Last week I was sitting at home alone with a free evening ahead of me, indecisively pondering how I was going to spend it. I was surfing the internet mindlessly, when all of a sudden I had an incredibly strong craving for popcorn. Not just any popcorn, but warm, buttery movie popcorn. Of course, I grabbed my keys, and headed to AMC.
The movie? Why, Secretariat, of course. Every birthday wish that I can remember was spent on having my own horse. I remember considering wishing for a car on my 16th birthday, but at the last minute I resorted to my default and once again, blew out those candles thinking of a horse.
All that to say, I love horses, and so obviously, I'm going to want to go see this movie. Not only do I love horses, but I love the Triple Crown - the trifecta of horse racing! I can talk about the winners of the past few years, the upsets, and the near misses. I just love it.
Secretariat was an incredible horse, breaking records that people today only dream of their horses breaking. He still holds the track record for the Belmont Stakes, the third race in the Triple Crown. He raced in 1973, and 37 years later he is still the champion. What is even more gripping about his story is the seemingly unfounded belief that his owner, rider and trainer had in him. All they had as their foundation was that his bloodline showed promise and that he was proving to be a good horse.
While watching the movie, I realized a profound and yet unmistakable truth. I watched as these people risked everything they had on their belief that Secretariat was a great horse. He was the underdog, he had a female owner in a world of men, a washed up trainer, and an old jockey. The estate of the owner's father rested on the success of Secretariat. I wanted to be nervous for them, but I already knew the ending, so I sat back and enjoyed the suspense all the way up to the climax. It struck me, though, that they didn't know how it was going to end. They risked everything they had on their belief, knowing that they could have lost everything. What great faith. What great courage. They were fighting hard for a win.
I immediately thought of us believers - risking everything we have in this world on our belief in a Savior who rules another kingdom. But we're different. We know the ending. We aren't fighting hard for a win, we are fighting for belief that we do actually win, and that we have already won. The stakes change when we realize this great truth. Our fight is not for the end result, it's for the ability to cling to the truth we know in this present moment.
So sit back and enjoy the suspense all the way up to the climax, but don't quit the fight because we've already won. Cling to faith because you know the ending, and you know the reward. I may have known that Secretariat would win, but I didn't know how. It was awesome. He won the Belmont by 31 lengths. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time, not because I was unsure of his upcoming success, but because I was thrilled to be a witness to such a grand victory.
We have a bloodline that cannot be questioned. We have a Victor who cannot be defeated. We have a race that cannot be lost. But belief is what we're fighting for, and what we must cling to. The second we stop believing in the power of our kingdom, we miss out on the thrill of the victory.