Movies have always made a significant impact in my life. I can rely on them to bring me to worlds outside my own and reveal perspectives I wouldn’t have seen from my current vantage point. Movies are the best of the act of storytelling for me. Yes, I absolutely love to curl up with a tantalizing fictional book too – Harry Potter, Time Traveler’s Wife, The Stand, they have all made a significant impact onto my psyche. But movies not only take my imagination to distant lands, I literally can feel my body transformed as I lift off into these other worlds.

Today two completely different films – one the science fiction intellectual story In Time staring Justin Timberlake, and the other inspirational family film Dolphin Tale staring a finless dolphin have taken me down.

Beginning with In Time, a story of how the currency of our future is literally time and in’s marked upon our skin. Humans have been genetically altered to expire at the end of their 26th year. Classes are formed – the Haves and the Have Nots. There is an imbalance of monetary and life resources as evident as today when woman with disposable income pursue endless plastic surgery procedures while another gives up her meal so her own children can eat. In this film the rich become immortal and the everyday man becomes disposable – a disturbing mirror of the economic and political state of our country. In the film, everything is paid with time. While people may earn more time working, once they hit the age of 26, their debt increases faster than can possibly be returned through investments or working. Banks hold the power over  loans and interest rates while “Time Trackers” and “Minute Men” patrol the streets of the lesser rewarded time zones and collect debts with peoples lives. Sound familiar? It was such a clear parallel to our political and economical state by the end of the film I felt myself looking upon my own life to track how much time i had left and how I would spend it. A major wake up call!

The second film, Dolphin Tale, left me with a completely opposite sensation. The story follows a young boy as he struggles with his own fears of water and abandonment of his father figure, The boy helps rescue an injured dolphin and in turn becomes the parenting, nurturing figure to the fin-less mammal. It’s truly a very touching tale based on the real story of rescued Florida dolphin named Winter. I originally caught the film in the theater with my kids so this was the second time and my tears burned just as hot. Here’s a story of how a young kid, a strong family, a passionate sealife advocate, a wounded soldier and an entire community faced their worst fears and stepped out to help a defenseless animal. THIS IS REAL HEROISM!

These two very different stories really caused me to take deep consideration of my life, my fears, my regrets, my future. My time on this planet is far too short and a waste if I choose to spend it pleasing others simply to earn a living. I am not replaceable, I am far too passionate and willing to put myself on the firing line not to use my life to promoting the good and just, the devoted and willing. By experiencing these films together I came to realize my biggest fear is – to run out of time and memory before I am able to identify and use the gifts I’ve been given by God – and to use those gifts to make a significant difference in the lives of those I care most.

Today, in honor of the beautiful women whom I’ve met along my own life’s journey I spent a few hours creating a tribute to them in words and fiber.

“A single journey can change the course of a life.”