Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Moana: The Story of Vocation

They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.- Luke 12:53

One of the criticisms of the Moana movie is that the title character Moana disobeys her father's wishes to save her village.  Christians criticize the movie because they feel it teaches children that they can willfully disobey their parents, but I disagree.

The story is about having a vocation or a calling as the movie says.  Moana is called to be the leader of her village, and she is called to lead her people in such a way as to save and restore them.  Her father agrees that she is their leader, but disagrees with the path she is called to take to lead them.  She's not willfully disobeying her father. 

The movie has a pantheistic religious feel.  The ocean calls her to this quest, but it's more metaphorical in my mind.  God is calling her. He's using the ocean. Sometimes obeying God means disobeying our parents.

Jesus spoke about this division and disobedience in the Bible.  It seems it is frequently overlooked by a number of prominent Christian leaders who wish to make a buck off their version of godly parenting.  It annoys me.  I'm not a perfect person and do not have the full picture of what God is calling my children to do with their lives.  My job is to help cultivate their ability to discern but not thwart God's call. 

I wish other parents were supportive of their children's calling. Speaking from personal experience, sometimes parents inadvertently shut down any exploration into a religious vocation. Reality is that even parents are prone to sin.  Instead of cultivating an environment where children can follow where God leads them, there is division and pushing from parents in the exact opposite direction. Some parents yearn for grandchildren instead of their child serving the Church.  I understand.

So ultimately who should the child obey: mere sinful parents or the all-knowing God?  I think it's pretty obvious.  And I think it's obvious from the movie that other adults in Moana's life know just what her calling is supposed to be even if her father is to blind by his personal pain to see it.  He's an imperfect man.  And movies like this are good because Moana following her calling doesn't mean she's doing something immoral.  This is a clear cut case of her obeying God even when it's difficult and separates you from your family.

You know who Moana's story reminds me of?  Mother Angelica.  She felt a strong calling despite her single mother not wanting to loose her.  But Mother Angelica entered the convent and never looked back.  She obeyed Jesus' call within a call by starting a television network even though she was cloistered.  And she was reunited with her mother when eventually her own mother became an extern-sister.  I am sure that she is again reunited with her mother in heaven.  She never said her vocation was an easy one, but she followed the path Christ led her down.

Moana's a great movie and a good one to your children about when it comes to obeying God, not stealing, and making restitution for sins.  Let your children watch it.  

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I love to read your thoughts. Thanks for sharing!