If you’ve ever seen Kung Fu Panda, then you’ll get a sense of my type of humor. I will watch virtually anything (clean) Jack Black is in. Even if he does the voice of a cartoon character (as he does in Kung Fu Panda), I’ll watch it. Those eyebrows, that heart, that extreme bodaciousness (I think he’d approve of that term) brings me back for more. I’m pretty sure he and his family should come over and grill out with my family and I. We’d have a great time. I’d invite over some of our other famous friends as well, just ’cause I think they’d all get along: Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake and Jen Aniston. I’m sure there’s others who’d like to come, but scheduling for these guys is a BEAST these days.

Kung Fu Panda

Kung Fu Panda (Photo credit: niallkennedy)

I will now warn you that if you have plans to rent Kung Fu Panda, you should skip the next paragraph, then read the rest. How’s that for a spoiler alert? ūüėČ

Not to tell you something you already know, but the storyline of Kung Fu Panda is that he loves kung fu and idolizes the kung fu masters, the Fantastic Five. He gets chosen as the Dragon Warrior, the one who will save the valley from the enemy, and he has to rise to meet the challenge. Except that he doesn’t know kung fu and…he’s a fat panda bear who works in a noodle restaurant that’s specialty is Secret Ingredient Soup, the recipe for which his dad won’t share.

The thing about most people is that they believe there is something lacking in themselves. They are too young, too old, too chubby, too slow or whatever the descriptor. There is some attribute which keeps them from whatever it is they deeply desire.

This same hang-up keeps us away from God as well. We might be willing to engage Him from a distance, but any closer and the same things pop up again.

I’ve screwed up too much.

I’ve been too big a jerk.

It’s been too long.

Moms feel their mothering¬†inadequacy keenly. ‘Other parents seem to be able to keep it together,’ these moms¬†think, ‘but I am just barely keeping all these dependent people alive and in clean diapers.’

Why can’t I get this kid to sleep at night?

Why won’t my child use the potty?

Why can’t I get my baby on a predictable schedule?

Why is this so hard for me?

We compare ourselves to others, and this is to our detriment, whether we measure up or not. We fall short = we feel crappy. We rise above =¬†we feel smug, or we condescend or patronize that poor thing who just can’t get her act together (even if this is only said in our thoughts). Either way, we lack an even response and usually our perspective is skewed.

Gazpacho

Gazpacho (Photo credit: texascooking)

We start to think there is something others have which we lack. We missed the memo. We were out sick when that was covered in class. Nobody will give us the recipe for Secret Ingredient Soup. Because of this we throw up our hands and resign ourselves to just accept whatever happens to us.

Whatever happens to us.

Happens to us.

The action comes towards us and we have to constantly react to it.

We are passive. We are acted upon, rather than active act-ors.

This can warp the way I see the panoramic view of my entire life. I am a powerless hunk of driftwood, tossed around on the waves of the ocean.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

For right now, let’s just reflect on what areas of our lives we feel landlocked. Where are we stuck? When do we feel like other people have the advantage? What makes it feel this way? Is this just a feeling or is there actual evidence for it? Does your theology inform this approach to life and to God?

Not to get all kung fu-y on you, but that is enough for now, Grasshopper. Let’s just think about what thing in our lives is our own personal Secret Ingredient Soup. And come back later this week and we’ll talk some more about it. Until then…~blessings!

Would you be willing to share an area of your life where you feel stuck? Do you think your idea of God helps or hinders this stuck-ness? What do you think others have that you lack?

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