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The Wizard of God

This post was going to be titled, The Wizard of Oz, but since I plan to talk about the consuming search for God, I figured the title should be The Wizard of God.

Now I haven't seen the Wizard of Oz for many years, but if memory serves, there is this young girl named Dorothy who ends up in Munchkin Land after a Tornado steals her away from Kansas. Her house crushed the Wicked Witch of the East, which causes the Wicked Witch of the West to swear vengeance. Fortunately, Galinda the Good Witch bequeaths magical red slippers to Dorothy, tells her to follow the Yellow Brick Road to the Land of Oz, where the Wizard will help her return to her home. Along her way to Oz, Dorothy meets many friends. The Tin Man, Scarecrow, and the Lion, whom she convinces to come with her to Oz so that they too can receive their hearts' desires. In the end, the Wizard turns out to be a ruse and Dorothy realizes she has the power to get home on her own. Equally important, the Tin Man, Lion and Scarecrow all obtain that which they were missing through their living adventure rather than having a magical bestowal by the Wizard.

As I thought about this play, I couldn't help but think the author had to be making a commentary on God and religion. Somehow, we are born into this world with some form of kharmic debt and taught by insitutions, organizations, or religions that there is a certain path, or "Yellow Brick Road" to God and home. If we obedieantly follow this path to God, He will grant us our every desire and ensure our safe return home.

In reality, that which we truly desire, we already possess--and it is in the journey that these divine seeds actually manifest. It is in their journey to Oz that the Lion finds his courage, the Tin Man his heart, and the Scarecrow his brain, not some magical bestowal from the "Wizard." God doesn't grant us what we need, we already have what we need we just need to find it. I like to say, "Everything I need is already inside of me," not "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" or behind some curtain in a castle. And if we believe too much in the Wizard of God, we may be greatly disappointed--after much striving and searching--to discover it is just some man-made apparition.

But back to the storyline . . . Dorothy does indeed make it home. How? The minute she wakes up to the fact that she has the power to go home any time she wishes. In fact, she possessed this power deep down inside all along.

So what does all of this mean? I'm not saying we have to believe The Wizard of God is a sham for the belief that there is someone who can help us is what can lead us (like it did Dorothy) to ultimately discover that the power to change our circumstances lies within. In fact, it was Dorothy's belief in something larger than herself that helped her cope with her initial displacement and gave her hope that there would be an eventual end to her separation. She focused on a goal and a power beyond herself to carry her along on her journey--and it was this journey to The Wizard of God that led to her discover her true power. Like Dorothy, if believing in a Wizard of Oz or the Wizard of God helps you  realize who you really are and the power you truly possess, then "Follow the Yellow Brick Road" and be "off to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz!"


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