Before we had kids, Josh and I bought our first Disney movie: The Emperor’s New Groove. I love that movie.
In typical Disney fashion, the movie opens with a grandiose musical number. Emperor Kuzco, a spoiled young monarch, is dancing around his palace displaying his wealth and power. Halfway through the scene, Kuzco bumps into an elderly peasant man. The music immediately stops, the Emperor throws a fit, and a guard enters.
I’m sorry, you’ve thrown off the emperor’s groove.
The elderly offender is immediately thrown out a window and the music begins again.
As the story progresses, Emperor Kuzco is turned into a llama by his former advisor, Yzma. Kronk, Yzma’s be-muscled sidekick, fails to properly dispose of the llama/emperor, and Kuzco spends the remainder of the movie trying to regain his throne with the assistance of a llama herder named Pacha.
Now you want to go watch the movie, right? But you have no idea where I’m going with this…
Emperor Kuzco thinks he is the perfect leader. He is deluded, and believes that everyone in his domain worships him. He is in his groove. He’s doing what he was born to do.
Then life intervenes. He’s forced to step outside of himself and look at what’s really going on. It’s in that moment that he realizes his groove is really a rut. No one has the nerve to tell him how he needs to change, and he doesn’t see anything wrong with the way he’s been doing things. He’s been blissfully ignorant as he traveled his usual course, and doesn’t understand why anyone would feel differently.
I have this same tendency.
Life falls into a routine. If we’re not intentional about our decisions, actions and habits we can easily end up following the same path around in circles. Reading the same books, watching the same shows, interacting with the same friends. Comfortable, familiar, and safe.
Then God intervenes. He shakes things up. Our normal path suddenly has a fork in the road; we must make a choice. Continue on in the way we were going, or see where He leads? There could be bends, steep inclines and unfamiliar terrain; there could be waterfalls, rope bridges and wild animals.
Following Him out of your rut can restore newness to your relationship with Him. Discover fresh talents, learn hidden truths, hear the stories of those around you that previously you’d passed by. I would encourage you today to desire Him to shake up your routine; to throw of your groove.
If you’ve seen the movie, you know that Kuzco ended up a better emperor for it.