I love the movie “Rocky.” Yes, I’m talking about the first Rocky movie that came out in 1976. I love this movie for several reasons: I once lived in Philadelphia (where the movie is set), and I love to watch an underdog win.
Rocky’s life was nothing special until he was given the unlikely opportunity to fight Apollo Creed, the World Heavyweight Champion. After focusing all of his time, money, and talent on training to fight Apollo Creed, Rocky comes to realize the night before the nationally promoted fight that he can’t beat Creed. There’s just no way a poor wanna-be fighter can realistically beat a world-class winner.
So why bring up such an old movie now? It’s because I can relate to Rocky on a personal level. Yesterday was a tough day for me. The Evil One used others to tell me all the reasons why the book my co-author, La-Tan Roland Murphy, and I wrote will never be successful—and that it will never recoup a penny of the thousands of dollars we’ve spent to pay contributing writers, an editor, a professional marketing guru, and promotion costs on a book that God clearly told us to write. Man, just kick me and tell me to be hopeless.
Then I thought of Rocky. Realizing he could not win, he was faced with two options: either don’t show up for the fight—or show up and believe that he’s capable of giving his very best effort.
Hmm. Give his very best effort. Now why do those words ring a bell? Because in the movie “Facing the Giants,” high school football coach Grant Taylor realizes that he can’t win at anything in his life, and he is faced with, yes, two options: either give up—or turn to God, focus on Him, and give his very best effort to a God who believes in him.
That reminded me of when my husband was going through the long battle of unemployment. Innumerable people told us that Tim would never get another job. Why? Because he was too old and had been unemployed for too long. These two facts made him unemployable—from their perspective. Which happened to be the perspective of most people. Except Tim and me.
In a terrible, unenviable situation, Tim and I had, yes, two choices: either give up hoping for a new job—or believe in God’s promises that He will give us what we need and when we need it—for starters.
Like Rocky and Coach Taylor, Tim and I refused option one; there was no giving up and throwing in the towel. Instead, we put our focus on the winning team—God. And in doing so, we ignored the naysayers and believed that God can do all that He says He can do. And God did: Tim was given a good job.
Now, back to me and the naysayers and the book. Just like Rocky, Coach Taylor, and Tim, La-Tan and I have, yes, two choices: either we believe that our book cannot be successful because most books are not—or we put our trust and focus on God—who told us to write the book in the first place—and allow Him to do what He wants with it.
And so, La-Tan and I are going to ignore what is reality from a human perspective—that we cannot recoup our financial expenditures because the book can’t possibly be successful enough to do this. Instead, we are going to focus on God who says He can and He will if we choose to obey Him and leave all the consequences up to Him.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY—ALL THE GLORY
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:20 (NIV)