Guest Post: “Learning From ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz'” by Myriah Marsh
Most of us are familiar with the story “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”. Did you also know that author L. Frank Baum wrote 13 additional books in this series? It was instantly popular and quickly sold out of its first 10,000 copies. The book would not be republished, however, until the play “The Wizard of Oz” was commissioned by the Chicago Grand Opera House in 1902. By the time it entered public domain in 1956, publishers had sold over 3 million copies. This book is an entertaining way to demonstrates life lessons of how God helps us succeed through the challenges of life.
Gifts to Guard Us Along the Way
At the beginning of the book, Dorothy’s house is lifted by a cyclone and dropped into a fairytale land. Upon her arrival, she is greeted by munchkins and the Good Witch of the North. For her journey, the Good Witch gives Dorothy a kiss on the forehead and a pair of unique shoes. These special slippers have powers that she was not aware of when they were given. Our Heavenly Father also gives us items to cover our head and feet. In Ephesians 6, the Bible talks about the “Helmet of Salvation” for the top of our heads, protecting us from doubt, fear, and anxiety. When we accept Christ into our hearts as Lord and Savior, we have opportunity to access a vast amount of resources. Being mindful of our thoughts and presenting them to God in prayer is like putting on a helmet that guards us. This chapter also tells us that our feet are “fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” (NIV). Having spiritual shoes covers us with the power of God’s peace. When we pray and spend time reading the Bible, we tap into God’s special peace in our lives. By taking time to seek God and think on His principals each day, the access to peace enables us to stand firm in what we believe.
Friends to Help Us Through the Day
When Dorothy stumbles on challenges throughout the book, she is given just what she needs. Along the way, she meets three friends that need help: the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion. The Tin Woodman is great at building items, but he needs Dorothy to help him by loosening his rusted joints with oil. The Scarecrow doesn’t sleep, which makes him a perfect guard, but Dorothy must help him down off a pole in the garden. The Cowardly Lion has an amazing roar, but he struggles with being brave. These four friends help each other through crossing rivers, poppy fields, and fighting witches. Without realizing it, each time Dorothy encounters a difficult task, the perfect helper is put before her and comes right when she needs it. Often, we are prepared by past experiences, relationships and seemingly “random” tools that help us just when we need them. In the past, when I was a mentor, I noticed that God gave me the specific skills I needed to work with each person. And I wasn’t even looking for those skills. What a blessing!!
“Many Hands Make Light Work.”
Finally, this book is a great example of the importance of helping each other out. After the Queen of all the Field Mice is saved, she asks how to repay the kindness of the Tin Woodman. The Scarecrow suggests they help move the lion out of the poppy field. The Tin Woodman builds a structure to put him in. Then, the Queen has all her field mice help. The tiny rodents are able to carry the lion, because there were thousands of them. It created light work and was a blessing to all. While recently visiting Israel, I reflected on how the Israelites freely gave their materials and talents to build a place of worship (Exodus 36). I realized that when we serve together, it brings about prosperity and unity.
The Value of Lessons Learned
Each day God gives us what we need to maneuver the challenges of life. Dorothy learned many lessons throughout her time in Oz. At the end of their journey, Dorothy learns she can go back home. Although the special kiss gave her distinct authority in the land, she had all she needed to go home from the start. She could have returned much faster if she had known to just click her heels.
In life, God equips us with tools and armor we may not fully understand or use to reach our full potential. Had you been in Dorothy’s shoes, would you trade going home right away for the priceless life lessons she learned?
About the Author – Myriah Marsh
Myriah Marsh has her own business, In Home Fitness, which specializes in working with older adults in their homes. She grew up in Montana where she received a Bachelor’s Degree from Montana State University in Business. After starting a family she decided to go back to school and get a degree in Exercise Science, finding her passion in assisting others with fitness.
Myriah and her son live in Montana, where she enjoys hiking, creating and dreaming of her next adventure.
The best way to reach her is at 406-581-1646.