Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Facing the Giants

Last night after dinner, I found my way to the recliner and settled in to watch a movie shared with us on Sunday evening by Mike and Erin Cliff. The movie, Facing the Giants, was a low-budget film born of the Media Ministry of the Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia.

I fully expected to enjoy the movie as my favorite films of all-time all have a dominant sports theme (Field of Dreams is off-the-charts my all time favorite; The Natural, Hoosiers, Rudy and We Are Marshall are other favorites).

What I didn't expect was my oldest daughter to sit as enthralled by the movie as me! Trae loved it and was gripped by the story.

The fictional story is about Grant Taylor, a six-year veteran coach of a private Christian high school football team. His life is beset with challenges, including a mediocre career record as a head coach and his fear of failure grips him. Once he turns his ambition over to God, trusting God to take control of the reins of his life, he and his team are blessed. Trae and I laughed and cried as we watched and shared our reflections on the movie.

I appreciated the movie in that it provided an opportunity for my daughter and me to talk and share about the themes in the movie. Certainly, when one surrenders to God, not everything in life turns up roses as in the case of Grant Taylor, but the movie was solidly rooted in Scripture.

I appreciated that very much and the avenue it opened for discussion with my daughter about life, faith and God.


In the movie, Mark Richt, head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs makes a cameo appearance. Reading on-line, I learned that Richt covered his own expenses to be a part of the making of the movie.

I have long been a fan of Mark Richt. My appreciation for him goes back to 2001 when Mandy, Trae and I watched Arkansas play Georgia in Athens. As I read through the Georgia football game program, I was intrigued by the bio on Coach Richt. That night in Athens, I learned Coach Richt and his wife had adopted two Ukrainian children into their family in their effort to live out the calling of James 1.27.

I love the example of Mark and Katharyn Richt. It's one thing to look after orphans in their distress; it's quite another thing to take orphans into one's home and love them as if they were biological children. The Richt's are a wonderful example, to me, of living missionally.