The Pit

"Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up." - Alfred
Imagine lying at the bottom of a deep hole, the worst hell on earth.  Imagine the pain of a broken back, being hated, humiliated, mocked, disrespected, and left for dead.  Imagine being surrounded by hopelessness and despair. This was Bruce Wayne’s reality, and yet he did not lose hope.
While countless prisoners, in the pit of darkness, were paralyzed by fear, Bruce took a leap of faith and climbed to the light day.  Bruce knew he had only one chance to succeed, to save the city from despair, to be a witness to hope. Bruce understood the meaning of hope.
“…there can be no true despair without hope."  - Bane
What did Bruce see that others could not?  Bruce saw a light in the beautify hearts of the people!   What’s that you say?  It’s only a movie?  Tell that anyone who has overcome illness, injury, addiction, abuse, porn, abortion, being bullied, the loss of a loved one, or any hopeless situation; like Bruce they found hope!  Hope enables us to live in the present moment.  Hope enables us to look beyond our personal pit of darkness, and seek even the smallest flicker of light.   When we find the light in the darkness, we become the light for others.
“The late Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan, a prisoner for thirteen years, nine of them spent in solitary confinement, has left us a precious little book”:  Prayers of Hope.  During thirteen years in jail, in a situation of seemingly utter hopelessness, the fact that he could listen and speak to God became for him an increase power of hope, which enabled him, after his release, to become for people all over the world a witness to hope – to that great hope which does not wane even in the nights of solitude”  –  Benedict XVI
Is hopelessness your reality?  Is your heart filled with despair, sadness, hatred, loneliness, or fear?  Are you like Bruce’s blind prison doctor, unable to see the way out of despair?  Do you accept darkness as the only option? What if you had the ‘freedom’ to escape your prison?  Would you take it?


What if you were holding the only candle in the pit of darkness, would you light it?  If you found the way out, would you throw the rope in to the pit to save others?


In your journal, reflect on the following:
  1.  What is your pit of darkness?  Does it hold you captive?
  2.  Do you want to find a way out? What stops you?
  3.  What do you fear?
  4. Are you afraid you will fall/fail?  Bruce fell twice before he succeeded.
  5. Are you afraid you will succeed?  What about success do you fear?
  6. Are you afraid to trust?

The Boab Tree

Every Boab tree of Australia has it’s own unique identity.   To the Australian Aborigines, the Boab trees were landmarks, guide posts, food, shelter and medicine.   Only during the rainy season do these thousand year old seemingly lifeless trees, turn green, flower, and bear fruit.   The Boab Tree is often referred to as the Tree of Life!
Like the Boab Tree, every person on earth has unique identity, God given purpose in life, and a story to tell.  We are meant to flower and bear fruit!    We are meant to Love.
“If you’ve got no love in your heart, you’ve got nothing
no dreaming, no story, nothing”  - from movie 'Australia'
In the movie ‘Australia’ – pride, greed, and power came to the island and forever changed the face and identity of the people.  This new unwanted face was a misfit in society, no longer a part of the story.  While much of the nation turned a blind eye to the evil in their midst and remained silent, a few listened to their hearts, fought for truth, love, their identity, and the identity of their land.
Do you turn a blind eye?  Do you hear the cries for help and love?
 When we lose our identity we lose our story!   But there is hope.  You can find your identity if you listen to your heart and the voice of truth and love.  When you listen – you will find that you are loved!


What do you do to make a difference in the world?   In what ways do you make the world a better place?



  1. What character(s) would you consider an outcast (or misfit) in the movie Australia?  Explain why.
  2.  How would you describe the identity of Drover, Lady Sarah, Fletcher, or Nullah?  Choose one character to describe.
  3. Which identity are you the most like, and why?
  4. Which identity do you want to be more like?  What changes do you need to make to become more like that person?
  5. How did the above 4 characters make a difference in their world?
  6. List of all the ways you bring hope and encouragement to your families, friends, neighbors and land.


