As 2016 was ending, our Mix Team planned a dinner together to celebrate and to reflect on the year. A question we all had to answer was, “Who influenced us the most in 2016?”, and I answered Lin-Manuel Miranda, the playwright/actor/composer/rapper who wrote Hamilton, An American Musical. But little did I know that he would also influence me in forming my theme/resolution for 2017!
Now before you roll your eyes and think, “Oh man, not another Hamilton post! He hasn’t even seen it, yet!” I’m not going to talk about Hamilton, our ten-dollar founding father without a father. Instead, I’m going to talk about the movie, Moana! A Disney movie about a sixteen-year-old daughter of a chief from a small Polynesian island, Motunui, who longs to explore the sea, but her father and the village say otherwise. Here is one of my favorite songs that accurately summarizes the tension:
If you listen to the lyrics carefully and pay attention to the music, you’ll see that the village is trying to convince her to stay on the island where there is comfort and safety, and it’s the tradition. But Gramma Tala sings a different song (a slower one!), where she encourages her to dance with the water. Following the New Year, this song was stuck in my head for days (it still is) and as I kept listening to it, I realized that this would be my theme for the year, TO GET OFF MY ISLAND!
When I say island, I mean the places where I feel safe, comfortable, and in control (either physical, mental, or spiritual). These are the places where I automatically go to when I’m on autopilot or feeling threatened. These are also the places where I remain a static character in my story and am not given the opportunity to grow. But if this is the year where I intentionally step into the waters, where my feet may fail, I’m going to have to make sure I do these three things:
LISTEN – to what God is telling me through His Word and those that speak wisdom and prophecy versus those that are trying to manipulate me using fear, comfort, or safety.
PIVOT – As much as I can plan my ways, Proverbs 16:9 says that “the Lord directs my ways.” This year, I will work on listening to where the Lord is guiding me and not resist, but instead pivot in the direction He wants me to go!
DANCE – As I step into the unknown waters, I, along with those who journey with me (who are on my crew), will be discovering a new rhythm, a NEW SONG! I will have to make sure that I enjoy the journey and dance freely and joyfully, as we did at the All-Church Retreat this past New Year’s Eve party!
How about you? Would you be willing to step off your island and sail the unknown waters? Have you taken the time to LISTEN to where the Lord wants you to PIVOT, where you have the opportunity to DANCE freely?
Felipe Vazquez is the Jr. High Pastor for Newsong Youth. You can follow him on Instagram @flipvazquezii