The other day, my six-year-old son and I sat down to watch Cast Away, starring Tom Hanks. He plays Chuck Noland, a type A logistics big wig for Fed-Ex. He’s obsessed with time, efficiency, and tasks. After receiving an emergency call on Christmas Eve, he rushes to the airport with his beloved fiancé, and promises to return shortly. But the plane hits a deadly storm, and crashes into the ocean. Busy Chuck finds himself stranded on a deserted island.
In the first few weeks, he had the determination to survive and escape. He took scattered driftwood and spelled the word “HELP” on the sand. He found a pair of ice skates in a washed up package and used the blades to crack open coconuts for water. He explored the island in search of inhabitants.
Then one day he saw a light far out in the ocean and decided to make a break for it. Using the damaged, half inflated raft he washed up in, he paddled out to sea. But pounding surf created a ferocious barrier around the island. The more he paddled, the higher the waves became. The tiny innertube was soon overturned by a giant wave. As he came up for air, another surge crashed on his head. As he tumbled underwater a jagged piece of coral pierced his leg. He struggled back to shore, convinced he would never escape. To keep his sanity, he developed an imaginary friend, a washed-up volleyball. With the blood from his wounds, he painted a face on the ball and named him “Wilson.”
In the next segment the words, “Four years later…” appear on the screen. Chuck has changed. He looks like Moses, long beard, scraggly hair, skin tanned and leather like. The abandoned island had now become familiar. He knew how to hunt, fish, and find water. He had established a routine to survive. One day, while squatting there, gnawing on a piece of raw fish pulled from his homemade spear, a large, corner section of a Don’s Jon washed up. A burst of inspiration filled his mind. He could try and escape again using the plastic walls as a kind of sail. As Wilson looked on, he set to work building a large wooden raft, tying the pieces together with vines.
Now there was no turning back. The only way to see his fiancé again was to risk it all. Just sitting there, waiting for change was no longer an option. Plunging the raft into the ocean, he paddled with desperation. At just the right moment, he raised his plastic sail and broke through the last barrier into the wild sea.
Chuck looked back at the lonely island that had been his home for the last four years as if to say goodbye. Strangely, his heart longed for it. But he knew he wasn’t made to live in isolation, scrounging for food. The decision to lay it all on the line, and face the wild ocean, saved his life.
Moses was also a castaway at the burning bush. The wilderness had become familiar and comfortable. But God never designed him to sit on the backside of the desert. The burning bush was a wake-up call to break free from the gravitational pull of his tired routine for a better future. It was time to come out of the shadows and step into God’s destiny. In his heart he had God’s promise and a crazy dream. But how could he walk into the greatest nation, and tell the most influential world leader what to do? It was like Chuck Noland on his man-made raft on the unpredictable seas.