Is there life outside your comfort zone?
This film, aimed at younger audiences (but able to be appreciated by any age), gives us a valuable lesson we all need to hear: When we encounter change, sometimes we simply need discover our new selves.
Each of us is unique in that each of us has a purpose in life that is different than anyone else’s mission or vocation. But unless we break free of our comfort zone when change hits us, we might never discover that uniqueness which God so richly gives us.
Open Season is the story of one bear’s journey to find his own special calling.
For years, a human trainer (voiced by Debra Messing) cared for Boog the Bear (voiced by Martin Lawrence) and attended to his every need and desire; by an accident of fate (that is, meeting up with Elliot, a one-antlered mischievous deer voiced by Ashton Kutcher), Boog is forced out in the wild to fend for himself for the first time in his life. The unlucky coincidence is that he has also been released during open hunting season in the mountains. It’s his own baptism by fire.
At first, Boog hides from the dangers of the wild, and clings desperately to the home in the valley he once knew. The same goes for all of us when things change in life. We wish things could go back to the way they’ve always been. We wish we could press “rewind” on our lives and re-think the decision that caused this unwelcome change.
Slowly, as Boog discovers those hidden gifts, he finds his home is actually in the wilderness all along. He becomes the protector of the forest and of all the other animals; his God-given gifts are his leadership skills and, during that year’s open season, Boog leads his fellow forest critters to stand up to the vengeful hunters.
Had Boog not discovered his gift, he would have never been able to save the forest creatures from certain death. Not only did his newfound vocation and calling benefit him, but it helped so many others as well.
When we, too, experience change, we can be tempted to stay in our comfort zone.
But God challenges us to live our lives not for our comfort, but for others. God has a unique purpose for each of us, and sometimes change is God’s way of nudging us along to find that vocation. What wondrous things await us if we only take on that challenge and find that inner bear.