“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9, NIV)
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
The Lord Almighty is with us; (Psalms 46:1-3, and 7a, NIV)
Sometimes things happen and we need to be reminded that God is still God, and he’s with us, making his presence known in so many different ways. We see that happening in the movie “Race to Win” starring Luke Perry and Danielle Campbell.
Let me get the hard part over with first. This film was a little too ‘sappy’ or ‘schmaltzy’ for my taste, and the ending, although a surprise was fairly predictable. There were also a few places where the editing was a little choppy. I recognize that to get across the point that we can remember lessons learned from people that have died, that it was necessary in this film to have Dad/husband- Gentry Rhodes, played by Luke Perry- appear as a physical presence. Too much like shows such as ‘Ghost Whisperer’ or a recent medical show where ‘ghosts’ help the Docs, for my theological understanding.
Having said that, this is a family-friendly, kid-friendly movie. It’s not rated, but there is no profanity, no nudity, no sex or drug connotations, and it deals with death in a very real way.
Gentry Rhodes loves God, loves his family and loves his ranch and horses; he also has some issues—in other words, he’s not a saint, but he does instill those loves in his daughter Hannah (Danielle Campbell). After Luke dies from a sudden heart attack, the family is faced with several financial issues if they are to keep the ranch and horses that Gentry loved. And it’s Hannah on who the burden seems to fall the heaviest.
Of course, like in the melodramas of yesteryear, there is a villain; think “You must pay the rent! I can’t pay the rent! You must pay the rent! I can’t pay the rent”. Everything about the guy suggests, even the makeup, suggests that he’s the bad guy.
Hannah comes up with an idea to make money to pay off her father’s debts (gambling debts, which add up to over $100,000.00) and save the ranch. Her plan fails, but throughout the time of trial, Dad appears and reminds Hannah of how much he loves her, how much faith he has in her. He affirms her in a way that every child needs to be affirmed
This is a powerful story of faith in God, in redemption, in justice, and of affirmation (something we all need) with enough metaphors to make an English professor go giddy with joy.
Like any other film, it has its issues, but all in all, this is a good film with which to gather the family and enjoy the reminder that regardless of what’s going on in your life, that God is there to uphold and sustain you.