“If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.”
~ Meister Eckhart
I watched what was perhaps one of the greatest movies released in 2012: The Life of Pi. While on the surface it is an adventure film, deep down it is just as philosophical as the book it originates from.
In case you are wondering, the substance of the movie centers around a young adolescent boy of Indian descent, Pi, who loses everything he has (including his family) in a shipwreck. For weeks on end, he struggles for survival while stranded in the Pacific Ocean with minimal food and water rations…and a tiger. My initial impression of the book before it became a movie was that it would be humorous, cute like Calvin and Hobbes or something. No. Not so much.
This is not a review of The Life of Pi. Form your own opinions at your own discretion. I simply mention it because it was a miniature and unexpected wake up call in the form of a beautifully handled film. You see, notwithstanding his horrifying circumstances, Pi kept his heart and mind open to God. Several times, he turned his gaze upward and offered thanks even when his rations ran out and he had to eat raw fish like some wild, carnivorous animal…and Pi was a vegetarian. Can you imagine? Yuck! I think eating the fish would have been my breaking point.
I thought about it. I had to remember some simple facts. You have struggles. I have struggles. Be they professional, financial, relational, physical, emotional, or spiritual they are real and they can be as constant as the ebb of a tide, either tossing us about or keeping us stagnant on its flat and still surface. Dead or alive, either way it seems that we will never make it anywhere. Metaphorically speaking, however, there is a boat. There will be subsistence when it seems like all has run out. There will be redemption for us. We will see the shore in the distance. In those times and even until we return to dry land, our ‘thank yous’ will counteract the constant of the problem around us.
When I think about being stranded in the vast expanse of an unpredictable ocean, vulnerable to the merciless wild (and a tiger for a companion!) I look at the hardwood flooring around me and I am reminded that I am fortunate. I see what is there which in turn helps me to see what can be. My own personal “beasts” no longer seem threatening but I realize they are, ironically enough, the very things keeping me alert enough that I have no choice but to choose life.
Do you know of a movie or any movies that tapped you on the shoulder, something that saw into your situation so introspectively that you just had to change? Even if it’s not a movie, it can be a book or a song or a quote or something you told yourself or even something that came to you in a meditation. Whatever it is, I would love to hear about it!
P.S. Sometimes creativity blocks can be just as scary as being lost at sea. We’ll be paddling through those waves in my upcoming program CONNECT your dots. The next session starts July 1, 2013. Sign up HERE to get an alert when enrollment opens again!