Recently I seen a movie called, Joe and the Volcano. It starred Tom Hanks very early in his career. For those of you that have not seen the film, Tom plays the character, Joe.
Joe does not enjoy his life; he does the same old thing every day in a dead end job; he is miserable, and sees no way out. He had lost all faith in himself and life.
Joe knew he was capable of doing more, but he had given up on himself. We can all identify with this in some way. As he was miserable with his life, he was constantly sick with different ailments he would create for himself to get out of work.
One day he took the morning off to go for an appointment; the doctor seeing the pattern thought he would trick Joe. So he told him he was suffering from a new illness called a brain cloud and had only six months to live.
Joe believed the doctor.
It worked out that there was a reason the doctor told him this, on a nearby island there was a volcano which was going to erupt soon, but if someone jumped into the volcano and sacrificed their life; all would be ok.
Joe, believing that he only had six months to live was easily convinced that he was the man to save the island.
He was given unlimited credit cards and told to enjoy himself first then he would have to sacrifice himself to the volcano. He was told to live like a king, and die like a man.
Joe’s life now had a purpose; he wanted to do it.
When people have no meaning or purpose to their lives, they will throw themselves into anything. Drink, drugs; a job that doesn’t add any value to their life; a relationship that they know is bad but they stay there anyway because they don’t value themselves enough to walk away.
Well, when the doctor told Joe that he was going to die from this brain cloud, Joe decided to live his life; all fear left him, he didn’t care anymore.
It got me thinking about my own life; did I have to be told that I was going to die to do all the things that I wanted to? It’s so easy to put things off, to say, l will visit my friends abroad next year.
We can so easily take life for granted, not realizing that each day is a gift that we must treasure.
When Joe was told, he was going to die his whole world transformed. He went straight from the doctors to work and quit. Then on the way out, he asked the girl that he had fancied for years out for dinner. He wasn’t worried about rejection or what people might say.
When Joe eventually jumped into the volcano with the girl that he fell in love with, he was thrown back out.
For me, the volcano was a symbol of fear. When Joe jumped into his fear, there was nothing there. That’s the way fear is; it looks big, but when you have the courage to turn and face it you will realize that there is nothing much to it.
Joe went from working a dead end job to travelling the world on a magical quest, simply because the fear was removed from his life when he found he had a short time to live.
If you had six months to live what would you do differently?
Would you stay in the same job? Would you be worried about the things that you are worried about right now? Would you have the same people in your life?
This film reminded me of a book my friend lend me a couple of years ago, in that book it asked, what would you do if you had three months to live?
My answer was, I would love to write down my thoughts and inspire and motivate others.
On the next page, I got a shock, it said, you could die today, so whatever you wrote on the last page start spending as much time doing that today. So I did.
So what would you do? Well, whatever it may be, decide from today you are going to delegate your life to it.
The main reason Joe stayed in the same job as long as he did, he feared change, most people fear change. A lot of people stay in jobs that make them miserable or relationships that make them unhappy.
Sometimes to see the beauty of life, you have to be willing to change; change cities, change jobs, change relationships, change friends.
We were created to bring so much to life, not to do a job that has no meaning for us for 40 years. God created you to achieve great things, to bring love happiness and joy into the world.
If your life is not the way you want it to be; if you are not living the way that you want to live; if you are not experiencing what you want to experience, you have to ask yourself why?
In the film when Joe quits his job he says to his boss, I sold my soul to you for $300 a week. He is not alone. Many people work jobs where it’s no longer healthy for them to be there, but because they don’t have faith in themselves and their abilities, they stay there.
They remain there as victims, volunteer victims, because no one is making them do it, they volunteer. They willingly do it.
They volunteer to hide in fear; they volunteer to believe that God gave others unlimited resources, and not them.
Our Heavenly Father asks one thing of us; that we have faith.
Having faith means to go for what you want in life. My grandmother used to say, do what makes you happy, if it means living under an old cart. The older and wiser I get the more I understand the wisdom in those words.
One day of happiness is like 1000 days in misery.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
The thing about the truth is; people don’t want to hear the truth. People don’t want to hear that if they are not happy, they must change. People don’t want that sense of responsibility.
Don’t be held back in fear, rise up in faith and begin to live the life that you have always wanted to live.
I love to fly, but I also know that some of them planes are coming down quicker than they are going up. It’s dangerous for that plane to fly. You see some ships leave the harbour and sink; it’s dangerous for the ship to be on the ocean. You read about people leasing their homes, and the people that rent the house tear it up; it’s dangerous to let somebody move into your home.
Yet, the engineers will tell you that it is more dangerous for them planes to stay on the ground, that it will rust out faster than it will up in the heavens.
They say that ships will collect more barnacles in the harbour and become unseaworthy faster than they will sailing the high seas, and they say that if that house stays empty, it will deteriorate faster than if you have someone living there.
Just like a plane was built for flying, and a ship was built for sailing, and houses were built for living in; we too were created for a purpose. We were built for accomplishment; we were engineered for success, we have been graced with the seeds of greatness that we must share with others to see the fruits of life.
The greatest danger we have as human beings is doing nothing at all.
Stop 100 young people on the street and ask them if they are happy at their work, only 5% will say they are. Follow these people until they are 65 and of those that are still living, studies have shown that only 5% will be happy with their lives.
Let today be the day that you decide to be part of that 5%.
Let today be the day that you start to plan your future, start to use the gifts and talents that God has graced you with. Do something that you have always wanted to do but have been putting off.
I wish you, your family and friends happiness health and love.
Thank you for your time.
Rev J Martin