Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Memory (07/10/08)
TITLE: Memory and the Enemy
By Kristi Sands
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I wasn’t watching it at the time, and I definitely wouldn’t have guessed it would offer insight into my spiritual life. But as one of my favorite lines slipped into my mind, I found a connection between it and the Christian walk… or shall I say “swim”?
About 20 minutes into the film, Marlin (the father fish who is searching for his son) and his friend, Dory (the forgetful fish who has a terrible short-term memory), are being chased by sharks. Clanking jaws and hissing lips snap just behind their tails as they struggle to gain ground and escape shark territory. Luckily, they find temporary refuge behind a steel door that holds the sharks at bay while Marlin searches for an escape route. But when the sharks bang their heads into the door, Dory gets distracted. Her memory slips away, and she no longer perceives Bruce and his cohorts as a threat. She hears their restless banging as friendly knocking and tips her head in interest saying, “Sorry, can you come back later? We’re trying to escape.”
Dory remembered that there was an enemy (one she needed to get away from as soon as possible), but she forgot who her enemy was. Christians do this too. In our spiritual quest to find the Son, we often suffer short-term memory loss. In the midst of the battle, we start chatting with our enemy. We may even invite him in, forgetting that he’s the very one that’s threatening us, “prowling around seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). We consider entertaining him, entertaining his ideas, and entertaining the world he offers. We slowly abandon our journey for one without purpose, for one that leads to death. Eventually, he sinks his teeth into our flesh, finding everything he wants and taking everything we need.
If we forget who our enemy is, he takes advantage of us. He smells weakness, he chases it, and oftentimes he enlists help.
Although Dory’s poor memory reflects our own spiritual stupidity, we would do well to remember another one of her famous lines in the movie, especially when we’re facing the sharks of temptation, disappointment, and doubt. When Marlin loses heart in the quest to find his son, Dory simply sings, “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming.” She didn’t give up, and she wouldn’t let Marlin either.
No matter what obstacles we face, no matter who’s at our tails, we can have confidence. We can “keep swimming” even through rough water. Because we know who our enemy is, and we know who already defeated him. Our fate is sealed. Our prize is won. We’re finding the Son, and no one can stop us.
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