Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed.
Isaiah 40:4-5, KJV
My mom watched the film “Glory Road” last night and she loved it. My mom is the reason I love movies so much. Growing up, my sisters and I would watch movies with her and learn life lessons along the way. My mom called movies “stories;” she always wanted to watch a good story. Now I know why.
Movies are stories indeed, and all-the-world loves a good story. Good stories are the Bible’s benchmark and baseline; from Adam to the Anti-Christ, Biblical stories teach us and reach us like no other medium or method or mode can. Likewise, all stories, and specifically all good stories, covey vigor and vitality, power and potency, energy and efficacy as they compel us to do more and to do better and to be better than we presently are in life. After all, don’t we all want to overcome obstacles and be better persons?
“Glory Road” is the 2006 American college basketball docu-drama based on the true story surrounding the events leading to the 1966 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship. Don Haskins portrayed by Josh Lucas, head coach of Texas Western College, coached a team with an all-black starting lineup, a first in NCAA history. Glory Road explores racism, discrimination, and student athletics. Supporting actors Jon Voight and Derek Luke also star and perform admirably in principle roles.
I love “Glory Road” because it is seriously funny. It deals with a serious subject, racism in the American south in the 1960’s, yet it interjects and intertwines a healthy dose of happiness and light-heartedness in a way that helps the medicine go down. That’s right, the medicine; remember the words of Mary Popins? “A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down, in a most delightful way.”
“Glory Road” contains the medicine of the truth and the teaching that racism and bigotry and pride and prejudice is and always has been wrong. The oppressive practice and sinister system of not allowing black players to start on major teams in major sports at major universities was wrong. And thankfully the boldness and bravery and bravado of Coach Don Haskins changed all of that.
And so we learn that the road to glory is not straight or simple; it is not through flowery beds of ease but through stormy and bloody seas. The road to glory is through aches and pains, through agony and misery, through heart-ache and heart break, and mostly through oppression that must be overcome. Just ask Jesus.
So the lesson is this: what oppressive system needs to come down next? What wrong needs to be made right? What crooked thing needs to be made straight? What person or people group or population is in the valley and needs to be raised up? The truth of God’s Word will endure forever. Right will prevail over wrong, good will conquer evil, and love and truth will always win in the end.
So today I celebrate my mom, Lerotha. She taught me to love good movies, to live a good story, and to labor so that the oppressed are set free.