you need help because of the daunting past, present and future, or whatever it may bring is courage.
Courageous people know what they must do and they do it, even though they may be very much afraid. The lesson here is that courage isn’t about acting in the absence of fear. It’s about acting regardless of our fears. Knowing who your are and whose you are! Ask yourself what can be against me? For the Lion of Judah goes before you!!! Psalm 8:31
“Be a Lion” ~ The Wiz
And with no fear inside, No need to run,
No need to hide
You’re standing strong and tall,
You’re the bravest of them all
If on courage
You must call
Then just keep on tryin’
You’re a lion
In your own way
Be a lion!