Northstar Presents At The Movies –  We Bought A Zoo

Introduction:

We bought a zoo is a movie about Benjamin Mee, a newspaper writer addicted to danger and adventure—but not quite ready for his newest journey. When his beloved wife dies of illness, Benjamin is now the single dad of two: 14-year-old Dylan and 7-year-old Rosie. All three need a new start. It comes in the form of a house, which just so happens to have a rundown zoo in the backyard. With Benjamin’s brother Duncan, the young zookeeper Kelly, and a small staff, the Mees have to rehabilitate the zoo before heavy costs ruin them.

Something To Talk About:

Most of us lead pretty hectic lives. We are not typically prepared for huge life overhauls, or are we prepared to get unstuck from life’s normal routines. We fear failure in life and that includes our spiritual life. So we are reluctant to take the step forward that God is asking us to take. When we are facing decisions and choices this week, instead of saying “What if….?” we said, “Why not?”

You will face a myriad of different fears in life. Knowing your purpose and trusting in God will enable you to move forward. New fears, as well as the old fears, come up all the time. Courage is letting go of ourselves by taking a step forward when God invites us to trust Him?  Courage, is more about living within the mind of God, while fear is living within ourselves?  We will experience those fears until we come to the same realization that God is worth trusting, and all we need to do is take a step forward.   

Have you ever had 20 seconds of insane courage?  Or in other words have you ever dared greatly? Have you found courage in who and how God made you. Courage is believing God over fear and taking the steps to live as the person God wants us to be. If you do, you will probably experience some 20 seconds of insane courage moments. You simply need to look at the possibilities in the unknown when God is asking you to move in that direction. Yes, it could be intimidating and yes, it could be messy. But think of what could be if you put yourself our there while God and you navigate the waters together.  It would be better than buying a zoo.

Questions:

  1. This week we’re talking about the movie We Bought a Zoo. What character is most like you and why? 
  2. Do you take risks in life, or are you risk averse? How have these tendencies molded your life? Have they perhaps led you on a different path?
  3. We often struggle to accept short-term losses in order to have long-term gains. Why do you think that is the case? What does this mean in our spiritual life?
  4. Read and discuss Matthew 14:25-31. If you had been given the opportunity to walk on water, would you have taken it? Would you have remained in the boat with the others? Explain your answer.
  5. If we choose to take comfort in Jesus, it may mean losing comfort in everything else. Does this idea bother you? Why or why not?
  6. What are you most afraid to lose? Is it possible that this might be the one thing that Jesus is asking you to walk away from? Why might He ask this of you?
  7. Is there one area of your life that is totally terrifying to take that next step of faith? What tangible thing can you do to take this step of faith? How can your Northstar Group support you as you take this step?

Take One Thing Home with You

It takes courage to leave your comfort zone and buy a zoo.  Most of us would probably not base our future on that zoo becoming successful.  But is that extreme courage? Is that 20 seconds of insane courage? Nothing compares to the courage of Jesus Christ and the boldness of what He did for everyone of us, on the cross.

Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem was an act of indescribable courage. There is courage which is born of the impulse of the moment, a courage born at some sudden emergency in which a person has no time to think, and in which he becomes a hero by a kind of instinctive reaction. And there is also courage when people think they have nothing to lose. But there is an even higher courage, the courage of the man who sees with complete clarity the terrible things which lie ahead. And, who deliberately, having counted the cost, goes forward anyway. That is the highest of all kinds of courage, and that was the courage of Jesus when He entered Jerusalem.

This is radical courage. Jesus knew what was going to happen and went ahead. Jesus Christ had the courage to take on the cross and our sin. He had the courage to become the sacrifice so that we might be free and have eternal life with God in Heaven. Jesus had the courage to do what His Father in Heaven called Him to do.

Now that is courage. The question is, do we have the courage to step out in faith knowing what Jesus did for us?