Dory: Hey there, Mr. Grumpy Gills! When life gets you down do you wanna know what you gotta do?
Marlin: I don’t wanna know what you gotta do.
Dory: [singing] Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swim-ming, swim-ming, swim-ming. What do we do? We swim, swim.
Marlin: Dory, no singing.
Dory: [singing] Hah, ha-ha ho, ho, ho I love to swim and when you waaaaaant to swim you want to keep on—
Marlin: See, I’m gonna get stuck now, with that song. Now, it’s in my head!
Finding Nemo is a 2003 Pixar film about a clownfish who gets unexpectedly captured from Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and taken to a dentist’s office aquarium. The story is of Nemo’s overprotective father Marlin and a regal blue tang named Dory who team up to search for him. Along the way Marlin learns to take risks—including continuing on when he’s ready to give up.
For a study at Harvard in the 1950s, Dr. Curt Richter placed rats in a pool to test how long they could tread water.
On average they’d give up and sink after 15 minutes.
But right before they gave up due to exhaustion, the researchers would pluck them out, dry them off, let them rest for a few minutes—then put them right back in for a second round.
In the second try how long would you guess the rats lasted?
Remember, they had just swam to the point of exhaustion and failure only a few short minutes ago.
How long do you think? Another 15 minutes? Ten? Five?
Nope. Sixty hours!
That’s not an error. Sixty additional hours of swimming.
The conclusion that was drawn was that since the rats BELIEVED that they would eventually be rescued, they could push their bodies way past what they previously thought possible.
How about you?
Getting discouraged is an ordinary part of everyday life. Giving up doesn’t have to be.
Let us not become tired of doing good; for if we do not give up, the time will come when we will reap the harvest. So then, as often as we have the chance, we should do good to everyone, and especially to those who belong to our family in the faith.
Galatians 6:9-10 GNT
How can we keep discouragement from spilling over into giving up?
By doing good to others. Everyone, according to scripture. ESPECIALLY to fellow believers in our family of faith.
Today—wherever you find yourself—pray for God to show up. For somebody who is not you. Someone that you know (or suspect) is drowning in discouragement. Pray that God will lift their spirit, encourage their heart, and show them his goodness. Pray that God will remind them exactly how much he loves them.