It seemed that Stallone was really connected to this character for some reason; as if the role that he was playing was more than a character to him. After years of being a Rocky nut, I learned that Stallone was a very religious man; and that the movie DID have a much deeper message than that of a boxing fan turned actor. The importance of faith, integrity, and goodness were obvious to anyone who watches these movies. But there is something much more imbedded at the center of the theme. Paraphrasing Stallone, the movie started with him sparing in an old church with a painting of Jesus Christ on the wall. This set a very meaningful parallel for the premise of all the Rocky movies. Stallone pointed out that Jesus was born for a specific purpose, was turned out by His own people, and yet sacrificed everything for them. The character Rocky, just as each of us, was born to fill a specific purpose. Each of us has a plethora of obstacles that we must overcome, and a lifetime of temptations that we must fight daily to accomplish that purpose. It is only through hope in our Father God that we can see this purpose fulfilled.
To me, it was so ironic that the thing that plagued Stallone was a host of people that argued that he was not good enough to play the role of Rocky himself. A huge part of the argument was in the speech impediment that he had; sounds so much like Moses huh?! Feeling like we are not-and have not been GOOD enough to fulfill God’s work is a trick that the enemy uses to keep us trapped in our “me box’s”. When confronted with MY “me box”, the same image (Numbers 13-14) comes to mind; of the twelve spies that God told Moses to send to scout out the land of Canaan (the PROMISED LAND). The men came back with a report of the riches that the land indeed held, but also of the impenetrable fortifications and strength of the enemy. As one of the spies named Caleb (with Joshua’s support) quieted the people and ordered in confidence that they could take the land, the remaining ten spies put down any such notion; in that moment they had lost touch with the many miracles that God had made happen to deliver them over the last 40 years. The ten doubtful spies fell to the same trick that the enemy fills our minds with daily; doubt. It is so easy, throughout the many seasons of our lives, to forget about the times that God has delivered us through the storms! The spies had long forgotten about the weapon that should have been the driving force behind what motivated them. Joshua and Caleb had not forgotten the Red Sea, waters turned to blood, Marah’s sweetened waters, water flowing from the rock in the Desert of Zin, the burning bush, and the Ten Commandments. Not to mention the life story of Moses himself in which God took a child born into slavery, strategically/purposefully delivered him into royalty (to SET HIM UP to receive his PURPOSE), then breaking his heart for the people that would inspire him to leave a life of luxury; the slaves of Egypt (his people).
What gave Caleb and Joshua their DRIVE were the past victories that God had performed to get them to where they were; this is the greatest weapon that any of us have in our tool bag today. What has He delivered YOU through? When we finally realize that God is CAPABLE, ABLE, and WILLING to fight on our behalves we learn to use our past victories in Him as motivation and hope. Then, and only then can we live with REAL purpose! At that moment that we stop running from a past that He has already defeated for us. God will take us up off the “mat” of life and help US to deliver the K.O. punch to the enemy of our PAST, PRESENT, and FUTURE!
From One Who Struggles…
"There’s money in 'nem walls"! I heard my dad say that a hundred times that summer as we worked to tear down an old white farm house that had belonged to the McCoy family in the neighborhood of my youth (as in THE Hatfield and McCoy's). According to legend, the McCoy’s had robbed banks and taken part in all kinds of mischief. But were our McCoy’s the “real McCoy’s”? Well, given the opportunity to get a laugh out of his gullible young son, my dad insisted they were one in the same. Upon buying their old family home, my dad got a lot of kicks by teasing us about some potential treasure hidden in the walls or the floor of that old home. I can still remember sitting on the front porch with Mrs. McCoy when I was a younker, but Mr. McCoy passed long before I was born. None-the-less, there we were, tearing that old house down board-by-board to clear out a footpath between our home and my grandmothers house. That summer, my nephew was learning to walk and he followed along at the heals of my dads every step. Though we never did find any treasure, I did learn one the most valuable life lessons that my dad taught me; though I would not understand it’s meaning in full for a very long time.
There were two old chimneys on that old house. One was in much worse shape than the other and was covered with the largest living honeycomb I have ever seen; we saved it for last due to my dads terror over bees. As we began bringing the other chimney down, dad wanted to use the old bricks to line our driveway, so with a little guy following with a brick or two in his Little Tykes dump truck, dad and I made several small piles of bricks around the house. One day, as we were bringing down what remained of the walls surrounding the weaker of the two chimneys, the honey-comb encrusted tower came crumbling down on it's own into a massive pile of rubble on the ground. My uncle David, who had been asked to come on board as the family bee expert, looked at my dad and asked "what now"? Dad just smiled and then looked toward me with his warm grin. It was at that moment that I got my great summer assignment; there was one massive pile of brick and several small ones that needed to be moved to particular locations targeted around our planned driveway and walkway to my grandmothers. I started with the little piles first, moving one mound at-a-time by wheelbarrow. My dad questioned my starting with the smaller piles of brick as he got that sideways grin on his face joined by a warm-hearted laughter as he said: "Boy-move mountains, not molehills!"
All summer dad spoke life into me, not just about working harder but to impress upon me real and meaningful wisdom about what was important in life and the dangers of getting lost in the momentary happiness found in our hobbies and material lives. I will NEVER forget the image forged into my mind that summer; only in time did I begin to understand what his words really meant. I can still see those small piles of brick surrounding the HUGE mountain that I saved until last. That large mountain of bricks represented much more that a pile of rubble; it stood for that which we tend to put off in exchange for the quick satisfaction found in the smaller goals we find easier to accomplish. That large mountain represented the more meaningful goals that take more effort but provide us with true joy through hope and contentment.
So often we are seduced into filling our lives with things that will bring us momentary happiness: a laugh, a fond memory, peace of mind, a sense of accomplishment, or a tad of excitement. We can fall into the temptation of making such moments the premise of our lives; splicing one next to the other as in scenes from a movie. When we do this, we can so easily put off what is in the background-something much greater; that which gives us purpose and hope. Why do we do this? We know that there is more to life, we can sense it; but we avoid it because it requires something extra of us. Proverbs 6:4 makes clear that we should not procrastinate the things that are required to make us wiser in our relationship with God. Our Father warns us of laziness not just so that we become hard workers, but more so because we must learn that there are many obstacles that we must overcome-temptations that we must learn to avoid if we are going to become connected in the bigger picture; our relationship with Him. This relationship takes work, and we can’t avoid that which could bring us lasting joy by tripping over every loose rock on the trail! MOVE MOUNTAINS-NOT MOLEHILLS!
-From One Who Struggles!