Tom Hanks in the movie Castaway plays Chuck Nolan, a man stranded on a desert island after his plane crashes in the tropics, killing everyone else on board. At first, Chuck waits for a search party to find and return him to his fiancée and to his work as a FedEx executive, but the search party never comes. After just a few days on the island, Chuck realizes all he has lost.

The director of the film subtly but powerfully portrays these losses with various images and symbols throughout the movie. Chuck carries with him a stopwatch that no longer keeps time. A toothache (which progressively worsens throughout the movie) represents the loss of the comforts of modern medicine. He no longer takes for granted the basic necessities of life as he struggles to find water to drink, fire to keep him warm and provide light in the darkness, shelter to keep him safe from the elements, and food to nourish him. Above all else, a picture of his fiancée reminds him of the love of his life, the love he has lost.

When Chuck finally does get off the island, he gives a powerful soliloquy describing the pain of his losses and the hope that kept him going:

“We both had done the math. Kelly added it all up, knew that she had to let me go. I added it up, knew that I’d . . . I’d lost her. ’Cause I knew I was never going to get off that island. I was gonna die there, totally alone. I was going to get sick or injured. The only choice I had, the only thing I could control was when and where and how . . . so . . . I made a rope and I went up to the summit to hang myself. I had to test it of course [with a log about his weight] . . . and the weight of the log snapped the limb of the tree. So I couldn’t even kill myself the way I wanted to. I had power over nothing . . . That’s when this feeling came over me like a warm blanket. 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 [home] again. So that’s what I did. I stayed alive, I kept breathing . . . and then, one day, that logic was proven all wrong because the tide came in and gave me a sail . . . and I know what I have to do now . . . I’ve got to keep breathing . . . because tomorrow the Sun will rise! Who knows what the tide could bring…”

Have you ever felt like all is lost? Maybe you are in that position right now and all you can do is keep breathing. Do it!! And with each breathe, pray and ask God to give you the strength to take each step forward. We never know what the tide will bring, but with God controlling the waves, we can be confident that He will provide exactly what we need in His time.

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