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Learning from Talladega Nights?

So Steph and I watched “Talladega Nights” last night. Neither of us had seen it, but she had some friends at the hospital who either loved it or hated it, so we thought we’d give it a shot. The comedy was as anticipated: funny at times, a little crude at times, and sometime just plain dumb. It did make me laugh (the part where Ricky thinks he’s on fire, and the cougar in the car, among others), but it also made me really uncomfortable (the kids before their reforming by their grandmother). Anyways, I was having my quiet time this morning, and a phrase from the movie popped into my head: “If you’re not first, you’re last.” No, it doesn’t make any sense, bu Ricky’s dad told this to him when he was a kid. Ricky lives his entire life by this statement, and he actually becomes a highly successful driver until his world falls apart after a crash. Then everything falls apart: his career, his marriage, his friendship with his best friend (sort of…you have to see the movie to understand).
And here comes the redemptive part..the phrase just made me think of how Jesus has called us to live our lives: not seeking to be first, but striving to be last. Two passages came to mind. The fist was obvious. In Mark 10:35 , Jesus says “if anyone would be first, he must be last and servant of all” (ESV). But it also made me think of how Jesus showed his love for his disciples. He took on the duties of a servant, and he washed their feet (John 13:1-17 ESV).
I’m sorry, Ricky Bobby. You’re story was entertaining, and it was heart-warming, but I’m not inspired. The words and actions of Jesus are inspiring. Now if I could only consistently follow what he says…


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