Along the yellow brick road in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s screen version of L Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy comes to a fork in the road where, while thinking out loud, she meets the Scarecrow. Their dialogue goes something like this:
Dorothy: Follow the Yellow Brick Road? Follow the Yellow Brick? Well, now which way do we go?
Scarecrow: Pardon me. That way is very nice.
Dorothy: Who said that? Don’t be silly, Toto. Scarecrows don’t talk.
Scarecrow: It’s pleasant down that way, too.
Dorothy: That’s funny. Wasn’t he pointing the other way?
Scarecrow: Of course, people do go both ways!
Dorothy: Why, you did say something; didn’t you? Are you doing that on purpose, or can’t you make up your mind?
Scarecrow: That’s the trouble. I can’t make up my mind. I haven’t got a brain, only straw.
Dorothy: Well, how can you talk if you haven’t got a brain?
Scarecrow: I don’t know. But some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don’t they?
Many people can relate to both Dorothy and the Scarecrow. They don’t know where they’re going. They think any road will do. They occasionally stop and ask anyone for direction, and they listen to people who do a lot of talking but don’t necessarily have brains.
(That’s probably enough said for this post already.)
Fast forward, though, to the ending scenes of The Wizard of Oz and there is dialogue among the Tin Man, Dorothy and Glinda, the Good Witch:
Tin Man: What have you learned, Dorothy?
Dorothy: Well, I – I think that it – that it wasn’t enough just to want to see Uncle Henry and Auntie Em. And that it’s that if I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard, because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with. Is that right?
Glinda: That’s all it is!
Glinda and Dorothy were almost right in that the answer to what is missing in our lives is not something “out there” over the rainbow. No man or woman, no amount of money, no career, no travel to an exotic land (not even to Kansas) can fill our emptiness. What is missing, what will fill that hole in our hearts and lives is God.
So, rather than chasing after pots of gold, as David declared in Psalm 63:8 we should follow “hard after” God. (KJV) While this expression comes from A.W. Tozer’s book, The Pursuit of God, (there is a chapter entitled, “Following Hard After God.”) this text written in 1948 and this word from David speak a powerful lesson for us today. In following hard after God we can be assured that He will order our steps, direct our paths and uphold us in His way. Even more than this, we can be assured of a deep relationship with Him – one that brings life, one that satisfies.