Sunday, October 31, 2010

Go Big Red!

No, this is NOT a post about the Nebraska Cornhuskers...although we did play a very good game against Missouri yesterday and won. :-) This post is about another Big Red...also known as Secretariat. Garth and I went to see this movie last night and if you haven't seen it, you should. It was EXCELLENT! In case you don't know, Secretariat won the Triple Crown in 1973...the 2nd most exciting event to happen that year. :-)

Seriously, there were several lessons to be learned through this movie and I wanted to share four of them with all of you.

First, Secretariat was sired by Bold Ruler, whose offspring wasn't known for their stamina, and Somethingroyal who was an older mare. In the movie, Penny Chenery Tweedy won Secretariat (who hadn't been born yet) by losing a coin toss. Somethingroyal's unborn foal was considered less desirable than the other foal. This made me think of older orphans and orphans who have medical conditions. Many people consider them to be "less desirable" because they think they will have more problems, they will have more trouble bonding, they will have the medical issues to deal with, etc. But just like Secretariat, they are not "2nd best". They deserve the chance to be the best that they can be and I bet parents who have adopted older children or those with a medical condition will tell you that they are the best...not 2nd best.

Second, Penny was not really supported by her family. Her brother automatically wanted to sell the farm because it had been losing money and her husband also wasn't too thrilled about having his wife being gone for long periods of time to take care of the farm. They tried to get her to sell it several times so they could be finished with it. But Penny stood her ground and wouldn't give up. I know several adoptive families who have someone in their family who is not very excited about their adoption plans, and I would guess that the majority of adopting families would tell you that there was someone who either tried to talk them out of it or was just generally not supportive of their plans. This is when we need to stand strong and not let someone else convince us to give up our dreams and lose what will undoubtedly be one of the most exciting days of our lives...the day we bring our child(ren) home.

The Belmont Stakes was the 3rd race that Secretariat would have to win to win the Triple Crown, and it was the longest race out of the three. In the movie, there is a scene where Lucien Laurin, Secretariat's trainer, and Penny are discussing the training of Secretariat for this race. Most trainers at the time didn't train as hard before the Belmont Stakes so their horse would be well-rested for the longest race. But Lucien knew that Secretariat LOVED to run and he was considering training Big Red hard before the race in the hopes that he would run faster each time, which is what they ended up doing. While training him, you could see others watching and Penny makes a comment about them thinking they were training Secretariat too hard. In the end, their unusual training worked, as Secretariat won with a time of 2:24 and won by 31 lengths, which has never been beaten yet. Sometimes, we have to go against conventional wisdom to do what you think will be best for you. History is full of these stories, the men who go against the odds to create something that others think is foolish, or embark on a new path that isn't the norm. Even though people might look at you like you grew a second head or outright say that they don't agree and think it's a bad idea, stick to your guns and don't give up just because someone says you should.

Lastly, when Secretariat eventually died in the fall of 1989 at the age of 19, they performed an autopsy on him. Now this part wasn't in the movie, but his heart was about 2-1/2 times the size of a normal horse. Not only was it bigger than normal, it was perfect. The veterinarian who performed the autopsy was quoted as saying "We just stood there in stunned silence. We couldn’t believe it. The heart was perfect. There were no problems with it. It was just this huge engine." This perfect enlarged heart is what his stamina is attributed to. Similarly, I believe that God gives families an enlarged heart for orphans. Now it might not be larger physically, but certainly emotionally. I believe God gives us these enlarged hearts also for stamina, as the adoption process is not a sprint, it is a marathon. You can usually tell who these people are because they talk about orphans A LOT! As one of the people with an orphan-enlarged heart, I can honestly tell you that we are NOT trying to drive you crazy with our fundraising endeavors, e-mails asking you to help orphans, or blog posts about orphans, but when the Lord puts something on your heart, it's really hard to think about anything else. Most of us sit in our nice warm homes with all the amenities that we enjoy like heat, air conditioning, TVs, toys, games, multiple cars, washing machines and dryers, enough food in our freezers and pantries to feed us for at least a month, automatic dishwashers, etc. without another thought to how others are living. But those of us who have an enlarged heart for orphans are thinking about those orphans who barely have enough food to eat, don't have a blanket or coat to keep them warm, and no toys to play with. It breaks our hearts and we wish we could save EVERY orphan out there and that makes us try everything we can to get others to help out as well.

There were some other lessons to learn from the movie, but those were the ones that spoke to me, personally. So again, if you haven't seen it, you should. It is even OK for children to see. It was also very refreshing to see a movie with no profanity, sex, or violence. So once again, GO SEE IT! Oh, for those of you who are still wondering what the most exciting event was in 1973, well on April 1 of that year, Ned and Linelle Kelley were blessed with their favorite (and only) daughter...and named her Carmen. :-)

God Bless!

1 comment:

  1. I really, really want to see that movie. Since I was a big ten year old girl in 1973, I actually remember Secretariat racing!


Today I Kissed an Angel

Today I kissed an angel. I knew it from the start. The first time my angel smiled at me; I gave away my heart.

Today I kissed an angel; This angel child of mine. Though not of my creation, My child by God's design.

Today I kissed an angel. My heart is dancing wild; Our family, by a miracle; Blessed by our angel child.

All I Really Want by Steven Curtis Chapman