Anything Can Happen

Somewhere in my youth or childhood, I missed seeing the movie, Mary Poppins. So, when I got an invitation to see the play performed by the Lancaster Bible College Worship and Performing Arts group recently, I went in not exactly knowing what to expect. I was gobsmacked! Not just because of the remarkable performances by all of the cast, crew, and musicians, but by its tremendous content. Mary Poppins fascinated me because it was all about turning around bad behaviors and bad attitudes into something supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!



I teach a great deal about the personality trait of extraversion. Extraversion is that optimistic outlook on life where you can take a job that must be done and find that element of fun. My father used to tell me, "Tracey, if you want a better job do a better job, and you'll have a better job." I reckon Mary would agree with that statement. Stop sucking your thumb and start sucking on a spoonful of sugar instead.Mary Poppins excelled at nurturing self-directedness in every member of her world; the children, the parents, her colleagues. If you know anything about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), Mary is an ESFJ. She knew exactly what others needed long before they did and excelled when she was given a job to do or problem to solve. She encouraged others to “Open different doors, you may find a you there that you never knew was yours. Anything can happen.” I grew up on the motivational genre and that little line is as profound as any I’ve read.

I think the play struck me so soundly because it reminded me a great deal of I I I think the play struck me so soundly because it reminded me a great deal of my upbringing. Full of wonder, awe, and some pretty trippy methods of teaching. Mary’s zingers like “Close your mouth please, we are not a codfish” and “I never explain anything” reminded me of some of the quips my father would parcel out like, “Stop looking for Mr. Right. Find something with pants on and pray” or “Stop complaining. Is it anything worse than what Jesus went through?" It was tough but always comedic; adventurous but always purpose-driven.

My father went through life with that same sense of exuberance and unconventionality. He brought a sense of wonder and tough love to every aspect of life. He had a way of just distilling it all down to the core issue with only a few words and a song. We make life so complicated when in fact we should just get out and enjoy the simple things like going to fly a kite up where the air is clear. I’m glad I saw the play fresh as an adult. I’m pretty sure I would not have seen the deeper threads woven through this extraordinary lead character when I was younger. Remember, it's the sweetest things in life that make the less-than-sweet stuff seem livable. May we all be a Mary Poppins in someone’s life and offer them support in ways that will take them to the places they need to go.

Do you want to know how you score on the Mary Poppins scale of Extraversion? Take this free online test and learn how you too can be practically perfect in every way!

ExtraversionMary poppinsOptimismPositive outlookPositivityPossibility

1 comment

Lynn Bell

Lynn Bell

Excellent assessment that I didn’t realize, but then I haven’t seen it since I was young.

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