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We Need 'Twenty Seconds of Insane Courage'

The 2011 film We Bought a Zoo was based on the true story of a British man named Benjamin Mee. In 2006 Mee and his family purchased and moved into a 30-acre zoo. In his book with the same title, Mee says that his new "neighbors" included "five Siberian tigers, three African lions, nine wolves, three big brown European bears, four Asian short-clawed otters, two flamingos, a Brazilian tapir called Ronnie, some large boa constrictors, and a tarantula."

The zoo was dangerously rundown. Mee was faced with a series of challenges, including dealing with a rat infestation, and finding enough money to feed the animals. On the fourth day of their new lives, the jaguar escaped, endangering the neighborhood. Despite the difficulties, Mee and his family restored the zoo into a place of beauty and safety that provided healing for themselves and for their surrounding community.

But it wasn't easy. Mee admitted, "There were lots of times when I thought, What have I done?" So why did he buy and remodel the zoo? In the film version, Mee (played by Matt Damon), says, "Sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it."

Possible Preaching Angles: "That's not just a great line from well-written screenplay. It can change the plotline of your life. That's about how long it took for Peter to get out of the boat. That's about how long it took for David to charge Goliath. That's about how long it took for Zaccheus to climb the sycamore tree." (Mark Batterson)

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