There is a magical scene towards the end of the film We Bought a Zoo where a father tells his children how he met their mother. A scene like that would be touching all by itself, but what makes it magical is the fact that their mother is dead. And their father never talks of her. And the kids want to talk about her but they don’t dare, and I think the Dad wants to talk about her but he doesn’t dare. At the end of the film he realizes they all need to talk about her even if it hurts. So he takes them to the diner where he met his wife, his wife who died too young. And he replay’s the event for his children.
He was walking down the street when he glanced through the window of the restaurant and saw a creature unlike any he had seen before. He wasn’t sure what to do. He really wanted to talk to this creature and find out if she liked pizza and if she had an eHarmony account that she was tired of paying for or something like that. (Okay, I watched the movie a few years ago, so I’m filling in all the details I forgot as best as I can.) But he was stuck in the concrete and couldn’t move. He was terrified from the topmost hair on his blonde head to the sole of his well-worn hiking boots. And then he remembered his motto, which he explained to his son like this, “Sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage.” And with that, he turned around and strode towards the door of the diner.
As soon as he stepped inside, he looked down the walkway between the booths to where the creature sat, or really, sort of floated, and it looked like a gauntlet; it looked like a never ending subway tunnel that disappeared into murk; it looked impossible. He started to hyperventilate. Then he looked down at his watch and realized something, he still had a few seconds left. So he walked the gauntlet, mile after mile, up to the girl, and asked her a question. I don’t remember what it was. I think the question was, “Can I ask you a question?”
But it really doesn’t matter, because as soon as he started his crazy, terrifying, adventure, everything else took care of itself. He said something to her and she had to respond and so forth and so on. All he needed was 20 seconds to get inside and open his mouth, 20 seconds to say, “Kids, I want to show you a special place,” 20 seconds to tell the first words of his story, 20 seconds to make things right, 20 seconds to call fear’s bluff. Until the the next terrifying opportunity. Then he would have to get past fear again. He could rest assured, though, even if he didn’t know what was going to happen next, because he knew something better — he knew he had 20 seconds, and that he would always have 20 seconds until he died.
“Sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage, just literally 20 seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.” – Benjamin Mee, We Bought A Zoo
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” – 2 Timothy 1:7