Tamara's Journeys

Journeys as great as the destinations.

Million Dollar Arm

May 17th, 2014

This afternoon I sat behind home plate watching “Million Dollar Arm” as a sports agent staged an unconventional strategy to get talented Indian cricket players to pitch for Major League Baseball.

Million Dollar Arm is a Disney movie based on the true story about a sports agent that goes to India to try and find the next big major league baseball pitcher. Bernstein needs to get some new clients, so he figures why not try India? He takes a trip to India and has a talent hunt, in the form of a reality show called Million Dollar Arm, in which the winner will win a trip to America and the chance to try out for the major leagues.

What makes this movie work is the performances from all the actors. It’s a grand slam performance. Jon Hamm, with his flawlessly groomed stubble and cocky grin, plays the haughty, all business sports agent Bernstein with ease. The two stars of the show are Suraj Sharma, the star of Life of Pi who plays Rinku and Madhur Mittal, the older brother from Slumdog Millionaire who plays Dinesh. Both of them perform their roles very beguilingly and inspire affection for their characters so you’ll become emotionally invested in them and their journey. The rest of the supporting cast also perform their roles very well especially Lake Bell who was impressive in her role as Brenda. She does a fantastic job as the mediator between JB and the boys, helping JB come down to earth to treat the boys right.

There are times the comedy in the movie is hilarious. I am not a baseball fan, and yet I found myself laughing and cheering several times throughout the movie. I enjoyed every moment of it because the main focus isn’t on the sport, but the relationships built. These two Indian boys are still teenagers that have never been far from home. They’re scared, nervous, alone, and don’t know English. This is an emotional roller-coaster for everyone involved and watching it unfold is touching and beautiful. The direction and editing are also pretty impressive.

During the end credits, they show pictures and video of the real Rinku and Dinesh from India that the movie is based on. You will also get a recap of what happened to them after the try outs. It’s rated “PG” for some mild language and has a running time of 2 hours & 4 minutes.

Million Dollar Arm is a predictable, motivating sport film from the Disney field of dreams. Run the bases to see this feel-good film with your family. Don’t let it slip by you, even if you’re not a sports fan.

Whaddifs & Howells: The Burden of Worry

May 17th, 2014

He leads me beside the still waters. Psalm 23:2b

I am currently working with a 90-year-old patient who’s worried about everything. All the time. So anxious she can’t eat. So worried she can’t sleep. “What’s wrong? You’re making wonderful progress.” I inquire empathetically. And she shakes her head and replies, “I’ll never be what I was. I need to set a better example for my kids.”

As adults, we seem to worry about so many things. I imagine worry as the burlap bag of burdens, overflowing with “whaddifs” and “howells.” “Whaddif it rains when I have plans?” “Howell I know if I’m doing the right thing?”

The burlap bag of worry. It’s cumbersome. Unattractive. Scratchy and impossible to give away. No one wants your worries, not even you. The Biblical word for worry is merimnao which is Greek for divide the mind. Anxiety splits our energy between today’s priorities and tomorrows problems. The result is being half-minded.

But that’s not the only result. Chronic worrying can also lead to the physical manifestations of high blood pressure, heart troubles, migraines and stomach problems. Anxiety is a costly habit. And futile.

If worry has never solved a problem, how do we deal with it? Look to God’s promise in Psalm 23:2. “He leads me beside still waters.” And in case we missed it, verse 3 states, “He leads me in the path of righteousness.” He leads me. He isn’t behind us yelling “Go!” He is in front of us, clearing the path and showing the way.

He leads us. He tells us what we need to know, when we need to know it. We will be given help when we need it like the child trying to lift bags off the airport turn style. Or the Israelites that were given manna during their time of need. One day at a time. Trusting in Him to provide frees us to enjoy the present.

God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. The key is to meet today’s problems with today’s strength. Don’t start worrying and tackling tomorrow’s problems until tomorrow. You only have strength for today.

I know it’s easier said than done in today’s culture. But, allow me encourage you to set down the burlap sack. Stop letting worry rob you of rest. You can’t prevent anything by staying awake all night, or postpone anything by thinking about it over and over again. Trust that God is in control. Leave tomorrow’s worries until tomorrow.

There are five important words that stand out in the hymn Lead Kindly Light, “Lead kindly light … Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see the distant scene. One step enough for me.” (http://youtu.be/piUDbCtgymw)

God isn’t going to let us see the distant scene, so we may as well stop looking for it. He promises a lamp upon our feet, not a crystal ball to see the future. We don’t need to know what will happen tomorrow. We need to trust Him to be our caring shepherd to lead us to green pastures and beside still waters.

Thank you God!




Tamara's Journeys

Journeys as great as the destinations.