As I shared in my previous post, “Can We Learn Anything from Po?” there are important things Po can help us see in his latest feature film, Kung Fu Panda 3.
Despite all the love his adoptive father has given him and all his efforts to master the Kung Fu marital arts, Po was never able to really master what he was practicing. Much as he tried, he always fell a bit short as the teacher pointed out.
The key to changing Po’s destiny came when a stranger entered the village in the Valley of Peace. This stranger had been searching for his long lost son and never had given up finding him. This stranger was Po’s father and from him he learned the story of how his mother sacrificed her life to save him and how he came to be rescued and adopted by the goose and the villagers of the Valley of Peace.
For as much as Po loved his adoptive family, the story of his mother’s sacrifice and his father’s perseverance in searching for his son begins to open Po’s eyes to the truth of who he is and always has been. He needed to hear the truth and he needed to spend time with his father to learn what was missing.
We are often much like Po. We can be tempted to believe what other people say about us. If those things are good, we feel more okay about who we are. If those things are not so good, we are left with doubts and discouragement about who we are.
We can never have a healthy self-identity of we allow others to define us.
Our heavenly Father (like Po’s father) pursues us waiting for us to recognize Him and discover His everlasting love. Of course, unlike Po’s father, our heavenly Father knows exactly where we are and always have been.
We are not lost to Him, He is lost to us because we do not know Him or that we are His.
When we finally discover Him, we have much to learn to understand His language, His design for us, and the relationship He wants us to have with Him and others like us.
To come to the truth of our identity and what we have been called to be, we need to spend time with Him, listening to Him, learning to recognize His voice, and the truth we had not known.
Po spent time with his father learning how to eat, how to roll down hills, and so much more. From our Father, we also need to learn how to eat His food, His Word, and how to respond to the world outside of Eden where we now live.
It doesn’t happen all at once, but as we spend time with Him we are able to take the risk of going beyond what we can do and become more than we are.
With Him, we discover we can accomplish more than we can ever imagine. We learn about His armor and how He has designed it to work.
We also learn we are not alone. He has been there all along. We just didn’t recognize Him.
We also discover we have others like us and He wants us to recognize that we are family, His family. As such, He wants us to learn the value of one another and how to work together and learn from one another just as Po’s adoptive village learned from the panda village and the panda village learned from his family in the Valley of Peace.
When the supernatural forces of evil come to defeat and take everyone captive, Po learns how everyone can fight together to defeat the legendary evil force. In the process, his confidence in his true identity and the warrior spirit his father has placed within him allows him to do more than he thought he could do and become more than he was.
When every manner of evil is arrayed against us, we can also learn that lesson if we remember who we are, whose we are, and whose family we stand with and for.
Then we, like Paul, can say:
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
Phil. 4:13 ESV