A lesson from “Seabiscuit” in learning our identity.

31 03 2013

This is a guest post from Dave Fulton, board member of NWMC

A scene from the movie “Seabiscuit” Seabiscuit

The trainer talking with the owner “he is so beat up I can’t tell what he’s like. I can’t help thinking he’s so screwed up from running in circles he’s forgotten what he was born to do. He just needs to learn how to be a horse again.”
       I took pause and thought about this.  How as a society do we run people in circles. Worse yet we are so guilty of this in our Christian churches.  We do not encourage people to discovser who they are in Christ. We do not even encourage people to come to know Christ.  We teach people that they need to be obedient to Christ and to what he taught.  We tell people that they need to serve, be part of a Bible study, be in church every week, oh, you need accountability and a bible reading plan and on and on.  In his book “the Cross Centered Life” C.J. Mahaney compares todays Christianity to plate spinning. (pg 26-30). Mike Bickle in his book “A Passion for Jesus” shares a similar concern about  all the preformace teaching and the lack of helping people discover a relationship with Jesus and who Jesus is that people leave the church feeling like spiritual failures because they feel thay fall short of the preformance bar. “so screwed from running in circles he’s forgotten who he is…” or they never learned who they are.
      Our focus in discipleship needs to be first and formost introducing a person to Jesus.  Teaching who He is so that a person can make a decision as to whether or not he was to follow Jesus.  It’s hard to follow someone when you do not trly know them.

Cast: Toby Maguire, Jockey
Jeff Bridges, Owner of Seabiscuit,
          Chris Cooper, Trainer

Seabiscuit was a race horse during the depression area.

There a a few other scenes worth noting in this movie:           

1)      As a young boy Toby Maguire has a love for horses. After the depression hits and his family are destitute he earns some money in horse racing.  His ability to win races causes his father and mother to give their son to a horse owner as a jockey.  The abandonment by his parents will haunt Toby throughout the movie (his life).

2)      Chris Cooper (trainer) also on hard times saves a lame horse from being put down, making the statement “every horse is good for something…you don’t throw a whole life away just because he’s banged up a little.” This statement will come back to bite him later in the movie as it will be pointed out the he need to see people the same way.

3)      When Seabiscuit is first introduced he is described as “small, barley 15 hands, he was hurting, walked with a limp, had a wheeze in his breathing.” But Chris Cooper does not pay attention to all this, he looks the horse in the eye he knew who this horse was, he saw the potential. 

4)      Of champion race horses the following statement was made. “Champions were large, sleek, without imperfection.” Seabiscuit did not fit this description.  He was used to race against “real” race horses to build their confidence. As stated in the movie “when they did race him he did what he was taught, loose.”

Perhaps you can see in these scenes how we as a Christian religion fall short of what God intended.
Dave F


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