"Go forth from the comfort of your home and from the security of your father's house to a distant, faraway land that I will show you... there I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing to others." Genesis 12:1-2
Nim's Island is a classic story of adventure, challenging both its characters and its viewers to uproot themselves from their comfort zone and to chart a new course into a great unknown.
The story revolves around three major characters who must embark on their own journey, even if it means being alone and afraid of what comes next. Nim Rusoe (Abigail Breslin) is an eleven-year old girl raised by her father and scientist Jack (Gerard Butler) on a volcanic tropical island in the middle of nowhere in the South Pacific. The journey begins as father and daughter seperate for the longest they have ever been apart (a few days and nights) when Jack goes out into the deep blue sea in search of microscopic marine organisms. But when communication is cut off and a storm ravages Jack's boat, the adventure really begins.
Meanwhile on the other end of the Pacific, when Nim calls for help over email to her favorite author and literary hero "Alex" Rover (who is actually the incredibly agoraphobic Alexandria Rover, played by Jodie Foster), the author feels the call to adventure for the first time as well.
As the three try to find each other across thousands of miles of ocean, they learn what adventure truly means. Nim had always thought "adventure" was a fearless hero. Jack had always thought adventure was just being on a volcanic island with his daughter. Alexandria had always relegated adventure to her books instead of to herself.
To "ad venture" means, in Latin, to "go forth..." to go forth from our comfort zones into unchartered waters. I am reminded of Abram's call by God in the Scriptures: "Go forth from the comfort of your home and from the security of your father's house to a distant, faraway land that I will show you... there I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing to others." (Genesis 12:1-2)
Staying in our comfort zone may be comfortable, but it won't get us through the tough times in life that lay ahead. Christ called his disciples out of their comfort zones, out of their familiar surroundings, out of their own traditions and deep-rooted preferences into exciting, thrilling, but scary new worlds.
He called Peter out of the boat to walk with him on the water. He called his Twelve to walk with him through the Roman garrisons of Jerusalem. And he continues to call out to us to go out into where others will not walk.
Nim had to leave the comfort of her father to discover her own bravery. Jack had to leave the comfort of his island and research to discover his own ingenuity. And Alexandria had to leave her San Francisco home to discover she was actually the hero all along. If none of these characters had left their comfort zones, they may have never found their life's purpose.
Just the same, Abram left the security of his home country and discovered that he would be the father of three world religions. The disciples left the comfort of their fishing nets and families to discover that they would be the companions of the Son of God.
And what will happen and what will we discover when you and I leave our own comfort zones and step up to the call of adventure? Just imagine the possibilites that lie ahead of us...