I recently watched a movie favorite, Queen of Katwe, with my grandson, Trey. The story is set in Uganda and depicts the struggle of a ten year old child, Phiona, and her family. The struggle is to survive, to make ends meet, to take care of family keeping them fed and out of danger. Phiona learned to play chess from Robert, a young missionary, truly dedicated to serve others well before himself and his own family. Phiona, a child prodigy, becomes a championship player, opening doors to a whole new world for herself and her family.
Please see the movie as you will feel many different emotions: sadness, joy, excitement, fear. But I am no movie critic so I will say no more and leave the critique up to you. Rather, I want to talk about one simple line that Richard, the missionary, said to Phiona when she felt out of place on a college campus competing against students far more privileged than she. In her frustration she said she didn’t belong there with all the smart, well educated and well dressed “city kids”. She wanted to return to her home. Robert, seeing her tremendous potential wanted her to consider going to school and he saw her ability to play chess as the way to earn her scholarships. He said in a quiet voice,
“Sometimes where you are is not where you belong.”
Yes, Phiona lived in Uganda, and with all its discomforts Uganda was where she found comfort, but that wasn’t where she truly belonged. Phiona belonged someplace else where she could get an education and advance both herself and provide for her family.
I liked what Robert said. It well reminded me that while my life in Florida was wonderful for 16 years, at the beginning of the 17th year, I knew that I needed to be someplace else. It was a difficult concept to explain to my friends. Surely I was not unhappy, or lonely, or running from any one or any thing. I just felt that I belonged somewhere else.
“Sometimes where you are is not where you belong”. It is our responsibility to find out where we belong, where we fit, where we can be at our best and make the world better. Where we belong sometimes gets confusing and the lack of clarity often is reason enough for us to just stay put. But if we are open to the idea of being someplace else, we begin to see our journey taking a new direction, and we begin to move in that direction, opening new learning and new experiences.
I hope you are very happy and content right where you are, but I still encourage you to consider, “Where else?” What else might there be out there for you? Continue to open your eyes and ears, to ask questions, to find out the next part of your journey.