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Running to Win the Greatest Prize

Back in 1938, the “horse of the year” was the thoroughbred racehorse Seabiscuit. In 2003, the film Seabiscuit was an Academy Award nominee for Best Picture. Twenty years later, I rewatched the inspiring story about the amazing stallion and the people around him.

If you’re unfamiliar with the 2003 film, the story is set during the Great Depression. The main characters are a businessman who is trying to cope with the tragic death of his son, a jockey with a sad life and history of brutal injuries, and a down-and-out horse trainer who knows a few things about horses… and people. These three find themselves together to help a temperamental, undersized racehorse become a champion. Of course, Seabiscuit becomes one of the most successful thoroughbreds of all time and, along the way, inspires a nation at a time when it needs it most.

I have no doubt Hollywood “embroidered” the story –as my grandma used to say– but I was cheering loudly at the TV as Seabiscuit sprinted down the home stretch.

There are a few moments in the film which caused me to pause and thank God for his amazing love and grace. I suspect this may not have been the Hollywood producers’ intent, but it’s impossible to keep the Gospel silent.

As the story goes, the businessman buys the temperamental, undersized, and seemingly untrainable Seabiscuit for a bargain. Things are so bad with the horse they consider putting him out to pasture (so to speak). But the horse trainer sees something no one else can see and says these words,

“You don’t throw a whole life away just because he’s banged up a little.”

And there it was, a beautiful moment of grace. Yes, the horse trainer saw the terrible temperament, the unbridled rebellion, the lack of discipline, the free spirit that didn’t want to be tamed — the entire mess of a horse. But he also saw what Seabiscuit could become.

As I watched that scene, it was as if the Father was whispering to me, “Hello, Seabiscuit.”

I’m in good company. I suspect you are, too. And God has given LOGOI a whole bunch of “Seabiscuits,” too. Men and women who are quite a mess but, because of Jesus, are children of God and made perfect in His sight. There is no greater pedigree.

Over the years, some of our “Seabiscuits” at LOGOI have been alcoholics, prostitutes, gang members, beggars, militia men, thieves, preachers’ kids, teachers, elders, deacons, pastors, professors, and even a few mission leaders. When others could see no good or potential in us and wanted to “put us out to pasture,” Jesus claimed us and in effect said, “You don’t throw a whole life away just because he or she is banged up a little.”

While most of us will not win “horse of the year” or beat a Triple Crown winner by four lengths, we who belong to Christ have already been given the greatest prize imaginable: Jesus.

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10).

So, from one “Seabiscuit” to another, would you join me in helping other “Seabiscuits” run their races? As a reminder, it costs LOGOI less than $60 a year to provide on-going, on-the-job Bible training and resources to Spanish-speaking “Seabiscuits” wherever they live and serve. We are running precariously behind in our monthly support this year and sincerely and prayerfully ask for your generous partnership.

As the Apostle Paul said, “Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!” (1 Corinthians 9:24). After all, “You don’t throw a whole life away just because he or she is banged up a little.”


P.S. Please click here to help equip LOGOI's "Seabiscuits" in their ongoing mission to spread the Good News throughout the Spanish-speaking world.

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