Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Storms of Life



Andrew Stanton, one of the directors at Pixar, is quoted in Ed Catmull’s book, Creativity Inc. Stanton has written and directed Finding Nemo and Wall-E (among many others) and knows the incredible amount of work that goes into assembling a team and then creating an animated movie. He has this to say about life’s difficulties.

“If you’re sailing across the ocean and your goal is to avoid weather and waves, then why the hell are you sailing?” he says. “You have to embrace that sailing means that you can’t control the elements and that there will be good days and bad days and that, whatever comes, you will deal with it because your goal is to eventually get to the other side. You will not be able to control exactly how you get across. That’s the game you’ve decided to be in. If your goal is to make it easier and simpler, then don’t get in the boat.[1]

Why is it that I seem to seek an easy life rather than a significant life? Why do I find myself in a sailboat wondering why I am experiencing all of this weather? I should be grabbing the rigging and setting the sails to take advantage of the wind. I should be delighted that the wind and the waves are driving me on. Yet, most of the time, that is not my first reaction. I want smooth seas and gentle breezes. I want to meander down the river rather than brave the ocean waves.

There are many elements in life I cannot control: the world price of crude oil; the value of the stock-market in New York, Toronto, or Beijing; the risk of cancer in the general population; or political corruption in Alberta, Ottawa, Washington, or Greece. These are the rough seas and winds of life. They happen with or without my consent. My confidence cannot be in the investments I own, or in the people who guide the country in which I live. I will put my confidence in the Maker of the wind and the sea. I will trust the One who knows the beginning, middle, and end of the story. I will trust that the One who made the wind and the waves will deliver me safely to the other shore. I will set my sails to catch the wind He sends upon my boat.




[1] Catmull, Ed. Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces that Stand in the Way of True Inspiration. Kindle. Toronto: Random House of Canada Limited, 2014; Location 3469.

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