What we can all learn from an Ogre
I expect most of you know where my office is located and it is great to be able to be in tune with what is happening in the College. I also have the privilege of time with students in Kindy each day. An added bonus in the last few months, are the rehearsals for Shrek (tickets coming soon…) that I get to overhear; it’s definitely going to be a great show!
Aside from the performances, the singing and dancing, the great costumes, the music and the cleverly funny script there is actually a helpful storyline for each of us to learn from. I don’t know the last time you saw the movie (the musical includes much more than the original movie), but as we’ve been planning for the performances I’ve been learning things and I encourage you to watch it again.
- If you keep reading, you’ll hear some snippets of the storyline
- We can learn God’s truths in all situations – fiction and non-fiction
"You know donkey, sometimes things are more than they appear."
Shrek is an ogre; he doesn’t feel valued because of what he creates as his opinion of himself, which is based on what he hears about his worth and his behaviour because of his appearance. Sadly, Shrek ends up submitting to what he hears, and eventually submits to the “worst case” where he feels no value. The bigger problem is that this opinion of himself means that he doesn’t fulfill what he can be or should be. He denies his abilities and gifts, thinks he can’t relate with others and makes no progress toward achieving his purpose, because he doesn’t value himself.
“I’m not the one with the problem, it’s the world that seems to have a problem with me…aaah, it’s a big, stupid, ugly ogre. They judge me before they even know me, that’s why I’m better off alone.”
Fiona is also an ogre, who isn’t keen to be herself and feels the need to hide herself from others, thinking life will be better when she looks different. She is denying her true self to fit in and not miss out on what she perceives is better. Desperately, she creates an expectation of reality about how she will be rescued, by whom and what he’ll be, say and do, what he’ll look like and how that will bring her joy and peace. Now there’s no problem with dreams but when those dreams include denying yourself, they can be unhealthy, even dangerous.
“Maybe you shouldn’t judge people before you get to know them”
One of the key moments is Fiona saying this to Shrek, yet both Fiona and Shrek would benefit from reflecting on their opinion of themselves and how it has been constructed.
When Fiona realises she is loved for who she actually is, she finds acceptance, hope and purpose.
When Shrek accepts that he has heard things wrongly and that they have created in him a misunderstanding of himself and his value, he realises that he has missed out on life, and has a new purpose.
They come to realise that they are special in their own way and that they have value, they have things to offer and they put aside what has held them back from themselves and others.
Imago Dei literally translates as the image of God and the Bible states (Genesis 1:27) that each person is made in the image of God. It means that we are made in a particular way so that we can achieve a particular purpose. We seek to reveal this to each student of Norwest and Ngarra as well as their families and to set them on their way to discovering their unique purpose.
I hope to see you at the College performances of Shrek and I hope you celebrate the gifts of those involved in the performances, the staging, the costumes and the music – and I pray that each of us will consider how we are not seeing ourselves properly, as God sees us, and we move toward fulfilling His purpose for our lives.