“Lions and Tigers and Bears…OH MY!”

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Dear Reader:

How many of our fears are based in actuality and how many in rumors and hearsay? Even the  wonderful God-given gift of imagination can turn into our enemy when imploded into fear through self-infliction.

Do you remember where the title line comes from? Yes, you got it! The Wizard of Oz. Dorothy, the Tin Man, and the Scarecrow are following the Yellow Brick Road into a darkening forest. Suddenly Dorothy grows fearful and asks the Tin Man if there are wild animals in the forest. He replies that he imagines so….like “Lions and Tigers and Bears.” To which Dorothy replies in a terrified voice, “OH MY!”

This scene leads to the meeting of the next character in the story….the Cowardly Lion… as he pops out of the woods to scare them and scares himself instead. But before he appears, Dorothy, the Tin Man, and Scarecrow all begin to repeatedly chant together “Lions and Tigers and Bears….OH MY!” (Isn’t this how we humans sometimes try to reduce our fears by  outshouting the scary silence around us?)

Here is a “snippet” of this scene from The Wizard of Oz.

Lions, Tigers, Bears – The Wizard Of Oz – YouTube

Lisa Surratt, the speaker at the Chosen/Fearless Women’s Conference Friday, used this line from The Wizard of Oz, repeatedly in re-telling  the story of The Exodus.

Every time in scripture that the Chosen Ones found themselves backed up against a wall ( or sea) God provided for them. Yet each time the Israelites’ faith floundered. They doubted God’s ability to save them right up until the 11th hour trembling in fear. (“Lions, and tigers, and bears Oh My!”)

After time spent in the Wilderness spies were sent out into ‘The Promised Land’  of Canaan. They were told to check and see if the land really was the land of milk and honey (and to bring back evidence of such fruits from the land) the population number living there, the strength of the fortifications of its towns and cities…returning by the end of forty days.  (Numbers: Chapter 13)

Definitely a mixed report returns with the spies. Yes, there were fruits hanging from the trees in such large clusters that it took two men carrying a pole to bring back one grape cluster. However, the reason for the enormous clusters of fruit is that the inhabitants of Canaan are descendants of the giant, Anak…..the people were known as Anakim.

The majority of the spies said basically it would be a “suicide mission” to try to attack these giants while they (themselves) looked like grasshoppers in comparison….they would all be slaughtered. ( “Lions and Tigers and Bears…OH MY!“)

Only Caleb and Joshua refused to go along with the other spies’ way of thinking….the land was so rich and fertile, the buildings built beautifully….this was the land promised them by their Lord. Hadn’t God seen them through other tight situations and brought them out unharmed? They needed to go take the land right now, in accordance with God’s instructions. They needed to have faith in God to deliver on His promise.

For these two faithful followers of God the Promised Land would be given to them and their descendants because they never lost sight of the power of their God. They feared no man (even big, giant ones) with God by their side. (“Lions and Tigers and Bears…WHO CARES?) 

Just as God shook His head in frustration at the lack of faith of His Chosen People…don’t you think He does the same thing with us when we try to find excuses why we can’t take on the “giant” problems in our lives while He is waiting right there beside us to hold our hand during our blind leap of faith?

Anne and I rode over to visit Lisa at the Hollow Tree Nursery yesterday. It was so nice outside and the landscape so pretty. Just talking to Lisa about plants is fascinating. We both left with more camellia plants and Confederate roses .

Of course, since we were in the area, we stopped and ate at Duke’s Barbecue in Ridgeville. So good! While eating I was talking to Anne about the conference and how I really needed to hear the different voices of the speakers talk passionately about becoming more fearless, secure in God’s love and protection.

I told Anne…some mornings I wake up and just point to the ceiling and ask, “Are we still good, God”…”Are we okay?”  (“I know I messed up yesterday but I am going to try harder today….I just want to know that You’re still with me.” ” Great! That’s all I needed to know.”)

So until tomorrow….”Lions and tigers and bears…Who Cares!” because Jesus Loves Me, This I know.

Psalm: 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Check out these beautiful camellias….we felt like we were in a fairyland of beautiful colors….

 

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*I couldn’t resist this funny fridge magnet…which inspired me to finally clean off all the photos that were on the refrigerator doors and put them safely away in a zip lock bag. I then put this new magnet in the center of the door:

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I then put my four adorable, lovable grandchildren’s photos around the magnet message….too cute! I love my Dingle-Turner gang…they keep me riding high…having been sworn into the “I am Up to the No Good” club!!

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About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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