Thursday, January 30, 2014

Don't Let Go of Everything

After her "secret" powers are revealed, and others believe she is a sorceress, Princess Elsa flees from her kingdom to the snow mountaintop beyond her realm.  It's at this point in the film "Frozen" that she sings the very popular "Let It Go."  It's a great performance by Idina Menzel, who should win an Oscar for it.  However, the song speaks very well to the struggle that most teens go through in negotiating the difficult task of growing up.


The journey that many young people go through is well represented here.  In these formative years, they discover their own "powers" - talents, strengths, weaknesses, and gifts - and they also begin to discern how they can use them.  The perception in a rebellious mind is that adults or society in general wants to stifle these gifts - as Elsa's family had tried to do ("Conceal, don't feel").  As adults, we need to nurture these gifts and provide good outlets for them to explore them - without running away into isolation.

Elsa, in her mountain solitude, believes she has found true freedom.  Without limits, she thinks that she has found where she is meant to be.  But it's not complete for her.  She still has something to learn, and it will come in the form of a relationship that has always been there, even when she has shunned it: her sister Anna.  There in her mountain palace she sings, "No right, no wrong; no rules for me. I'm free!"

But she's not free.  She is still a prisoner of her passions - which is what she is trying to shield the world from by running away.  When Anna shows up, those uncontrolled passions - unchecked by proper direction - almost kill her little sister.

It's a delicate business assisting young people to become fully alive and adults. They must do it on their own terms, but they also must be able to engage in the rest of society as well.  We have so much to gain from the gifts of our young ones.  Their potential is a reason to be hopeful.  Our task is to help them to "let go" - but to let go of the proper things.

Let go of fear.  Let go of hesitancy and the insecurity that stifles dreams.  But never let go of the relationships that ground you - especially the gift of God's grace, that special relationship that helps us to see our gifts as His blessings to us and to the world that we will help to shape.

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