Preacher's Blog

Preacher's Blog

“Keep Your Island in Your Mind”

Categories: Christian Living, Encouragement, Family, Joshuah Ellis

Over Thanksgiving, the whole family went to see the newest Disney movie, Moana. The movie is about a Polynesian girl who is charged with the task of crossing the ocean to deliver a stone in order to save her people and her island. Just imagine Lord of the Rings with a lot more water, coconuts and the expected Disney music and magic. Anyway, my kids are obsessed with it. In fact, we had to buy the soundtrack of which they now know just about every word both English and Samoan. Car rides are super fun now.

More to the point, there is a song entitled “We Know the Way” (click here to hear it) which talks about the navigation style of the Polynesians of that era who managed to explore and discover hundreds of islands over hundreds of thousands of square miles of ocean within the Polynesian triangle which spans from New Zeland to the Hawaiian islands to Easter Island (source). They did all of this without a compass, sextant, gps or any other device that could even be considered relatively modern. Their method involved reading the stars, understand the currents and temperature of the ocean and keeping their island in their mind…literally.

What they managed to do was nothing short of amazing. In order to know where they were out on the ocean, these Polynesian navigators had to be aware of where their home island was in reference to their current position. Still, this concept serves as a beautiful double metaphor. While they had to literally keep the location of their home in their thoughts, they also chose to remember where they came from culturally as the Polynesian culture was spread throughout this vast area.

So this may be a stretch, but I can help but think about how this mindset applies to Christians as well. The idea of remembering where we come from, not in a literal sense necessarily, but spiritually. 

  • Children are referred to as heritage from the Lord (Psalm 127:3-5). We belong to God as we all came from God.
  • This world is not our home. We are travelers on this earth and there is no place here that we are intended to call our final destination (1 Peter 2:11-12).
  • We are to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus as He is the One who will guide us to our home in heaven (Hebrews 12:2; John 14:6).

While I don’t think it was the point of Moana to encourage people to follow Jesus, it is certainly something I have taken away from seeing the movie…and listening to the soundtrack for hundreds of hours. In remembering who we are and where we come from, we are better able to find our way home. Its a beautiful parallel to our journey as Christians who are navigating this world all the while trying to reach that Home in Heaven that has been prepared for us.

Do with this what you will, these are just some of my thoughts. I hope it helps you to remember who you are, where you come from, and most importantly, where you are trying end up.


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