20 My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Do not let them depart from your eyes;
Keep them in the midst of your heart;
22 For they are life to those who find them,
And health to all their flesh.
23 Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.
Proverbs 4:20-23 NKJV
In the 2006 movie thriller ‘Apocalypto’ directed by Mel Gibson, there is a scene where Jaguar Paw played by Rudy Youngblood is being pursued by savages through the Mesoamerican rainforest because he had just killed the son of Zero Wolf played by Raoul Trujillo, the leader of the savages. The gang pursues him into his native rainforest. While there, he has an advantage over the gang because he grew up in this forest. This is the same forest where him and his father Flint Sky played by Morris Birdyellowhead, used to go hunting. One day while hunting in the Mesoamerican rainforest, they and their fellow tribesmen encounter a procession of refugees fleeing warfare. The group’s leader explains that their lands were ravaged and they seek a new beginning. He asks for permission to pass through the jungle. Flint Sky comments to his son that the visitors were sick with fear, and urges him to never allow fear. Here is a dialogue from the movie.
Flint Sky: Those people in the forest, what did you see on them?
Jaguar Paw: I do not understand.
Flint Sky: Fear. Deep rotting fear. They were infected by it. Did you see? Fear is a sickness. It will crawl into the soul of anyone who engages it. It has tainted your peace already. I did not raise you to see you live with fear. Strike it from your heart. Do not bring it into our village.
Later on in the movie, their village is attacked, Flint Sky is killed and Jaguar Paw and his fellow tribesmen are captured and taken to be sacrificed to the gods. Somehow on the day of the sacrifice, the gods were not in the mood and so the captors decided to use Jaguar Paw and his friends as target practice. In the process, Jaguar Paw kills the son of the Zero Wolf, the leader of the savages and flees for dear life into the rainforest. Now Jaguar Paw had been severely injured and had run a long way barefoot. He was very tired and afraid. He had just killed the leader of the savages and they were not going to stop pursuing him till they got their revenge. Then, something strange happens; he stops in the middle of the jungle and looks up to the sky through the canopy, closes his eyes and recites the words his father used to say to him. He says, “I am Jaguar Paw, son of Flint Sky. My Father hunted this forest before me. My name is Jaguar Paw. I am a hunter. This is my forest. My sons will hunt it with their sons after I am gone. I am Jaguar Paw. This is my forest. And I am not afraid.” See the Youtube clip here.
Jaguar Paw learnt to recite the words his father used to say to him. He remembered them and spoke them to himself in a time when he was struggling with fear. What words has your Heavenly Father said to you? Do you remember them? What has he said to you about fear? What has he said to you about faith? What has he said to you about success? Keep your father’s words close to your heart and recite them to yourself always.
A excerpt from my upcoming untitled book. 🙂