Roll your eyes if you wish, but I just recently saw the Dolphin Tale movies with my siblings. One scene in the second movie really stood out to me in particular (and I’ll explain why later).
By the sequel, Sawyer Nelson, the main character, is not quite the same kid he was in the first one. Oh, sure, he still fumbles his words (or has trouble stringing them together in the first place). And he’d still rather hang out alone in his basement workshop or with his dolphin buddy, Winter. But he’s learned to get outside those boundaries, especially when teaching others about dolphins.
And his friends and family aren’t the only people who have noticed. Take that professor from Boston University, for instance—you know, the one who wants to send him on an all-expenses-paid semester to study marine biology.
All his family and friends tell Sawyer it’s a fantastic opportunity, and it is. And he’s excited.
But he’s just not sure.
I mean, it’s a big commitment. With other people and all. And his dolphin pal, Winter, has been acting strange lately. He’s just not sure he can leave her for three months.
To make matters worse, his family throws him a surprise going-away party (much to Sawyer’s chagrin)—when he hasn’t even decided to leave yet! He escapes the restaurant for a few moments by himself on a bench overlooking the ocean.
He’s not alone for long (figures). Cameron McCarthy, a doctor who partnered with him on projects with Winter, follows him and hands over a gift he bought him. The gift is an antique pocket watch that belonged to Dr. McCarthy’s great-grandfather somebody (sorry, I forget). Only one thing—the watch is rather obviously broken. Sawyer waits for an explanation, but when none is forthcoming, he thanks him. After all, he doesn’t want to hurt the eccentric guy’s feelings.
But then Dr. McCarthy tells him to hit the watch. With more than one glance of confusion, Sawyer goes ahead and hits the pocket watch. It springs to life and ticks off several seconds before freezing.
Sawyer hits it again. It ticks off a couple more seconds.
By now, Sawyer is completely confused (and probably feels more than a little dumb sitting there hitting a pocket watch) and once again looks to Dr. McCarthy for explanation.
The doctor explains that the watch sat in that beautiful jeweler’s box so long it stopped working. He goes on, “You have to shake it up every now and then to get it moving forward. It’s a big world, Sawyer. Too many opportunities to spend life in a box. No matter how nice the box may be.” Whether that meant a semester in Boston or navigating the new challenges with Winter.
He’s right, you know. We real people do the same thing. When we find a good thing, we stay in that box so long, never daring to take the chances God means for us to take, that we just stop working.
Recently, I’ve been looking for a full-time job, now that I’m out of school. Go figure, no opportunities came around until one week when suddenly two different businesses wanted me. I had to give an answer within four days.
The job that was available at the time was right up my alley—a job as a paraprofessional teaching kindergarten through third grade reading. It was a fantastic opportunity, and I was excited.
But I just wasn’t sure.
What about my siblings? How would this new job affect them? How would it affect me? Would I be able to handle all my responsibilities? What if I wasn’t qualified enough? What if people didn’t like my decision? What if I gave up something good and the new thing was a mistake?
I pulled my watch out of the box and set it on a shelf far away from it. I completed the application. I passed my paraprofessional exam. I gave my notice at my part time job. And I completed my first week at the new job.
It wasn't the same as the box. It took some getting used to. But taking a chance that God has given me is a pretty good place to be.
What’s something in your writing world that is trying to push you out of your box? Maybe being outside that box is just where God means you to be.
Hi, I'm Rachel! I'm the author of the posts here at ProseWorthy. Thanks for stopping by!