First Day of Spring and Lessons from “Castaway”

By March 20, 2017Posts

Today is the first day of spring!

Since I am not a huge fan of cold, wintery weather, this is typically a happy, joyous season, as new things come to life and the reminders of a dark, grey, cold winter fades away as a distant memory.

Although this winter has been unseasonably warm (at least in my neck of the woods), there have been several winters in recent history that have not seemed to want to let go.  During the winter season, sunshine is limited and outdoor activity is typically kept to a minimum, causing depression and boredom.  For many, the depression is exacerbated when the winter is particularly harsh or when the cold weather lingers longer than the usual stay.  Sometimes, it seems as though the cold, bitter winter weather will never end, doesn’t it?

The gloominess of the present season can sometimes make it seem as though we are stuck in the present forever.  However, every year, without fail, spring will arrive.  It may be late, it may be cold, but it always arrives, with summer soon to follow.

We can sometimes become stuck in certain “seasons” of our life.  It may seem as though horrible situations will never end; however, we must realize that everything, including bad seasons, will eventually give way to the new.

The Sun Will Rise Each Day (spoiler alert)

Near the end of the movie, “Castaway” (2000), Tom Hanks’ character, Chuck Noland, as the result of a plane crash, spent three years alone on a remote island, and was presumed dead by family and friends, including his fiancé, Kelly. At one point during the three years, Chuck tried to kill himself as an “out” to his seemingly hopeless situation of being stranded, but finally decided that he needed to live. Even though, at this point, he did not realize that the tide would bring him piece of debris which would be able to use as a sail that he could use to make it to the shipping lanes and  be rescued, but he used the hope, which he found in memories of his fiancé to continue living.

Unfortunately, for Chuck, since he had been presumed dead for three years, he love of his life, Kelly, had remarried.  Even though when he was rescued he came back to a completely changed world, he had the resolve to keep on living because he did not know what the “tide would bring”.  He was disappointed, but summed up his experience at the end of the movie in a profound way:

We both had done the math. Kelly added it all up and… knew she had to let me go. I added it up, and knew that I had… lost her. ‘cos I was never gonna get off that island. I was gonna die there, totally alone.

I knew, somehow, that I had to stay alive. Somehow. I had to keep breathing. Even though there was no reason to hope. And all my logic said that I would never see this place again. So that’s what I did. I stayed alive. I kept breathing. And one day my logic was proven all wrong because the tide came in, and gave me a sail. And now, here I am. I’m back. In Memphis, talking to you. I have ice in my glass… And I’ve lost her all over again. I’m so sad that I don’t have Kelly. But I’m so grateful that she was with me on that island. And I know what I have to do now. I gotta keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?

Do Not Lose HOPE

Sometimes we feel as though our situation is hopeless, much like Chuck’s situation on a remote, uncharted island. Although we know that the sun will rise every day and the seasons will come and go without fail, we can cling to the HOPE that the Creator of the sun and seasons is in compete and total control.  He knows what the tide will bring.

Without Jesus, we have no hope. With Jesus, we have HOPE. We do not know what is in store for us the next day or even the next moment. We do not know what He has in store for us, but this we do know: He is in charge. He knows the end of the story.

They who hope in the LORD will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not be weary; they will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

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