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Reflection about the Emmaus story and the song - The Next Right thing

I think the song works so poignantly with the Emmaus story. Anna throughout Frozen II clings to Elsa - almost in a fearful way. She wants to let Elsa be who she's meant to be, but she's so afraid of losing her and being alone. Eventually, it gets to a point where Anna cannot follow Elsa. She gets left behind - away from danger, but as a result she feels angry, upset, directionless and very alone. The song comes at the peak of her overwhelming isolation. She's crippled "this grief has a gravity, it pulls me down". I think that's so true for both the disciples and anyone suffering depression. It's a darkness that pulls you towards giving up. Giving up on relationships, on getting out of bed, on exercising, on faith - grief or depression causes you to shut down. 

The disciples have experienced a terrible grief. Just like Anna, they've followed Jesus (Elsa) through his travels and teachings. He's been their guide and their strength and their purpose. Having their teacher and mentor whom they know to be the Son of God be brutally taken from them has thrown them into this numb darkness. So much of their purpose and understanding depended so heavily on the presence of Jesus. Without him, they are aimlessly travelling without direction and without passion. "I can't find my direction, I'm all alone. The only star that guided me was you"

It's a beautiful lesson on inner strength. Anna has to find the strength to keep going, despite having just lost Elsa, Olaf and being incredibly, deeply alone. She can't look too far ahead to try and predict what is to come - just like the disciples couldn't possibly be thinking of trying to establishing a new religion in Jesus' name or preaching to crowds. But it is a lesson on trying to do the next best thing. It is about finding purpose in small decisions, which is particularly relevant to being in isolation currently. With aimless directionless habits like scrolling through Instagram or computer games or getting restless and bored and frustrated at people you are living with... it is a lesson to purposefully choose the next best thing to be doing, and taking it one choice at a time.

The disciples made the choice to invite the traveller to share a meal with them, despite being in grieving. That led them to recognising Jesus. Anna made the choice to get up and walk out the cave, even though she knew everything will never be the same again. We too need to make choices, even if it is stumbling blindly towards the light. It can be hard to hear God speak to us deep within us. Sometimes it's only a frail whisper. But the important strength is to realise that all we need to do is the next best thing.      (Rebecca Kos)
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