That’s what the Wicked Witch of the West writes in the sky as Dorothy, Toto, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion are in the wonderful Emerald City in “The Wizard of Oz.” They’ve just finished being pampered at the Wash & Brush Up Company when they see the witch on her broom writing that message in the sky.
But that’s not going to happen. Dorothy will never surrender. Instead, she and her cohorts seek the help of the magical and mysterious Wizard of Oz. But as is often the case in this life on earth, those we put our trust in do not live up to their reputations. The Wizard of Oz is not magical or mysterious. He is a man. No different from any other.
Still, some of us choose to “ignore the man behind the curtain” and follow the-not-so-great and not-so-powerful Ozzes in this world. We don’t know what else to do. We keep a death grip on the only hope we can see with our limited vision because some hope, no matter how flawed, is better than no hope at all.
Some of us become indignant when those we follow are not perfect. They fall short of our self-made definition of perfection. They don’t follow the yellow brick road we’ve designed for them. In our eyes, they fall from grace.
This happens to political figures, family members, friends, acquaintances, our pastors, any human being. No one except Jesus Christ, the Son of man and Son of God, was ever perfect on this earth. Yet, we still expect that of others. And when they don’t measure up to the standards we set, sometimes we persecute them.
Chasing after perfection, especially our image of how others should be, is like trying to make a cat into a dog. It’s not going to have a happy ending.
Sometimes we follow ourselves. But like the puppy that’s always chasing his tail, we don’t know that we’re running around in circles and getting nowhere very quickly.
When others follow us, they perpetuate our belief that we are moving forward when we’re still going around in circles. Having company never changes the truth. Just like the cheese in the song, “The Farmer in the Dell,” the truth stands alone.
During their journey, Dorothy and her friends discover many truths. We discover truth through our faith journey in Jesus Christ.
The Cowardly Lion discovers bravery in the midst of fear. In our weakness, God is strong. In 2 Corinthians 12:10, the Apostle Paul writes, “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Paul’s strength doesn’t come from himself or from others. It comes from God. During those times when we are weak but allow God to fill us with His power, that’s when we are the strongest.
The Scarecrow exclaims, “Oh, joy! Oh, rapture! I got a brain!” He finds true wisdom. In the New Testament, the foolish become wise.
The wise man built his house on the rock in Matthew 7. When the storms come, his house does not fall. In the same way, the wise build their lives upon Jesus Christ. When the things of the world fall away, the wise are secure because faith in God stands forever.
The Tin Man has the biggest heart of all. Love is the greatest gift of all. We learn about love in I John 4:7-8, 10, 12b and 19: “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. ... This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. ... if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us. ... We love because He first loved us.”
Dorothy, who just wants to get back home, discovers that she carries home in her heart.
The minute we place our small, human hand into the hand of Jesus and accept Him as our Lord and Savior, we begin the journey home. The journey to eternal life in our true home, Heaven.
Unlike Dorothy, we need to surrender. We need to surrender to God. That’s when we can declare, “Oh, joy! Oh, rapture!”