My sports-movie-junkie-buddies and I love to debate the place of particular movies in our Top-10 sports movie lists. We disagree on a lot of films (I admit, I think Field of Dreams should be a top-10 all time!), but when it comes to Rocky…he always makes our lists! Personally, I’m a Rocky IV kind of a guy, because it is so Over the Top (which is another great Stallone movie!) and has that great moment where Rocky’s opponent realizes that Rocky can’t be beat and Rocky realizes his unbeatable opponent is suddenly very beatable. Ahhhh, makes me smile just thinking about it.
But today’s speech comes from Rocky Balboa, the sixth movie in the Rocky franchise. Right before Rocky gives this big speech, his son has just told him that he’s tired of being Rocky’s kid. The boy believes life is stacked against him because of his famous father (Rocky) and the son can’t make it on his own because, right now, there are too many odds against him.
In classic Stallone style, Rocky tells his boy the truth about his current situation. Rocky pleads with his boy to stop being a victim and to step up and own his choices. Seriously, you need to watch this film, it has very little to do with boxing and so much to do with life:
I love the message: “You, me or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!” (Has there been a more eloquent or prolific voice of our day than Rocky?)
The Apostle Paul talked about the beating life deals out in 2 Corinthians 4:7-9:
“We are hard pressed on every side…perplexed…persecuted…struck down…”
The enemy deals out punches and kicks and full frontal assaults on you, especially when you are trying to live the Overboard Life. But check out Paul’s encouragement in the “…” of the above quotes:
“We are hard pressed on every side, BUT NOT crushed.”
“Perplexed, BUT NOT in despair.”
“Persecuted BUT NOT abandoned.”
“Stuck down BUT NOT destroyed.”
How do we live in the hope of these statements? A little later in the chapter Paul gives us the secret: “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” The key to standing up and moving forward when life hits hard is to look past the painful and difficult circumstances around us, and to look toward Jesus, whose eternal plan is for our good, and ultimately for His glory. When we focus on Him -- we “can get hit and keep moving forward!”
Don’t give up when you feel bombarded. Don’t surrender ground when the enemy tries to overwhelm you. Don’t relent under the pressure of opposition. For you are not crushed, in despair or abandoned, and you are certainly not destroyed. Through Christ, you will win the prize. And, as Rocky says, “That’s how winning is done!”
Go ahead and take the plunge, life is better on the water.