“THE SEA BISCUIT SYNDROME”
It is obvious from the title that our subject matter is going to involve a horse to some degree; and in this case certainly no ordinary horse. I will however draw the main portion of discussion from the movie ‘Sea Biscuit.” Life in general is a sequence of events that affect us to some degree either in a positive or negative way. We are then left with the rest of our lives to deal with those effects. While I cannot speak on behalf of others I can say for myself that circumstances over a period of time have affected my psyche or maybe a better description would be mental attitude. So it is with this thought in mind that we will proceed to discover what the “Sea Biscuit” syndrome actually is.
The feel good movie is about triumph over tragedy but not just one tragic moment, it is about many tragic moments that bring at first glance, hopelessness. We first see the tragedy of a Father who loses his young son to an accident. Enter a young boy who is given up by his parents who during the depression felt they could no longer care for him. Then there is a trainer who has a gift for fixing broken things, mainly horses. We find him homeless and wandering aimlessly through life. And finally the horse that was expected to be great in stature and a record setting thoroughbred. Instead, he was smaller than normal and had an uncontrollable disposition. The common denominator in all of these circumstances is that each of the events that brought tragedy to their lives was out of their control and they had no power to change them; or so they thought.
The Father who was once a social icon withdrew into himself and had become a broken man. The young boy grew into a young man full of anger and bitterness, the trainer found temporary solace by rescuing an injured horse and nurturing him back to health, and the horse, well, he had been passed from owner to owner. We are often touched by such stories because we too have been victimized by circumstances that were beyond our control. We lay awake at night trying to hold back the sunrise for the pain it will bring and we will do it every night that we are reminded of the injustice. In the midst of it we see others who overflow with joy and passion for life, leaving us with the mirror that reflects an image we despise with every ounce of our being. It just isn’t fair we think, but cannot untangle this huge ball of string that is made from the loose ends of our past. We are victims of the “Sea Biscuit Syndrome.”
As the movie unfolds all of their paths cross and as if they were distinctly placed puzzle pieces and before long we see that the picture begins to take shape. Each one of their circumstances somehow becomes the solution to the others need. Now, what is powerful about this life application is that we in general try to do life on our own. We were never designed to exist that way; it’s not and never will be healthy for any of us. What you and I have been through will at some point be an ingredient that will be added to the life cycle of circumstances that will affect our future. The difficulty lies in our ability to believe it enough to let go of the past and take the chance.
Among the many powerful truths we can gleam from this story, there is one that is life altering. There is a scene in the movie where they’re running Sea Biscuit to see what he can do. As the trainer watches the horse he realizes that the horse is not performing up to his potential. When he does the research on the horse’s past he discovers that the horse was used to train other horses to break out from the pack during the race. In Sea Biscuits case he was held back in order to build the confidence of the other horses. In simple terminology Sea Biscuit was trained tolose! Regardless of his abilities all he knew to do was lose! This is so abusive even in the scope of an animals psyche; imagine when this is done to a person. This was not and never will be how we were designed to live.
Sadly, circumstances beyond our control have hurled us into situations in life that have taught us to lose. We face each new day confined to the training that we are not good enough to win. Over time the training becomes conditioning that is eventually assigned to our DNA; it is who we have become. Something begins to erupt within us and our true gifting is stirred but there is no place for it to grow. Instead this misplaced energy is expressed as anger, rebellion or maybe even depression. As we look at opportunities we see them as obstacles because we are not winners. Moments that could have changed our lives are simple inconveniences that interrupt our miss placed focus on life’s shortcomings, yet all along the gifting is being stirred up within each of us.
Had not each of the lives in this movie intersected, the ending would have been catastrophic. The outcome of each of the tragedies they had faced became the missing link to the others life. As if by design each of our lives have been assigned to an appointment in time that will intersect with the lives of others. I know what it is like to be conditioned to lose; to be set up on the precipice of opportunity only to have it ripped away by circumstances out of my control. I have spent years of sleepless nights trying to physically hold back the morning because of the pain it would bring. I learned to sabotage those opportunities by justifying their impossibilities and not only did it affect my health but those that I love most. You too have faced obstacles of pain and brokenness; for some of you not just once but possibly a lifetime. But like you I have within me a desire to run like the wind. As it turned out so did the horse. The trainer took Sea Biscuit out into an open field and he told the young jockey that the horse just forgot how to be a horse, he forgot who he was. With no restraints or limitations the horse took off and let his true nature take over and he did run like the wind. He was not a loser he was indeed a champion! You were designed to run like the wind. As you begin to see yourself as you are supposed to be, you will feel the restraints of past abuse and disappointments begin to loosen and fall off. You see you’ve just forgotten who you really are.
Even though this was just a movie, the parallels to life’s applications are uncanny. There will come new seasons for you in the future. An intersection of opportunity exists that will provide for others as well as for you a new beginning. As you run toward this opportunity I can assure you there will be a tug on the reigns reminding you that this is not for you because you have been trained to lose. . The dream that has stirred in you for years is for you and it is for now. Break out and dare to believe and learn who you are really supposed to be, a winner!
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