Soul Surfer: A Girl’s Determination to Beat Her Odds

The film Soul Surfer tells an inspirational story about Bethany, a 13-year-old surfer who enjoys the waves of Kauai Island in Hawaii. Her parents Tom and Cheri were both surfers and equally supportive of her passion. She and her best friend Alana vie for a regional surfing competition, and that is all that mattered to her at that time.

The opening scenes showed us how idyllic life is by the waves and by the shore. Young as she is, Bethany valued her passion for surfing and knew that it was her source of joy. Her character reminds us to identify our God-given talent and make good use of it as it gives pleasure to our soul.

The turning point of the story was when Bethany chose to practice surfing at a far off beach with Alana’s family then join the youth fellowship mission to Mexico. She sends a box of goods instead. She aimed to become the best surfer in the competition. All of a sudden, a shark attacked Bethany and bit her arm away. They met the ambulance halfway en route to the hospital.

In the scenes that followed, we see that Bethany’s parents never blamed Alana’s dad or God for what happened. Alana even had a nightmare about the shark, felt sorry to see Bethany with a missing arm and was by her side until she was able to surf again. The close-knit relationship between the two families showed sincerity and concern over one another well-being.

Several scenes were uplifting in this film. The Islanders called for Tom to see that the shark they killed was the one that attacked Bethany.No one mocked or teased her when she fails to surf in her comeback. Instead, there’s a speedboat waiting for her if she needs to get back to shore. Such is an ideal human relationship where compassion and genuine care prevails.

There’s a brief scene where Bethany questioned why having one arm be part of God’s plan for her. The fellowship teen minister Sara replied that terrible things happen sometimes, but something good will come out of it. True to Sara’s words, she joined the mission to Thailand. She saw the aftermath of a tsunami that hit the town. Bethany was able to share her courage with the kids there and encourages them to swim and surf again. Upon her return to Hawaii, fan mails came stating how her act inspired kids from other places.

The letters encouraged her to join a national surfing competition once more. Her family helped her train to become a strong contender. She almost got first place if not for the biggest wave to come after time ran out, so her final score did not count. Nonetheless, the self-fulfillment was enough for her.  She knew the value of life like surfing, and that is to get right up every time she hits an impact zone, and with faith, anything is possible.

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