The movie is about a little girl named Riley and the emotions that live in her head.
Let’s meet them.
FIRST SERIES OF CLIPS.
Riley’s life is relatively happy until her family moves from Minnesota to San Francisco and Riley seems to have a hard time adjusting.
What emotions do you think you might be feeling if you had to move to a brand new place far away from all of your friends?
So, one of the things that we can sometimes have a problem with is being able to show our feelings. So, I want you during this service to help me by choosing a couple of the emotions. It might be disgust or fear or joy.
And put the sticker on the page of whatever emotion you have chosen and then draw us a picture of something that makes you feel that emotion.
We’ll show those at the end.
So, let’s return to our story of the Emotions inside Riley’s head.
Most of the time, Joy is in control and tries really hard to keep Riley Happy –
Let’s see what happens on the first day of school for Riley.
SECOND SERIES OF CLIPS
(I think the first one let’s stop around 1:38 – where Joy says, it’ll turn into a good day, a good week, a good year, and a good life)
(Then the next one would be about the 3:00 to the 5:00 mark until they get sucked into the tube)
More than anything, Joy really wants Riley to have a good first day of school.
So, she tried to keep sadness in the circle – she tried to keep Riley happy by keeping the sadness away.
Does it work?
We can’t become happy by pretending that we aren’t sad about something.
So in the movie – Joy and Sadness go through a long journey to finally find a way back to headquarters – just in time to help Riley realize how she is feeling so she can go home to her parents and tell them how she’s really feeling.
Which is sad –
– starting about 38 seconds in where she starts to cry and is honest about missing Minnesota
In the end, Joy learns that she has to be honest about how Riley is really feeling. It won’t always be happy. In fact, sometimes the sadness and the happiness go together.
What begins with deception as a means to accomplish her goal ends with the invitation to be honest.
Our series this summer is based in part on the Enneagram – a set of 9 different typologies and personality types that encompass the whole of our needs as humans.
This week we focus on type 3 – the Achiever.
Which – this will come as a shock to those of you who know me – is the type that I am.
For 3’s it is really important to achieve our goals. And whether our goals are worthy or self-serving – we are often willing to deceive, cover up, and smooth over the truth in order to experience success.
Threes have a hard time facing defeat and an even harder time learning to be honest with themselves about the truth of how they are feeling. We are really good at putting on a brave face and convincing others that we’ve got it all together. And we are known for Taking control of a situation so that it works out the way we want it to.
When I saw this movie the first time, I really identified with JOY – since I behave like her an awful lot. Good intentions – but willing to cover over the reality of the situation so that things will happen the way I want to.
And our biblical hero today struggled with the same thing.
So, our biblical character today is Jacob. Now, Jacob is a twin. When he was born, his brother Esau was born first and the bible tells us that when Esau came out, Jacob was grasping onto his heel.
Esau was a hunter, he was big and hairy and spent his time out in the wilderness hunting for game.
Jacob preferred to stay closer to camp and spend time with his mother.
The name Jacob means – deceiver. And it turns out that early on Jacob lives up to this name.
There is one day where Esau comes back and Jacob has been cooking a stew and Esau is hungry so he comes up to his brother and says – hey, can I have some of your stew? Seems like a reasonable question.
And Jacob says – Uh, sure, but first you need to give me your birthright.
A birthright for a bowl of lentil stew.
Give me your inheritance and your rights as the first born.
And I’ll give you a bowl of lentil stew.
It’s a terrible deal, but Jacob the deceiver knows something about his brother. That he is impulsive and prone to make poor choices particularly when he is starving.
And so Esau agrees to give him his birthright and enjoys the stew.
Some time later, the deception continues – Jacob’s mother is involved and knowing that their father Isaac is aging and senile and is ready to share the blessing of the firstborn with Esau,
Jacob covers himself in animal hair and disguises his voice and prepares some supper while Esau is still out hunting, and he comes before his father Isaac and pretends to be Esau and receives the blessing.
When Esau returns to the camp and goes before his father and asks for the blessing – it is too late.
Esau and Isaac are both furious and Jacob the deceiver decides that he must get out of town.
So he flees the area and stops for the night to rest. He is alone and he is afraid – and this is where our story picks up.
Jacob wants more than anything to have been the firstborn. He wants all the things that come with it – and when he doesn’t have what he really wants – he takes control of the situation. He sees an opportunity to get what he wants and he goes for it.
He’s an achiever. And he will put on whatever face or costume or hairy fur – in order to get what he is wanting.
But I imagine that night that the pain and the stress of all that had happened was more than Jacob could bear and once again – one of our heroes finds themselves in a place of vulnerability – a place of opening where God can work.
(Tracy shares some thoughts)
In this moment of vulnerability – where Jacob the deceiver has achieved his goals but is feeling the cost and the isolation that comes with it – God meets him right where he is – helping him to see that even in this place of deception, God can see him. God sees him and knows him and even so – is able to walk with him.
And I wonder in some ways if this is the first time that Jacob is really able to begin being honest about how HE is feeling.
And to realize that the road back to wholeness and healing and home again – will be a journey he must take by being honest with himself.
Jacob and Joy and Tracy and myself – we have all had to learn the hard way – that if we can be honest with ourselves – particularly in our moments of failure and vulnerability and weakness –
If we can take off the masks and be honest about where we are – how we are feeling.
And allow God’s voice to say to us – I’ll be with you ANYWAY –
I love you and none of those things ever mattered anyway.
It was never about how much you achieved. That was just your ego talking.
My greatest hope and goal for you is that you would know that you are loved just as you are.
And maybe as you start to have the courage to be honest about this reality and rest in me -