“My life's about over. All my plans are smashed, all my hopes are snuffed out — My hope that night would turn into day, my hope that dawn was about to break. If all I have to look forward to is a home in the graveyard, if my only hope for comfort is a well-built coffin, If a family reunion means going six feet under, and the only family that shows up is worms, Do you call that hope? Who on earth could find any hope in that? No. If hope and I are to be buried together, I suppose you'll all come to the double funeral!” (from THE MESSAGE: by Eugene H. Peterson.)
Seabiscuit and the shaping of the spirit
Based on a best-selling book by Laura Hillenbrand, which in turn is based on a true story, the 2003 film Seabiscuit and its magnificent storyline is essentially about the repair of broken spirits, the shaping of the soul and the healing of the body.
Johnny “Red” Pollard is a young man with a flare for riding horses. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, Red’s poverty stricken parents leave him in the care and custody of a working stable owner. The revelation of the storyline is that this desperate parental act, permanently damages his spirit. Eventually, Red crosses paths with a millionaire horse-rancher named Charles Howard and a cowboy horse trainer called Tom Smith who hook Red up with an undersize and seemingly useless horse by the name of Seabiscuit which is equally damaged in spirit. Red and Seabiscuit’s story of brokenness and healing parallel each other, until they both triumph against the odds and become champions.
I found one piece of dialogue most illuminating in the movie, when in answer to a reporter’s question regarding the recovery and remarkable triumph of the horse Red replies: “Well, I just think this horse has a lot of heart. He may have been down, but he wasn't out. He may have lost a few, but he didn't let it get to him. We could all learn a lick or two from this little guy. Oh, and by the way, he doesn't know he's little. He thinks he's the biggest horse out there....See, sometimes when the little guy, he doesn't know he's a little guy, he can do great big things.-----See, this isn't the finish line. The future is the finish line, and the Biscuit is just the horse to get us there.”
I often see people looking wistfully at the shape and the proportion of other people’s bodies, wishing that they could look as good, be as big, be as strong, be as slim, be as shapely, be as perfectly proportioned as they were. My answer is that as hard as you might try, in the end, you cannot beat genetics. (Though this last statement of mine is increasingly untrue.) In many respects our desire for external transfiguration is to make us feel better inside, to make us tall inside, to make us feel strong inside, to better shape our inner self. On the surface there is a certain amount of sensibility about this, in that who we are externally, does shape who we are internally. However, I think it better to say “Who we think we are externally, shapes who we are internally,” or better still, “How we think, shapes who we are.” With this last statement I also believe that this will actually and eventually shape ourselves externally as well but that’s a whole different story!
Tonight dear friend, I do not want you to believe a lie or connect with a deceiving fantasy, because I nevertheless, have to ask you to prayerfully consider again just who you are and more importantly, encourage you to find out just who Jesus has destined you to be. This is spiritual healing. This is the shaping of the spirit, which will in turn truly shape the body and not just for the now, but more especially for the time to come. Let your spirit become the tailor’s mannequin that the clothing of your body both now and in the resurrection will be made to measure. The future is the finish line, so just who do think you are right now, yes, despite all outward evidence to the contrary just who do you know your self to be?
Listen: “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” 1 Peter 2:9-10 NKJV.
Pray: Merciful Father, caller into light, come lighten my darkness and show me my robe. Yes, come show me my ring and show me my crown of glory, in Jesus Christ my King. Call me by my prophetic name, address my true position and my destiny in You. Let this night come sweet and with it dreams of great instruction. Yes, clothe me in gentle quietness and then O my God, speak to me again. Amen.
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