I have a quote from Mulan on my homepage. It’s one of my favorite Disney movies, and if I’m going to be honest, I’d like to be a lot like her. She’s brave, loyal, and she puts her loved ones and country before herself. The catch, however, is that she’s breaking the rules to be and do those things. Mind you, I’m not usually one to break rules, but I am one to go solo if that’s what has to be done.
Let me expound.
Sometimes, life requires those moments of “insane courage.” If you’ve seen We Bought a Zoo, you know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s a brief span of time where you have to make a rather quick decision based off of what judgment you have gathered, and you have to act. Mulan is, in fact, a fair example of this concept.
When her father is summoned for war, she steps “out of place” to defend him, explaining he has already fought in the war–he is disabled, and war is probably the reason–and should not have to go again. She is immediately silenced and told she has dishonored him.
Mulan takes her father’s place anyway, and she chops off her hair to pose as his son, stealing his armor, his royal summon, and the horse. She begins training, and, like the rest of the soldiers, meets obstacles and struggles in sharpening her skills. When told to pack up and go home, Mulan chooses, not surprisingly, to defy orders and conquer the quest of reaching the arrow at the top of the pole that no one else was previously able to retrieve.
A third scene I want to emphasize is the moment that the Huns begin to encroach on the soldiers in the mountains. After most of the cannons are fired at the enemy, Shang tells Yao to hold off on the last one remaining in order to save it for the right timing. Mulan, on the other hand, sees a different angle in the situation that no one else can, and she chooses to steal away the cannon.
She gets closer to the hoard of Huns, kneels down in the snow, and, instead of aiming the cannon at Shan Yu who is right in front of her, shoots it toward the mountain peak. It comes crumbling down on top of all the Huns, allowing the Chinese soldiers to escape death.
Eventually, Mulan is found out, and she is dismissed from service with dishonor. She sees the Huns are still alive and are heading for the Emperor in the city, but when she arrives to tell Shang and the others, they write her off. She continues searching in the crowd, looking for someone who will heed her warning, and everyone turns their heads. She’s crazy, right? She’s a woman and doesn’t know what she’s talking about. She’s delusional and desperate for attention. That’s what the citizens and soldiers think until the Huns jump out of hiding to prove Mulan correct.
Mulan could’ve let her father go to war. She could’ve given up on the arrow and packed up to go home. She could’ve let her fellow soldiers and Shang worry about the Huns on the mountain and just listened to orders. She could’ve turned around and gone home a second time when she was discovered. But she didn’t. Throughout the whole movie, she musters up insane courage, goes rogue, breaks the rules, and saves China.
Now, let me tell you why these things are important. While deceiving people isn’t the message I want to condone, I want to say this: Sometimes, doing what is right isn’t going to make sense (especially to other people), and sometimes, it’s going to take everything you have inside of you. When God tells you to do or say something, when God tells you to go somewhere, there are going to be those people who tell you you’re ridiculous and unwise. Not everyone is going to understand, and not everyone is going to support you and cheer you on. That isn’t going to stop you.
Romans 8:33 tells us this: “Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies” (NKJV). We don’t need others’ permission or others’ input. We need faith and trust. God doesn’t always reveal every detail about a mission. He just wants your obedience. He wants you to listen to that still, small voice in your heart and spirit in the same way Mulan trusts her intuition. He wants you to stand even if it means standing alone, even if it means going rogue because Mulan was justified in the end, and in the end of our situations or our lives, God justifies us, too.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on lifeofthebeautifullybroken.wordpress.com
Featured Image by Arno Smit