King Richard

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When I was a child, my mother had plans for me. She told me she wanted me to do better than her. She meant to do better financially, academically, professionally, and more. She had seen potential in me at an early age to excel in school and knew that I could go far in life. She had these hopes and dreams for me, perhaps before I was born. 

The fact that mom did this harkens back to God’s purposes for our lives. He wants us to become what he has called us to be. He planned these things way before the world began, not just before we were born. In 2 Timothy 1:9 it says, “He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.” The plans before we were born is one concept that King Richard picks up on. 

King Richard is a movie about the famous tennis players Venus and Serena Williams and their family, especially their father, “King Richard” (Will Smith). Smith’s performance is Oscar-nominated and Oscar worthy, because he literally becomes the character in his mannerisms, speech, heart, attitude, and conviction. Smith’s acting alone makes the movie top notch. I highly recommend the movie to watch with family, because it raises the legacy of the Williams sisters even more. 

Many of us have watched the Williams sisters' public lives, but the movie illuminates the behind-the-scenes of how they became the consummate professionals they are today. King Richard has some very unorthodox and unconventional methods to teach and train the girls to be professional tennis players, including a 78-page plan for their whole career, written before they were even born. This plan includes tennis, education, foreign languages, and other details. Most of what King Richard predicted came true.

This made me think of our God and how he has planned our lives down to the very detail. The fact that God has a plan for our lives is laid out in Psalm 139. It says, “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” The Bible also says in Jeremiah’s call that he was known by God before he was born, and that God had plans for Israel in chapter 29:11. We serve a God who plans ahead, and his plans were established before we got here. 

My mother had plans, and they were general, but our God has very specific plans for us. Our purpose is to bring glory and honor to him by living for him. Just like King Richard, who predicted what his daughters would be and then helped them to become just that, God has predestined us to live for him and then helps us to become like his Son. That’s good news. (Warner Bros., streaming on Apple TV+ and Amazon Prime)

About the Author

Darrell L. Delaney lives in Grand Rapids, Mich., and is pastor of Madison Church, Square Campus. He and his wife of 17 years, Kia, have three children.

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