Tangled Teachings from Disney

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I was going to blog on something else, but my mind changed when I watched Disney’s Tangled with my wife today. One of the funniest scenes struck me in particular. It’s when Rapunzel (the main character), finally works up the courage to leave her home in the tower (against her mother’s orders) and really becomes aware of what she’s done. Her overwhelming excitement over the step she’s made is contrasted by her self-deprecation.

If you haven’t seen the movie check out this clip on YouTube: http://youtu.be/awvSykRdR4s

This bipolar episode made me laugh! And then it hit me. That’s exactly how I react in the midst of many of my own life’s decisions—especially big ones.

When Lisa and I were engaged we lived 80 miles apart in Southern California. I had the joy of commuting to work about half that distance, which took 90 minutes. We started looking at apartments around her job, then around my job, then places that were way cheaper than either of those areas where both of us would have to commute. Just as we were narrowing down the possibilities, my first big decision as a married man came (though I wasn’t married yet). A job offer that would move us to Oregon.

I took the job. The first year we were here I remember debating with myself constantly. It was as if I left the tower in all the excitement, and then, oh crap… what did I do?

“You moved her away from everything she’s ever known.”
“Now you make more money and have great benefits to take care of your family.”
“She doesn’t have any family here. Either do you!”
“Our money goes so much further in Oregon than it would in California.”
“Her allergies have been so bad, and she’s been horribly sick since you moved here.”
“Well, again, I have great benefits to pay for allergy dr. appointments.”
“You are newly married, living in a new apartment, in a new city, in a new state, and working at a new job. That’s too much ‘new’ all at once!”
“But look at this awesome adventure we’re on that we get to tell our kids about someday!”

I was convinced we made the right decision, but many of cons seemed to outweigh the pros. Lisa was struggling in Oregon—both emotionally and physically—and the question of my choice sent me into several bipolar-type mood swings. My heart was to do the right thing for myself and my family, but was this it? Would we have been better off to live in the skids in So. Cal, and yet enjoy better weather and nearby family?

Well, over four years later we can say the move to Oregon was the right decision. But, along the way there have certainly been other choices that have sent me swinging from the trees overjoyed like Rapunzel one minute, then face-down in the grass another.

The thing I noticed in Tangled was seeing the handful of times Rapunzel points out something great that she’d done on her own. Those were such confidence boosters, and were a way to prove to herself (and her mother) that she was capable of making it on her own.

Isn’t that what all our choices should add up to in the end? Whether we went with option A or option B, and whether our choices end up being “right” or not, our conviction to actually make decisions is strengthened. Hopefully that is a confidence booster!

God doesn’t want to keep us locked in a tower, telling us He’s protecting us from the world. He longs for us to let our hair down and be free to make decisions based on the wisdom we’ve gained up to this point. I think He’d smile and say it’s okay, when we have a minor bipolar episode here and there. And just maybe, when we look back and watch our own “episodes” again, they’ll even be comical.

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