Last night, the wife and I watched the movie Rudy. We did so at my request. Recently I’ve found myself with an extreme desire to “get in the game” when it comes to serving as a pastor, but the Lord is withholding this for the time being. Not sure why He is, but that does not change the fact. I’ve found myself identifying with Rudy as of late. Two scenes of the film really hit me as we watched.
The first is an interaction between Rudy and one of the Catholic priests at the school. Rudy is in the church and praying when they have this interaction:
Father Cavanaugh: [in church] Taking your appeal to a higher authority?
Rudy: I’m desperate. If I don’t get in next semester, it’s over. Notre Dame doesn’t accept senior transfers.
Father Cavanaugh: Well, you’ve done a hell of a job kid, chasing down your dream.
Rudy: Who cares what kind of job I did if it doesn’t produce results? It doesn’t mean anything.
Father Cavanaugh: I think you’ll find that it will.
Rudy: Maybe I haven’t prayed enough.
Father Cavanaugh: I don’t think that’s the problem. Praying is something we do in our time, the answers come in God’s time.
Rudy: If I’ve done everything I possibly can, can you help me?
Father Cavanaugh: Son, in thirty-five years of religious study, I’ve come up with only two hard, incontrovertible facts; there is a God, and, I’m not Him.
This scene struck me because of two things. The first is the statement about prayer being something we do in our time and God answering in His time. I’m not exactly sure this is Biblical, but I’m not sure it isn’t. I can’t think of any place in scripture where He promises to answer immediately. This was a great reminder for me. Like the woman in Luke 18:1-5
1 He then told them a parable on the need for them to pray always and not become discouraged: 2 ”There was a judge in one town who didn’t fear God or respect man. 3 And a widow in that town kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 4 ”For a while he was unwilling, but later he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or respect man, 5yet because this widow keeps pestering me, I will give her justice, so she doesn’t wear me out by her persistent coming.’ “6 Then the Lord said, ”Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 Will not God grant justice to His elect who cry out to Him day and night? Will He delay [to help] them? 8 I tell you that He will swiftly grant them justice. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find that faith on earth?” (HCSB)
Now I know it says that He will swiftly grant justice. But we must realize that this is from God’s perspective, not ours. “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” (2 Peter 3:8 ESV) So God maybe swift but it doesn’t appear that way to us, Daniel is another good example of this.
The second thing about this scene that struck me was the statement about not being God. That is a great reminder. Often we think we’re dictating the situation, but that simply isn’t the case.
The other scene was one with a young Vince Vaughn, yep I said that. In this scene they are at the final practice for the final game of the season and Rudy tackles Vince Vaughn’s character, Jamie O’Hara, and Jamie didn’t care for that much in the last practice. They get into an argument and the head coach, Parseghian, breaks them up and this conversation ensues.
Ara Parseghian: What’s your problem, O’Hare, what’s your problem?
Jamie O’Hara: Last practice of the season and this asshole thinks it’s the Super Bowl!
Ara Parseghian: You just summed up your entire sorry career here in one sentence! If you had a tenth of the heart of Ruettiger, you’d have made All-American by now! As it is, you just went from third team to the prep team! Get out of here!
In that moment I had to ask myself “Am I being like O’Hara or Rudy? Do I have the heart, aka the effort/emotion, of Rudy or am I just getting by with my natural talents like O’Hara?” You see Rudy has no natural talent for football, but O’Hara does. Rudy’s devotion to the end goal is what is driving him, O’Hara on the other hand is simply getting by on his natural talents. That was probably the most meaningful moment of the film for me as I watched it this time around. I think I’ve probably got the heart of O’Hara right now, not Rudy. And that needs to change.
I’m not exactly sure how to end this blog post. Here is a question for you I guess “Are you giving you’re whole heart to the task God has given you? And Him? Or are you surviving on the talents He’s already given?”
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