Remember the movie Rudy? I recently caught the tail end of it with my youngest son, @aaronelson. He and I both have seen the movie and caught bits and pieces of reruns on television numerous times. But, it never gets old! It really is a great story.
Aaron and I came in on the part of the movie where Rudy had been promised an opportunity to suit out for the last Notre Dame home game. The promise however, had been lost in the transitions of a head coaching change. Having left no stone unturned, Rudy had done everything humanly possible to see his dream of playing for Notre Dame become reality. But, the odds having been so deeply stacked against him... it seems only inevitable that his last chance at suiting out and his dream is now lost.
This is a pivotal moment in the story. Every great story has these moments. Its times like this when right and wrong are easily distinguishable… and the ability for good to triumph lay in the hands of others.
You see, Rudy was all out of options. There was nothing left for him to do. But, he was still (pardon the expression) shy of the goal line. He needed a miracle. And, as the story goes… in the eleventh hour, Rudy got one!
Rudy's teammates stood in the gap. Moved with compassion and a sense of justice, they each individually go to the head coach to plead Rudy's case. One by one they lay their jerseys on the coach’s desk and say, "Let Rudy play in my place."
In the movie, the first one to make that request was team captain and All-American Roland Steele. The head coach responds to Steele's request by saying, "Don't be ridiculous. Georgia Tech is one of the top offensive teams in the country. You're an All-American and our team captain; act like it."
Steele replies by saying, "I believe I am."
This would not have been a popular or easy thing for Steele to do. He risked a great deal to stand up for Rudy... to stand up for what was right... to lead his team in such an unpopular campaign.
Doing right never really is an easy thing to do. There has always been and always will be great opposition against that which is good and right. But I would encourage you to stand fast and hold true to that which you know to be right and just.
The Rudy movie included some adaptations to the storyline in order to make the movie more dramatic. In real life, there was no Roland Steele and… in real life, the Coach had already approved Rudy to dress for the final home game. These things didn’t really occur the way the movie portrayed the events. But, events like the ones portrayed in the movie are played out in every day life all the time and all around us.
We each play the various parts of these stories. You will have the opportunity to be a “Rudy” at some point in your life. You will also have the opportunity to be a “Roland Steele” and the “head coach.” Your actions and your conduct will have both an impact on lives in this time and space as well as leaving a mark for all eternity.
the very tree of life
When the time comes for you to play the part of Rudy… “Don’t lose your grip on love and loyalty. Tie them around your neck; carve their initials on your heart. Earn a reputation for living well in God’s eyes and the eyes of all people” (Proverbs 3:3-4).
When the time comes for you to play the part of a Roland Steele… “Never walk away from someone who deserves help; your hand is God’s hand for that person” (Proverbs 3:27-29).
When the time comes for you to play the part of the coach… “Don’t look for ways to take advantage of others who are trusting and unsuspecting. God cannot tolerate a twisted soul. It’s the straightforward who get His respect” (Proverbs 3:5-12).
Friends, in all things… let's be fully surrendered to the Father and allow Him to direct our every thought, word, and action!