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Buckling Up (The Bourne Identity)

I’m a big fan of the Bourne trilogy, but especially the first movie (The Bourne Identity). If you haven’t seen it or need your memory jogged, Matt Damon plays Jason Bourne—a man who has been programmed to be an assassin by the CIA as part of an experimental program known as Treadstone. While on an assignment aboard a yacht in the Mediterranean, Bourne fails to kill his target because the man’s children are present with him. As a result, he is shot twice and falls into the sea. He is rescued by a fishing boat but the trauma affects his memory so that he no longer knows who he is or what he does.

The rest of the movie (and trilogy) is about Bourne trying to work through these things. What I especially like about the first movie is the nobility he displays. Despite the fact that he’s been conditioned to be an assassin, there’s something powerful within him that resists that identity and wants to replace it with something better.

He pays a woman named Marie to drive him from Zurich to Paris and before long she and Bourne are being pursued by the CIA, Treadstone assassins, and the police.  When an attempt is made on their lives, Marie goes into shock and Bourne drives them away in her car. As they later sit in the parked vehicle, she begins to realize the magnitude of what’s going on and becomes upset and confused about what to do. Bourne urges her to go to the police and tell them everything. He offers her his passport to validate her story and tells her not once but twice that he’s simply trying to do the right thing for her.

“Nobody does the right thing,” she replies—but she’s thinking. When he replies he just has to figure things out she looks at him and softly says, “So figure it out,” giving him a look of confidence that indicates she’s weighed her options and believes that her best chance is with him. He’s not so sure. As some police officers start to show up in the area he knows it’s time to leave. He offers her a final opportunity to get out: “Last chance, Marie.”

Her reply is to reach back, get her seat belt, and buckle up.

We know people who are just like that with God, don’t we? When they see the ride’s going to get a bit bumpy their response is not to bail out but to buckle up. They’re in it for the long haul! Their faith is so fixed it seems as if they’re almost oblivious to whatever the cost might be.

And how does this happen? How is it that some people arrive at such deep trust in the Father? Are they born with something in their DNA that is missing in the rest of us?

I don’t think so.

While there are several different factors that figure into the development of someone's faith, the most important aspect for them in learning to trust God is no different than that of learning to trust people—they get to know Him over time. They spend time with Him through His word. They witness His faithfulness in their lives and in the world around them. Like Marie, they don’t have everything figured out but they know their best option is with God and no one is backing them off that.

That’s the way it worked with Abraham and Sarah, Job, David, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and countless others. That’s the way it’s meant to work out with us. When tough times come calling, remember God’s faithfulness and buckle up. 

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