Wisdom From Kung Fu Panda

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One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it. — Ooway (Kung Fu Panda)

We went to see Kung Fu Panda — again! – at the dollar movie Wednesday night. That’s such a cute movie — much better than I thought it would be. I really like Ooway, the wise turtle, and when he said the line above, it struck me how true that often is.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not into New Age stuff and I don’t necessarily believe in “fate” or “destiny,” but I do believe in God’s plan and His purpose for our lives and we do often run smack into God’s plans for our lives while running to avoid them. If you don’t believe me, go read the book of Jonah.

One could argue that Jonah did not “meet his destiny,” but rather had his mind changed by God — and a big fish — but God knew all along what was going to happen. Jonah could have avoided the whole uncomfortable getting-swallowed-by-a-fish thing if he’d just obeyed God in the first place.

And, what about Sarah? Yikes! We probably could have avoided the perpetual unrest-in-the-Middle-East thing if she’d listened to God and waited for His timing.

I don’t want to give any spoilers for those who haven’t yet seen the movie, but Shifu actually winds up causing the thing he most fears by letting his fear influence his action.

Ouch! How often do we do something like that? Rebecca Ingram Powell, in her book, Season of Change (yeah, that’s the author with whom I’ll be doing an interview on September 18), talks about parenting out of fear. I admit that there can be a fine line there between protecting our children and over-protecting them, between guiding them and allowing room for them to be guided by the Holy Spirit, between allowing a teachable moment and avoiding a negative influence. Particularly, as our children reach the teen years, it’s very important that we guard against parenting out of fear and, instead, parenting from a Godly wisdom and a faith that God will not forsake the relationship that He is forging with our children.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;
but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. — 2 Timothy 1:7

There are many other times in life that we let fear determine our course of action. However, in letting fear guide us, rather than the Holy Spirit and God’s Word, we often find ourselves running straight to the very thing that we feared…often, even being the cause of our meeting that fear head-on.

God tells us in both Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25:

There is a way that seems right to a man,
but in the end it leads to death.

I guess He really wanted us to get that, because He said it twice. So, how do we avoid meeting our “destiny” on the road we take to avoid it?

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
— Proverbs 3:5-6

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