At a recent service, I illustrated my talk with the story of Dumbo and was subsequently asked if I would write a thought for the week about it. So, here goes….
Dumbo, as I’m sure you all know, was an elephant that was born with very large ears. So large, in fact, that he kept tripping over them! Sadly, folks from the circus where he lived started taking the mickey out of him and his mum, Jumbo, tried to protect him, got very angry and was locked up as a ‘mad elephant’. Dumbo’s best friend and mentor was Timothy, a mouse. Disney clearly had a sense of humour in choosing a mouse as elephants are supposed to be afraid of them – maybe a message for another day.
Timothy and Dumbo went to see Jumbo but managed to drink water that a bottle of champagne had fallen into – inevitably they got drunk. When they awoke, they found themselves perching on telegraph wires (I love that scene with the wires bending down to almost breaking point). Timothy quickly realised that they must have flown there. However, Dumbo did not believe he could fly so, some rather bemused crows gave him a ‘magic feather’; then, Dumbo could fly.
The scene changes to the big top with Dumbo launching off a high platform but, you’ve guessed it, Dumbo drops the feather and starts plummeting earthward to certain death. Imagine the scene as Timothy cries out to Dumbo that the feather is not magic, and that Dumbo can fly. Dumbo hears Timothy, flaps his ears and swoops back up to soar around the tent – Dumbo really can fly.
The point here is that Dumbo doubted himself and needed a prop for his confidence. However, when the prop disappeared (do you remember learning to ride a bike and then your parent letting go?) so did the confidence. But, for Dumbo, the still small voice of Timothy rang out – this is the voice and power of Love. Dumbo had Faith, he trusted his friend and followed what that still small voice told him. Then, together with his innate Strength, the Love and Faith combined to give Dumbo courage – The Courage to Be! The courage to be himself, to live his Truth and he soared…he soared into the sky of belief that is always there for us all. The very same Courage to Be that Jesus had when he rode on that donkey into Jerusalem.
Have the Courage to Be and we can all soar to ever greater spiritual heights.
Licensed Unity Teacher
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