Sometimes it’s hard for us creators to concentrate and … well, create; because there are too many aggravating distractions in life. Dreamers, on the other hand, are often guilty of providing these distractions. How? By simply being themselves. We plan to explain, so please be patient. But before we do, we wish to state that regardless of which camp you’re in, the distracted or the distractor, the answer to your dilemma is the same. In our dealings with other people, each of us should remember this simple strategy: we need to….
Uh, before we get into this strategy, however, we first want to discuss one of our favorite movies.
What’s that? We’re keeping you in suspense? We’re aggravating you! Sorry. Guess we know what camp we belong to. 🙁
Ahem, the movie we wish to discuss is the 1965 musical The Sound of Music, starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. Like many movies, this Academy Award-winning film serves as a modern-day parable. As such, it can teach us some valuable lessons about life, dreams, and the power of love. In fact, this fun movie illustrates many of the ideas we’ve previously discussed in Boot Camp.
Earlier we stated that many people will not be able to understand the average creator or dreamer. Yes, yes, we all know we can be a little weird at times. Excuse us, that’s wonderfully weird, thank you very much! Call us quirky, nerdy, geeky, or eccentric. (Assuming we have money — if not, then “unusual” will have to suffice.) It’s all good, because truth is: we’re not alone! No one is perfect; everyone has some idiosyncrasies. Yup, we’re all in the same banana boat.
In The Sound of Music, Julie Andrews plays a young woman named Maria. Maria wants to be a nun, or at least she thinks she wants to be a nun. Problem is, “Maria the novice” doesn’t act like a would-be nun, and the Sisters of the Austrian convent where Maria works and lives, are starting to have their doubts about her chosen vocation. No, Maria’s not naughty, but she does some very strange things indeed! Like frequently hiking into the Alps where, for no apparent reason, she suddenly twirls about and breaks into song! (Oh, wait: this is a musical, after all.)
Maria also climbs trees, plays the guitar, and makes up silly songs. Oh yeah, and she runs — through the grounds of the convent — sometimes bumping into the Sisters. Maria’s behavior disrupts the peaceful contemplative meditation of the nuns. Her antics are distracting, to say the least, and a bit aggravating. Which is why the Sisters are calmly and quietly THRILLED(!) when Maria gets a job as governess to the Von Trapp Family children. Sigh! Peace reigns in the convent once again. (Meanwhile, Maria is burning off all that excess creative energy with seven talented and equally energetic kids.)
Maria is a dreamer. That’s the worst thing that can be said of her — and that’s not a bad thing at all. But being a dreamer, Maria’s head is continually in the clouds. And when it comes to life in the convent, Maria’s idiosyncrasies make her something of a misfit. As the Mother Superior prayerfully asks God (in yet another musical number), “What do You do with a girl like Maria?”
Excellent question, which takes us back to where we started this discourse. We do exactly what God would do — what He does with all of us “misfits”: we treat “a girl like Maria” with L-O-V-E.
When we approach life and view other people with the “eyes” of God’s love, we can see beyond the quirks and peculiarities. Love enables us to focus on a person’s strengths, not their weaknesses; on the positive aspects, not the negatives (or what we might personally perceive as negative aspects). For this reason, the Apostle Peter admonishes us, “Above all continue to love one another fervently, for love throws a veil over a multitude of faults.” (1 Peter 4:8 Weymouth NT)
Maria wasn’t what any of the nuns were expecting. She didn’t talk, walk, or act like any other novice they’d known before. Frankly, they didn’t know what to make of Maria, because they couldn’t truly understand her. But the Sisters did know how to deal with the potential aggravations of would-be distractions. They applied God’s love to the situation.
Although Maria was different, through love, the Sisters were able to find common ground. Through love, they were able to better understand the novice: Maria was a misfit, but she was a kind and well-meaning misfit. Her heart was in the right place, because Maria herself operated in God’s love (as she demonstrates throughout the movie). And love IS contagious!
Jesus Christ said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34 NIV) Accordingly, we are to love everyone, even if we don’t understand them or agree with them.
Love promotes acceptance and unity: “Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.” (Proverbs 10:12 NIV) “Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” (Colossians 3:14 NASB)
Love is the greatest motivational force on earth — as well as in Heaven. People throughout the ages have been motivated by love, to work hard, to change for the better, and to make great sacrifices. “…God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NLT)
It’s no coincidence that our Lord explained the “Greatest Commandment” as: 1) Love God and 2) Love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:36-40)
The Sound of Music is based on a true story, and the Sisters in the movie are accurately portrayed as servants of God who embrace His Greatest Commandment. Although Maria is different, a misfit dreamer who is at
times disruptive to their lives and routines, the nuns do not treat her any differently. They don’t belittle or mistreat her in any way, and they certainly don’t ostracize her. The Sisters clearly demonstrate that “The Love of Christ constrains us.” (2 Corinthians 5:14 KJ2000)
Fellow dreamers and creators, whether you’re a distractee or a distractor, follow the examples set by Maria and the Sisters in this entertaining movie: apply God’s supernatural love to every situation. You’ll learn to accept those who are different from you — and yes, even those who can be aggravating. You’ll be fostering unity and facilitating teamwork. You’ll have more peace of mind. And you’ll find yourself feeling far more creative and motivated.