I picked up several of the pre-viewed movies at Blockbuster this Saturday and the last one was “Million Dollar Baby”. I hadn’t intended on getting it, but it was in the $4.99 area and I had heard it was good, so I figured, “why not? It’ll cost more to rent it and see.” What a mistake…maybe.
It’s a great movie until around the 2/3 mark when it turns into a Right-To-Die campaign and carries that line right through the end. In case any readers don’t understand what I mean by “Right-To-Die” (or in case I’m misusing it), I mean the position stating that individuals should have the right to choose death when an illness or condition (such as paralysis) reduces their quality of life below their acceptable level. This movie, of course, portrays it as the merciful choice and ruins what could have been a story of perseverence and overcoming great odds.
I will admit that I have not been in a situation where someone extremely close and dear to me was in a similar state. My grandmother’s dementia/Alzheimer’s was a prolonged and gradual process of degradation spanning some 15 years. Even so, in those last years when she could neither speak, take care of herself in any capacity (even the basic functions of life), or recognize those she loved, she brought joy to those around her — her family — and gave many opportunities for the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be proclaimed in several nursing homes and hospitals. Can I speak for her or the person in an incapacitated state? No.
Yet, I would like to cite a line in the movie: “I would die a happy man/woman in light of all I’ve accomplished in life.” Perhaps this would be true for the born-again Christian on the day God takes him/her home, but for the unsaved person, this is a different story. A 1980s (I think) pop song said, “maybe heaven is a place on earth”. Technically speaking, that statement is true for unbelievers. This life is the best anyone is going to get apart from Christ. Thus, if you define “heaven” as the best life can get, to the unbeliever, this is it. Regardless, though, of your position in Christ, either live because this is as good as it gets, or live because you have a mission from God to glorify Him in this body until He takes you home.
Someone saying the movie line in the beginning of the prior paragraph would quickly change their opinion the moment this life ended. Again, have I been that person? Of course not. But I have the God-inspired Scriptures and the testimony of the God-man who died and rose again to tell me that truth. There is only one door from this life that leads to another life. His name is Jesus. Any other door simply leads from death to death, no matter how much glory and how many flowers surround it this side of eternity.
On a parting note with a positive spin, at least I can say that “Million Dollar Baby” was thought-provoking. For that, it wasn’t a mistaken purchase. On the other hand, if I had a punching bag, it would also provoke a series of kicks and punches.
“Protect yourself at all times” (MDB). Not all attacks are in the form of fists and feet.