“Hakuna Matata” is a Big, Fat Lie

“Hakuna Matata” is a Big, Fat Lie

September 10, 2018 3 By Nancy Oehlert

The motto “no worries” (Hakuna Matata) from Disney’s, ‘The Lion King’ is a fantasy because pain and tragedy come to all of us, even future kings.

When you’re up all night holding a feverish child and the doctors can’t find the problem. When you lose someone precious with little to no warning.

When the diagnosis is still ringing in your ears but it won’t soak in.

At times like this, the whole Hakuna Matata idea is almost insulting. What are we to do with the really big issues in life?

How we deal with them makes all the difference.


Calling all Princes and Princesses!

Were you born for something great? Simba is born to be a leader.  His parents love him so much. They are wise and careful to teach and train him during his early years to prepare him for his future role as king. 

Many people are involved in educating him and seeing to his welfare. But all of their love and protection cannot keep evil away. As it is with every life, bad things happen.

Tragedy strikes. Simba, being young and inexperienced, panics. He listens to the wrong people and runs away in fear, leaving his home, family, and friends behind.


Don’t let yourself get pulled away from those who love you.

Simba’s immature thinking causes him to abandon the very support system that would have helped him through the tragedy. Sadly, many of us fall into this trap.

Whenever God has a plan to bless someone, the devil prowls around looking to spoil the blessing and to drag them away from love.

For some, it’s not the problems that push them away. It’s the lure of living for pleasure that pulls them away, the ‘Hakuna Matata’ lie draws them in.

Simba finds a few new friends that help ease his loneliness, but they know nothing of his true identity (royalty). He either forgets or chooses to disregard most of what he’s been taught. The new friends don’t challenge or encourage him to be anything more than he is.

There is no growth. No maturing. No achieving. 

Their motto is, “Hakuna Matata. No worries.” Their sole purpose in life is to have fun. But life is not like a cartoon movie.


Not everyone gets a pivotal scene like Simba.

Now grown, he’s wasting his life away. He has no purpose and accomplishes nothing. His father magically appears to him in a cloud and says, “You are more than you have become.”

Yikes. Nobody wants to hear that from their father.

Photo: Tambako the Jaguar

Simba reconnects with his father and with his past. He’s given an opportunity to make a difference. He’s needed. He seeks the wisdom of an old friend who knows his potential for greatness.

Simba makes the decision to return home. He renews relationships that are meaningful with friends who understand his true identity. He redirects his life and accomplishes something beautiful. Many are blessed by his return.

He becomes who he was born to be.


What is the ‘big finish’ to your life script?

This story is a modern-day parable.

God has a plan for our life before we are ever born. Have you ever stopped to picture what God’s ‘script’ for your life looks like? 

When difficulties hit us or those closest to us, do we know where to go? Do we realize who we need to go to?

Imagine the distress and heartbreak when someone abandons their faith when God was right there with them, waiting for an invitation to help.

Put yourself in the picture.

You don’t have to roll in on a cloud dramatically. Besides, unless God changes how he’s working in this present age, he’s not likely to appear in a cloud to speak with them, either.  

That’s our job.


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