I love this piece! It has Air!  It has Breath!  and it has Heart!
Do you hear it?
Do you hear the air?
Do you hear your breath?  Breath
Do you feel your heart beat?
Listen…Do you hear it?
Hans Zimmer’s ‘Time’ soundtrack is from the movie ‘Inception’.  Inception means beginning, commencement, dawn, genesis,  and birth.  Birth has breath and a heartbeat; it is deep, intensive and awakens the soul.  Like music – it has beat, a rhythm, joy, love and feeling.   Like the waves of the ocean there is an ebb and flow; like breathing in – and breathing out.  It is layered, complicated, builds, expands, speeds up, and slows down.  It is loud, noisy, soft and silent.  Like the heartbeat of life!
Time! It is but a moment – a precious moment.
Do you hear it?


How do you use your time?  Do you waste time?  Do you spend time with your family, friends and building relationships?  Or do you spend your time plugged into television, computer, phone, or other electronics?


  1. In your journal, list the top 10 ways you spend your time.
  2. Rank them from highest (10) to lowest priority (1) – the highest priority being that which you give the most attention.
  3. To be the person you want to be, what changes would you need to make to your list? Re-rank your list.
  4. For one week, apply one of these changes to your life.
  5. At the end of 7 days, record in your journal how you did
  6. It takes 30 days to make a habit, so feel free to repeat the process as often as you want


“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”.   President Kennedy inspired a nation to greatness with his mission to put man on the moon.  He inspired a nation to acquire an education in math and science, to look to the skies, and to dream beyond the visible.   Like Kennedy, does Christopher Nolan want to inspire our nation, our world, and our children to greatness – to discover that we are much more than our social status and our possessions?  It seems so.  Does art inspire us?  If so, how?  Art invites us to awaken from our slumber, discover the desires of our hearts, and transform the chaos and disorder of our lives – one small step at a time.
How does Nolan’s art transform and inspire hope in our culture?  The movie Interstellar awakens our senses through the use of images, music, emotions, relationships, and love; it invites us to get outside of ourselves and discover who we are meant to be.   The art of discovering who we are occurs when we encounter beauty in the ‘wound that strikes at the heart, and in this way our eyes are open”.
Wounded relationships are at the heart of Interstellar.   Cooper has many past wounds (both physical and spiritual) from the loss of his wife to the lack of trust in his instincts and intuitions; but the deepest physical and spiritual wound that pierces Cooper’s heart is his relationship with his daughter when he tells her goodbye.
When a heart is lukewarm it does not go on a journey to discover the truth.  Only a heart that is awake will go on a spiritual journey to overcome it shortcomings.  As Professor Brand stated, “Love is the one thing we’re capable of perceiving that transcends dimensions of time and space. Maybe we should trust that, even if we can’t understand it”.
Nolan brilliantly uses real images of outer space to awaken our senses to the beauty of the universe, at a time when NASA seems all but forgotten. Personally, I found these images stunningly beautiful, perfectly ordered, and evidence of a higher power.  Viewing the images of outer space reminded me of my childhood, and the excitement I felt while witnessing Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon.
Have we lost our identity? Have we lost our hope in our nation, our neighbor, and in our families?  Have we forgotten how to dream?
As Cooper states, “We’ve always defined ourselves by the ability to overcome the impossible… moments when we dare to aim higher, to break barriers, to reach for the stars, to make the unknown known. We count these moments as our proudest achievements. But we lost all that. Or perhaps we’ve just forgotten that we are still pioneers and we’ve barely begun.   Our greatest accomplishments cannot be behind us, because our destiny lies above us.”
Interstellar invites us to stop looking at the dirt and look up!
Let us remember who we are!


Who do you want to be?  Are you that person?  What do you need to change to become the person you want to be?  


  1. In your journal, describe the person you want to BE!
  2. Make a list of the things you’d like to do (and don’t like to do) in life.   Are these things aligned with the person you want to be?
  3.  To be the person you want to be, what changes would you need to make to your list? Re-rank your list.