I just started reading Andy Weir’s novel The Martian. If you haven’t checked it out yet in book or movie form, download or grab a copy today. It is the story of Mark Watney, astronaut abandoned on Mars after his crew believes he had died in an accident.
The concept is simple and powerful. In the part I read last night, Watney realizes he is accomplishing many firsts as the days pass and he lives on the planet. He figures out how to plant and grow food while maintaining his atmosphere.
The character must reframe his situation to survive.
On Pastor Steven Furtick’s podcast last week, he spoke about the importance of frames in our lives. Someones how we speak is more important than what we say. Our spouse, loved ones, and children pull so much from our tone and physical expressions.
We frame our speech, homes, jobs, and faith. We frame our conflicts and antagonists.
Tonight we had baseball practice. One of the basic strategies in the game is that, if you are a runner on base and there are two outs, you run on contact. The minute the batter hits the ball, you take off and never look back. For some reason tonight, the boys were having an issue getting it.
I probably yelled “run on contact!” twenty times (I usually coach first base). The coach turned to me, laughed, and said, “the thing is, they don’t have any idea what that means.”
I was using a phrase from the years I played so long ago.
We tend to fall back on the familiar. How many times have you criticized your children or spouse with a phrase from your past? An exact expression that makes you cringe and thing, “that’s something my dad/mom said?”
A glass is dropped on the floor and it shatters. The sound takes you back to your parents and their fights while you pretended to sleep upstairs.
The familiar isn’t always negative.
A fresh glass of iced tea will always remind me of my grandmother. A good laugh takes me back to moments as a kid with my mother where she’d pretend to talk to me through my stuffed animals and I’d end up in hysterics.
Sitting in a diner with Val takes me back to our early dates, when we had no money and nothing to do but look at each other and marvel in the mystery of the early forms of love.
This week has been hard so far, but I’m working on changing the frame to one of faith and hope. Once your frame hits the foundation of God’s Word, the sky is the only limit to how high you can go.