“Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend." - Sarah Ban Breathnach

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Lessons from Nemo

I love the movie "Finding Nemo."  I think it is one of those rare films that is not only darling and entertaining, but contains tons of hidden nuggets of wisdom.  While watching it the other day, one particular scene struck a chord with me.

After facing such obstacles as sharks, sea monsters, and jelly fish, Marlin and Dorie find themselves very near the end of their journey.  All they have to do is find Sydney, Australia.  Dorie gets the idea to ask for directions, and they end up being swallowed by a whale.

Inside the mouth of the whale, Marlin flings himself repeatedly against the unmoving baleen barrier between him and freedom.  Of course, it is essentially hitting his head against the wall, and he makes absolutely no progress.  Meanwhile, Dorie is riding the swells of water that carry her to and fro with unabashed glee.

Neither of them knows, at that moment, what the intentions of the whale are.  Neither knows what the outcome will be.  They could be safe, or they could be in grave danger.  They just can't know what will happen next until it happens.

Ultimately, the whale turns out to be a friend, and the ride in the whale's mouth is a shortcut to where they were trying to get all along.

I think everyone in life, at some point, finds himself swallowed by a whale.  You are going along just find, living your life in the direction of your choosing, when something unexpected happens.  You are thwarted.  Your life takes an unwanted detour.  Health issues, a lost job, relationship problems, a wayward child -- hey, I didn't ask for this!

I would never want to give up Marlin's determination.  But there is a lot to be said for Dorie's  abandonment, rolling with it, going with the flow, finding joy in a seemingly joyless situation.  I think you have to have a talent of forgetting, like she did.  You have to let go of the pain long enough to be happy.

I think that may be why people with faith find it easier to shoulder such burdens.  We know the whale; we know He is benevolent and good and only wants what's best for us.  I believe that at the end of the journey, we can look back and see that it was a shortcut, after all.  Maybe not a shortcut to where we wanted to go, but certainly a shortcut to whom we wanted to become.


Renee said...

Oh, Shelli, this is making me cry. It is a beautiful analogy and I love the two ways shown to get to the destination they are heading for....I find myself exhibiting both in my daily walk even thoughb I know who the whale is in my life, too. This is wonderful!!!! I needed to read this today as a good reminder to me of the choices I have..My will or God's...Resisting or accepting... Thank you Shelli...

PS Love the new layout here...I am trying out a few myself...I would love to be watching this sunset somewhere...warm but not hot, quiet but not in solitude...guess I am fussy!

Dusty Bogwrangler said...

What a terrific analogy. I like Dorrie too and envy her ability to 'ride the wave'.

We have a saying in our family: if you can keep your head while all about you are losing theirs, then you haven't quite grasped the situation!

I believe it pays to get out of the driving seat and to let God take the wheel, whatever God means to you.

Thanks for your wisdom Shelli.

Dominique said...

Jo - your comment made me think of that song that Carrie Underwood sings, Jesus take the wheel. Love that song.

Great post Shelli.