Missions in Moana: How Far I’ll Go

While the previous song, “Where You Are”, has become a personal prayer for me, the song, “How Far I’ll Go” has almost become an expression of worship. While that may seem to cross the line for several of you, please allow me to explain.

How Far I’ll Go

In this song, Moana is describing her conflicting emotions concerning her predicament. Immediately, we see her desire to “be the perfect daughter”. She longs to obey her parents, to do what is expected, and play her role in society. Yet she is constantly drawn “back to the water”.  Moana’s struggle, made apparent in this song, mimics the struggle of Christians.

There are times when it would be much easier if we could just fit into a design, if we could just be  like “everybody on this island [who seem] so happy” in their roles. Yet, we are not happy, or at least, we shouldn’t be. We weren’t called to chase happiness, but to mission. We weren’t called to fit in, but to stand out.

Now, I’ve already spoken of Moana’s faith in her call and how it separated her from many of the other characters, yet I haven’t spoken about our call and the faith we should place in it–for our call didn’t come from the ocean but from the Lord. Those of you familiar with the faith may know it as The Great Commission:

The Great Commission Matthew 28:16-20

Just as the ocean called Moana to save her people, Christ has called us. Through this call, Christ has invited us to take part in His story–in reaching the nations. This is why this simple song from a Disney movie has become an expression of worship for me. Yes, it depicts the Christian struggle, but it’s also an allegory for our call.

The world doesn’t want us to leave. Our parents, our communities, our friends–they will think we are crazy if we truly answer God’s call. Like Moana’s father, they may become angry, or like the villagers, they may try to convince us to chase the comforts of tradition and security instead–and why not? It’s terrifying to leave those things behind and venture into the unknown with nothing to fall back on other than a small raft and your faith. But that’s what Moana was called to do–and that’s what we are called to do: to go and make disciples. Whether we were called to go across the street or to the other side of the world, we are still called to go, and “if [we] go there’s just no telling how far [we]’ll go”.

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