Dear FPC Youth,
Though our church family isn’t able to meet in person this week, we are all together in spirit – and we can stay connected! FPC is trying something new for Sunday School this week – called “LivingRoom Lessons.” Over the course of the next few weeks, we will provide a short lesson for you to review when it’s convenient for you. We know everyone is working hard to stay on track with school work, so we hope this provides a little respite for you – some time to reflect and engage with your Faith Community, all from the comfort of your own couch! If you have thoughts or questions to share, please post those in the comments section below! Stay safe, be well, and know how much we miss you all!
Faith Over Panic:
Lessons from A Bug’s Life
Brief Movie Summary
The movie is about an ant named Flik who must help save his colony from a gang of freeloading grasshoppers in order to get back in good graces with the Queen. He is an independent-thinking ant, whose inventions have been notorious for going terribly wrong.
Clip: “Around the leaf?!”
The clip that we’re using today takes place in the very beginning of the movie. Some ants are traveling in a line when a leaf falls down and blocks their path. The ants panic until one, clearly a leader in the group, figures out that they can just go around the leaf. Although simple, the clip shows a wonderful contrast between those who panic and those who summon their courage and faith to solve the problem.
Sometimes when crisis hits, we respond in fear or panic instead of with faith and courage. We’ve all heard people say, “Be strong” or “have courage!” That’s a great thought, but how?
Faith or Fear?
As soon as the leaf falls, panic sets in – the ants exclaim that they are lost, they’ll be stuck there forever! When a potential leader steps in with a suggestion, the panicked ants’ first thought is to say no, that plan won’t work. But once they trust and follow, Mr. Soil leads them through safely, encouraging them all the way.
This clip is both funny and frustrating at the same time. And it’s so relatable – especially right now as we are all facing a pandemic that is scary and completely unknown to us. At first, the ants’ predicament seems really funny – the idea that those ants would be so clueless when faced with such a simple problem. Then you feel sorry for them because they’re just so clueless. But you know, I’ll bet that if some people could see our lives and see how we react to certain situations, they too would laugh, and feel sorry for us. We have seen this play out so clearly in the last week as everyone struggles to respond to the Coronavirus pandemic and its resulting consequences and questions.
We are all trying to figure out what the “new normal” is – and how we should act. You probably experienced first-hand, or heard from family and friends, that panicked shoppers cleaned out grocery stores once they heard the virus was spreading and that schools would close. People began to hoard necessities like toilet paper, buying much more than they could realistically need. There were even some people trying to take advantage of the situation – buying items like hand sanitizer and disinfectants and trying to sell them for a big profit. Of course, these actions are born of fear and self-preservation, not from faith and care for our neighbors. When we act in fear, we are never at our best. The discussion questions below ask you to reflect on the movie clip and our present reality – and they will challenge you to meet fear with faith.
- In the clip, what did some of the other ants say that was helpful?
- What did some of the ants do or say that wasn’t helpful?
- Thinking about the characters and their reactions in that scene, did any of those ants remind you of reactions you’ve seen from others, or experienced yourself, during the Coronavirus situation?
Read the following passage:
“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” Philippians 4:6-7 (The Message)
- What do these words mean to you? What are some ways that “God’s wholeness” can “settle you down”? Have you experienced moments of this peacefulness during this time of fear and worry?
- How might prayer, reading the Bible, and talking with our family and friends renew our faith and help us have courage?
- Pandemics aside, are there other situations that cause fear and panic within us? Think about politics, immigration, and other social issues.) Are there those who seek to weaponize our fear and use it to divide us?
- How can God equip us to be faith-filled and faithful leaders in times of panic? How can He make us like Mr. Soil, a voice of calm and reason?
Seeing those ants get stuck just because of a leaf falling from a tree is almost hard to watch. The solution is so simple! But for some reason, most of those ants just don’t get it! The same is true during our own times of fear and crisis – the answer is simple, but it is not always easy. We know we need to trust and obey God, read His Word, pray to Him, and know that He is with us. Reasons to panic and worry are all around us. But we can remain strong in our faith and find peace in the panic because we know the One who has all the answers.