Seabiscuit

Myrna (my wife) and I attended the movie Seabiscuit a few weeks ago; I could hardly wait to see it because I was well aware of this horse while growing up.   In fact, viagra generic sale the whole setting of the famous race horse only took place blocks from my front door in Arcadia, treatment California, healing the home of Santa Anita.   Although the story took place a few years before I was born, Seabiscuit was well remembered by all.   This was a time in American history when horse racing was not just for making a bet for a buck, but actually a sport watched by many.    It was a time before the days when professional football, hockey, and basketball took over the sports scene.   It was a time when baseball and horse racing caught the imagination.   Even as kids we all had our favorite horses.   Mine was Man of War, the father of Seasbiscuit.

The story is about three broken men, and one very talented horse.   Each of the men came from a different walk in life, and each had a specific talent that when combined created a great race winner.   But the brokenness of their lives and the brokenness of Seabiscuit made such an outcome hardly possible.    Seabiscuit came from a good line of thoroughbreds, but had very little control during her first three years when it came to performing on the track.    As a result he never made it to the big races like the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, or Belmont.   The wealthy owner of the horse, Charles Howard, was a broken man from the loss of his son in an automobile accident and the divorce of his wife.      The trainer was a broken man named Tom Smith who was very talented with horses, but struggled with the disappearance of the cowboy’s life of the old west.   He was like many men during the Thirty’s, broke, homeless, traveling on freight trains from one state to the next looking for work and purpose.   The jockey was a broken man named Red Pollard.   He was isolated from his parents, abused by others, and hardly fit for the life of a jockey for he was simply too big, too sensitive, and too prone to rages of anger.

The story of Seabiscuit was quite an American saga, because the horse like its owner, trainer, and jockey represented the heartache and hopes of an entire nation during the 30’s and 40’s.    Everyone seemed to be down on their luck, for times were hard and World War II was in full swing.   In a way the entire nation followed Seabiscuit, hoping he would win and bring a little joy back to an otherwise downtrodden state of affairs.

The movie was very accurate; it told the true story of Seabiscuit.   Seabiscuit did win and in an incredible fashion.   Of course Seabiscuit could not enter the big races, he was too old, but he did beat just about every horse he raced against and that included a Triple Crown winner.    But as true in life, all things came to an end.   He was put out to pasture and finally died 7 years after his last race.   And even though the broken lives of each of the men were healed for a time, as they found fulfillment in each victory he attained, all three returned to broken lives when it was over.   The movie leaves its audience at the pinnacle of victory with the suggestion that at last each individual involved with Seabiscuit had found fulfillment.   The book, however, completes the story and reveals how each individual, although temporary caught in the thrill of victory, eventually fell back into a life filled with disappointment and some despair.

And here is the spiritual parallel I see in Seabiscuit.    We are all broken, just like the men who made Seabiscuit a success. We are, whether we want to admit it or not, in desperate need of love, respect, and fulfillment. (Is. 65:14).    But the world cannot provide it for us, and if it does, it can only do it for a moment, as was true with the story of Seabiscuit.   But real love, respect, and fulfillment on an everlasting basis can only come from Jesus, the Son of God (John 4:25-26).

If Seabiscuit had been one of Jesus’ parables instead of an American story, then I believe He would say the following final things to us.   “The impossible victories won by this horse are akin to the several impossible victories I won for you during My last days on earth.  There was the victory of the cross, where I paid the price for all of your sins.   There was the victory at the grave, where I proved to you that I alone am the Son of God.   And finally there was the victory at my leaving, when I left you with a full measure of the Holy Spirit who promises to fill you with hope everyday.” (John 14: 16-17;   Col. 1:3-5).

 I mention this story in a teachable moment because I believe there is a spiritual parallel to be drawn.    But before you rush off to see this movie; and it is a good one in my opinion, you must take note that there is some bad language in the movie as well a few sexually suggestive scenes.   Scenes that perhaps represent the actual events in the story, but scenes you will have to plough through nevertheless.

Teachable Moment

Either read the book, Seabiscuit, or see the movie.  You should preview the movie yourself before taking your children to see it.   You could set up a race with your younger children letting them take turns being the winning Seabiscuit.  Relate to them the story of Seabiscuit and the lives of those who temporary felt fulfillment with his victories.  Discuss the victories Christ had on the cross through His resurrection.  Discuss how Christ’s victories bring fulfillment that is not fleeting but that is eternal.

God’s Word

Isaiah 65:14 But you will cry out with a heavy heart, And you will wail with a broken spirit.

John 14: 25-26   25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”

John 14: 16-17   16 “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

Col. 1: 3-5   3 We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints; 5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel