The 1965 Academy Award-winning musical, The Sound of Music, serves as a modern parable for creators and dreamers. In the movie, the Mother Superior at an Austrian abbey wisely advises Maria, a rambunctious novice who doesn’t appear to be cut out for service in a convent, to explore other vocations and avenues of interest, to best determine the destiny God has planned for her.
In a beautiful song, the Mother Superior tells Maria to “Climb every mountain, Search high and low; Follow every byway, Every path you know. Ford every stream, Follow every rainbow, ‘Till you find your dream — a dream that will need all the love you can give.” (Which is what we focus on this session.)
Maria’s dream turned out to be a little different from what she first thought. Her destiny was not to become a nun. And yet, despite a change in course, there was always a single factor carrying Maria along the winding path to her dreams. It was LOVE that got her there!
Maria’s love for the Lord had motivated her to become a novice at an Austrian abbey. Once there, she met a wise Mother Superior who guided her and used tough love to push the young woman out of her comfort zone and further along the road to her destiny. Finally, it was love which led Maria to marry the widowed Captain Von Trapp — and become a mother to his seven children.
The kind of love described in 1 Corinthians 13 is the glue that bonds (and holds together) any marriage, or any other relationship, for that matter. Love makes a house a home, and it can sustain and keep a family together through even the worst storms of life.
Jesus used a parable that illustrates an important truth: “…Everyone who hears [My words] and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7:26-27 NLT) What’s our point? First, that the foundation of a strong marriage — one which can endure any and all problems which arise — is LOVE.
But that’s an oversimplification. Love is only part of the answer, because we learn how to give this “1 Corinthians 13” love from God alone. “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” (Matthew 7: 24-25 NIV)
As we previously mentioned, The Sound of Music is based on a true story — a rather harrowing true story. Because the Von Trapp family had built their marriage, their home, and their lives upon a solid foundation, the ROCK of God and His Holy Word, they were able to weather the greatest storm anyone could ever face.
As depicted in the movie, Adolf Hitler was poised to take over Austria and the rest of the world — and to implement his plan to totally annihilate the Jewish people, a plan that ultimately resulted in the organized slaughter of 6 million Jewish men, women and children. By 1938, the Nazi’s had annexed Austria, and Captain Von Trapp had to make tough choices. The Captain, a former Naval Commander, could compromise his Christian beliefs by joining the Nazi party and serving in Hitler’s military; or, quite simply, he could refuse and his whole family would face the consequences.
Captain Von Trapp made the right decision. As a result, he and his family were forced to flee their home, leaving behind most of their possessions. They eventually made their way to America, settling in Vermont where they taught music and performed as the Von Trapp Family Singers. Fortunately, the Captain had the love and support of Maria — a wife who was strong in her faith — and a close and united family, to weather this horrific storm.
But imagine, abandoning your homeland and your title, losing your security and social status, leaving behind your home, friends, distant relatives, and everything you’ve worked for; to journey to an unknown land where an unknown future awaits. Now that’s really getting out of one’s comfort zone!
By the way, what happened to their abandoned home in Austria? It quickly became the headquarters of Heinrich Himmler, leader of Nazi Germany’s dreaded SS — the man who set up and controlled Hitler’s death camps.
The Von Trapps never looked back, however, because they knew their Lord was with them through every step of their winding journey. Maria and her husband were a latter-day version of Father Abraham and his wife Sarah (minus the seven kids), who were commanded by God to leave their comfort zone. The Lord told the Patriarch, “Go forth from your country, And from your relatives, And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you.” (Genesis 12:1 NASB)
Abraham is known in the Bible as the “Father of Faith”; and his faithful act of obedience is recorded in Hebrews 11, which serves as a roll call for the Faith Hall of Fame: “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” (Hebrews 11:8 NIV)
We’ve discussed many truths illustrated by The Sound of Music, the story of the Von Trapp Family and a modern parable for creators and dreamers. Here’s a few more:
- Life is full of storms. But remember, storms are temporary. Nothing lasts forever, and as stated in Boot Camp 19.6, after the storm has passed, a rainbow always appears. “Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” (Psalm 30:5 NLT)
- So build your life (house, family, plans) on the solid foundation of the Rock: the Awesome God of the Bible; the Creator of the Universe; the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel; who walked the earth 2,000 years ago as a man — Rabbi Yeshua, the Christ, the Son of the Living God.
- If you’re in the middle of a storm, don’t blindly flee in terror. Run into the safe and loving arms of God the Storm-stopper, who answered the cries of His disciples and literally calmed a raging storm. He did it once and He’ll do it again. He’ll calm the storm in your life. (Read Mark 6:45-52 and Isaiah 25:4)
Jesus said, “am leaving you with a gift — peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27 NLT)
- Walk in the assurance that God LOVES you unconditionally. He wants the best for you and your life, including the ultimate realization of all your hopes and dreams.
Remember, it’s God’s LOVE, and the love of those closest to you, that will carry you through the storms of life. So give your dream “all the love you can give”!