“Castaway”. A wonderful movie, to be sure. An incredible movie actually. It is also a word that carries with it the source of limitless growth and great potential. And how is this so? Well, let us ask what might be the definition of this word, yes? On most occasions, I would consult with Daniel Webster for my answer. But in this situation, I believe that Mr. Tom Hanks can provide us with our answer. His character in the aforementioned film was indeed that of a castaway. Through a very unfortunate circumstance, he became marooned on an obscure island, cut off from all humanity and with no hope of rescue. Hence, the title of the movie “Castaway”. The word by its very definition means to be cast away; to be removed or taken away from all things considered normal. ( A quick note here, if I may? Remember those words “considered normal” for we shall revisit them a bit later) But let us return to our castaway for now. Let us return to Tom Hanks and his character. As I watched this movie last night, it occurred to me that so many of us have become a castaway in the movie that is our own Life. Is this not the truth after all?
In Life, as in the movie “Castaway”, a series of circumstances have washed us up upon a “desert island”, if you will. We feel isolated, even alone in our situation and there appears to be no hope of a rescue. So, as the character Chuck Noland did in the film, we set about making the best of our desolation. And the majority of us do fairly well in surviving in what has become our world. Not unlike Chuck, we are less than happy being a castaway. But we make it work, do we not? Does any of this strike a resonant chord with you today? If so, then pay attention just now.
You see friend, there will always be wake-up calls in our Life. We may not always hear them for we become deaf within our circumstances. But they do occur and perhaps a bit more often than we would care to admit. Do you remember the scene in “Castaway” when our hero received his wake-up call? Chuck Noland had resigned himself to living out his existence on that island. He had reached that point beyond despair where one feels nothing. Instead one simply exists day upon day, month upon month and year upon lonely year. The passage of time means very little then because there is no sense of purpose any longer and therefore nothing carries with it a great deal of importance. But oft-times, Life will step in and bring with it an opportunity that invites us to step up and away from the existence that has us so ensnared. And this is what transpired in Chucks’ life. Chuck Noland received his wake-up call. And since his surrender had become complete, that call out to him had to be loud! Do you remember it now? Just for a moment, let us step into the scene so we can truly see it, yes? Good then! Can you see that rather large sheet of fabricated metal which has washed up onto the beach? And can you hear now the noise it is making as the waves bang it against the shoreline? Why, even in his deep sleep, in the dark night of the soul if you will, our castaway could hear it. And as is the nature of wake-up calls, it is perhaps not so much the noise but rather the steady insistence of that noise that is most annoying. As you may recollect, our hero heard it and at first, was angry at being awakened from the sleep that had become his existence. And when he saw what was making all the racket, he then became afraid, wondering what manner of beast was this that brought him from his slumber! And in truth, are not the waves that offer to us the potential of change a bit unsettling and yes, even frightening? But not unlike our castaway, we must go beyond our fear of change so that we may free ourselves from that isle that holds us bound. And freedom is precious, dear one. Remember well that anything precious and of value has a price. We must brave the waves and whatever may lie beneath if we wish to be free. This is what Chuck Noland did and in real-time, it is what we must do if we are to reclaim our lives. And I would also say to you today that though our society seems adverse to change, do not fear the tides that would bring it your way. For you see, it is only upon the waves of change that we are permitted to sail on Life’s ocean. I should clarify as well that I refer here to True Change for it is incorruptible without spot or wrinkle. This is the type of change we would do well to embrace fully and with our whole heart.
One last item here, if you will allow me? I made mention a bit earlier to remember the two words “considered normal” in connection with defining the word castaway, yes? Here now is the reason why. Near the end of the movie, after the rescue and during his welcome back party at his place of employ, a coworker told Tom Hank’s character that he would see him at work in the morning and that they would “bring him back to life”. Actually, there was another coworker who said a similar thing in that they would “see him tomorrow because it is a lot of work to bring someone back from the dead”. Now I realize that what was being said was with regards to the fact that Chuck Noland had been declared dead in the plane crash and the body was never found. However, the expression on the former castaways face when those words were spoken told you all you needed to know, did it not? His 5 years as a castaway, his time spent completely isolated while severe, taught him much. You see, during those long years he experienced things he never could have learned otherwise. He became self-aware for he was placed in a scenario where he had to change, to grow or die. Chuck Noland encountered and embraced True Change and in doing so, he came to know the fullness of what was real Life. Thus the words “bring you back to life” as spoken gave him pause for he realized then that one cannot go back once True Change has come into their Life. Given this truth, do we really wish to be “considered normal” so that we may confine and restrict ourselves within societal boundaries? And given this truth, would it not be in our best interest to welcome change into our lives in order that we be castaways no more?? T’would be wise to give this due consideration for it is indeed most true. Do please give these thoughts and this subject your time. It is really most important, isn’t it? This matter concerns your Life and the fulfillment of that Life, of your Purpose if you will. It is past time that we take leave of that desert island that has held us to itself and denied us our growth. Now is the time, our time to break free and go beyond the waves, the breakers that we gave permission so long ago to hold us captive in our isolation! And if we find that we are afraid of escaping that island prison, that is alright. It is in recognizing that fear that we are able to conquer that fear. The hero of Castaway was very much in fear of leaving that desert island in favor of what lay unknown out there on that huge expanse of ocean. There was a part of his character that was oddly comforted by his island home. My nephew would call that “living in comfortable misery”. Too often we embrace the known horrors that control our lives instead of reaching out to the blessings yet unknown. Is this not the truth here?? Friends, delay your escape no longer for there is only so much time we are blessed with! Do it! Fear not for the Strength you require is within and will take you all the way through and beyond! It is a gift from the One who brought you to be. He is there with you on that tired island and only desires that you take the first steps towards freedom. Then and only then will He be able to lift you up and bring you forth into all things new! Come along now and tarry no more for you have much value, dear friend. Just because you have forgotten this does not make it any less true. Come and go now into the abundance that has been waiting so patiently for you. I will see you on the Ocean of Freedom and Life!
I do realize I have gone long here this evening and you have my apologies. Castaway is a cinematic masterpiece which when viewed with the heart has many layers of meaning and is so applicable to Life. If you’ve not seen it, then be good to yourself and do so. If you have seen it which I am sure most have, then watch it once again with a fresh set of eyes. I promise that it will reveal its truths to you. May your Life path be blessed and that in abundance tonight, tomorrow and each day that you may bless others in return. Take care with yourselves and good evening!
Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.