There was one line in the movie that I found particularly meaningful. It was spoken first by Tom Smith, the trainer, when he convinced some men who were about to shoot a horse with an injured leg to give the horse to him instead. Tom explained his actions by saying, “You don’t throw a whole life away just because it’s banged up a little bit.”
Later in the movie, when Tom wanted to fire Seabiscuit’s jockey, Red Pollard, after he had lost an important race because he was blind in one eye and had failed to reveal that to the trainer and owner. The owner refused to fire Red and repeated Tom’s words: “You don’t throw a whole life away just because it’s banged up a little bit.”
That is very much the attitude of God which is revealed in scripture. Over and over again God effectively uses lives that have been “banged up a little bit” (even more than a little bit). God didn’t give up on Jacob the cheater, or Abraham the murderer, or David the adulterer and murderer, or Peter who denied his Lord, or Saul, the persecutor of Christians, who became Paul the great Christian missionary. He gave all these a second chance and used them effectively in His service. God doesn’t throw a life away just because it’s banged up a little bit. Or as Oscar Wilde put it: “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” Thank God for the gospel of a second chance.
©2003 C. David Hess