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Sometimes leaving the familiar is what it takes to reach our dreams

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Faith & Inspiration

By Charles Towne

Are you comfortable staying in your comfort zone?

Remember, the reward is always equal to the effort put forth.

Take the following story as an example. As with all great legends, this one has never been proved nor disproved, though plenty of aquariums - from Tennessee to La Jolla - have staked their claim that it's true. We'll leave it for you to decide... but the deeper truth I see in it is one upon which we can all stand firm.

The marine laboratory was typical in that it contained many aquariums containing various forms of marine life. One large tank contained an octopus, while across the room another tank held several lobsters. For the first few days after the octopus was placed in its new environment, everything was fine, but soon the lobsters began disappearing on an average of one a night.

By all evidence, the culprit was an octopus. But, the only octopus in the room was in the tank, eighteen feet away on the other side of the lab.

Somewhat mystified, the lab rats set up a video camera to detect any movement in the room and the camera recorded the following:

1:15 A.M. Nothing unusual.

1:42 A.M. Octopus begins to display an unusual amount of activity.

2:09 A.M. Octopus pushes up the lid on its tank, lowers itself to the floor, and proceeds to cross the room. It enters the lobster tank. Octopus captures and eats lobster.

3:47 A.M. Octopus leaves the lobster tank and returns to its own habitat.

Mystery solved! The octopus was well-fed in its own tank... except for the fact that it preferred lobster!

Photo by David Todd McCarty

Imagine it!

The octopus was willing to leave the familiar, to venture out into a hostile environment because it craved the reward it could see across the room. The octopus needed the saltwater environment in order to survive, and yet, it not only left its habitat, it ventured across eighteen feet of cold, dry, tile floor twice a night to reach its goal. Imagine how badly the octopus wanted those delicious lobsters to tempt it to make that journey into the unknown.

How badly do you want Jesus in your life? Are you willing to venture into the unknown, the unfamiliar, to obtain the Life-Giver and all he has waiting for you?

Dear Lord, please inspire me so that I may visualize the dream and purpose you have for my life. Help me to have the courage to venture out beyond my comfort zones, to grasp what you desire for me, and achieve the goals you have for my life. Help me to inspire others and help them to reach their dreams as well. I love you, Lord, in Jesus' wonderful and Holy name I ask this, Amen


Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.

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