Saturday, May 16, 2009


: a very steep, vertical, or overhanging face of rock, earth, or ice : precipice

J and I went to see the new Star Trek movie last night. I am by no means a Trekkie and was honestly compelled to see this largely because J.J. Abrams directed it. I am addicted to Lost because it keeps me guessing and twists my expectations continually, so I wanted to see what Abrams would do with this concept. I really enjoyed the movie: I liked the character development, I liked the plot, I think Chris Pine as James Kirk is a cutie. AND it was a nice date night with J.

While watching it, I was struck by how many times Kirk is skidding up to, sliding over or
hanging on to the edge of a cliff. Kirk is the very essence of self-destructive, impulsive behavior, so I'm not suggesting I want to spend my life imitating him. But it did make me think about how much of our lives we spend trying to avoid the cliffs instead of accepting them as a part of our lives.

I want life to be easier than it is. I want to parent my daughters without damaging them. I want to love my husband well. I want the laundry done, the kitchen clean and the house tidy without constant effort. I want to sit down to write and have the words flow from my fingertips. I want to pray about, meditate on and ponder a question and receive an answer. Clearly, this is all sheer fantasy, not reality.

Life is not easy. It isn't a straight road with clear markings that takes us exactly where we expect. But would we really want it to be? What would we learn if life were like this?

I think I've personally tried to avoid the cliffs in life out of fear of falling. But what was interesting in last night's movie was that the one time Kirk went over the cliff, it brought great blessing. The other times he managed to hang on and pull himself back up, but the time he fell he found friendship and help. It changed the course he was on.

So am I too afraid of the cliff and what it might bring to fly over it, tumble down it, careen up to it? What am I missing out on because I am too bound by what I know and what I fear? I'm not asking for a cliff to appear tomorrow, but I hope the next time I see one in the distance, I won't change course just for the sake of avoiding it.


RBM said...

We saw Star Trek last night too--it was such a great movie!

Sully said...

Shannon, we were just talking about this concept today. As in, what if I fail: then what? Do I continue to fear more failure, or do I trust that the failure will change me, shape me, redirect me. In faith, facing the cliff is really not a failure. Often, walking away from the cliff is a safe bet, but it yields predictable results.

I'm not planning to see the movie, but I liked seeing it through your eyes.


WordGirl said...

I agree that the failure is what changes, shapes and directs us. And I think I'm beginning to accept this more and more the older I get. I think I spent the first 20 or so years of my life trying to orchestrate things so that I would not fail - and I missed out on so many experiences as a result.

Variations On A Theme said...

You would love my favorite professor. He's starting up a Lost Conference: