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Open Range

Updated on May 8, 2010

Open Range with Kevin Costner, Robert Duvall and Annette Benning

Musings about my faith

Please note: This is my corner where I talk about my faith. If you're not a person of faith, time to click to another web page. I'm pretty much a straight talker. These are my musings I'm writing down as seen through the eyes of someone who loves Jesus Christ. I fail Him every day, but I still endeavor to see everything with His eyes and His heart.

There was a movie a few years back called Open Range. Kevin Costner not only wrote and produced it but he directed and acted in the movie as well. The movie wasn't a blockbuster according to Hollywood standards - but it was a star filled (Robert Duvall, Annette Bening) excellent western that was told so well and so well acted. It has become one of my favorite movies. What was even more wonderful about the movie was it entertained me without being offensive. Plus throw in a bit of romance - and an exciting plot, and I thought it was greatly enjoyable. So well done - I own it now. I recently had the pleasure to watch it again. Again - I marveled at the excellent acting and great story line.

However, what fascinated me actually almost more than the good story and great acting was the behind the scenes commentary. It was lengthy and very revealing.

Kevin Costner is not just a moviemaker. He truly and sincerely makes this a work of art that he creates for a cinematic canvas. For example, they began the search for the place that much of the movie would be shot. Costner had in mind what he wanted. Time and time again - the crew found a place for him. He'd go to the place and it didn't meet his standards. He had a vision for the movie and he was absolutely determined to make his vision a reality and he wouldn't settle for even one small compromise. Eventually they had to MAKE the city -- an entire old western town - so that he could create the vision he had regarding how he believed strongly the old western town should look. He was like this through the entire creation of the movie apparently. He dedicated himself body, soul and mind -- every waking moment to the making of this movie for the long months it took to make it. To illustrate his utter dedication - in the last days of making the movie - the physical discomfort Mr. Costner had been feeling for weeks prior - became practically unbearable pain. He told no one. He showed up on the set every single day, ready to give it his all. The last day of the shoot, he had to be rushed to the hospital - his appendix burst and he almost died.

He had this kind of dedication for a movie.

I am a Christian. I don’t just go to church, it is a part of the fabric of my life interwoven in all that I say and do. But I so often fail to show this in my life.

Do we have even 1/10th this dedication that Kevin Costner had when it comes to Jesus Christ? I know I struggle with it. There are days when I can say, "Yep Lord - I done what ya said. I obeyed and I saw the fruits of my labor." But there are also days when the pull of this world - the things of this world - draw me away from my Lord - the only viable source of sustenance.

Yet this man literally almost gave his life just to "make pretend" become real on a movie screen. He endured hardship and eventually intolerable pain just to accomplish this project. He said the final scenes where he looks in pain - it wasn't acting - he was in serious, genuine pain.

Would that we all were able to dedicate ourselves like this to furthering the kingdom of God on earth - there wouldn't be a sinner left standing. We'd all be brothers and sisters in the Lord. Wow - imagine the power of that.

Something to think about.


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    • cjv123 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Michigan

      You've given me and anyone who reads this, something to think about Wayne Brown. Here I post what I know to be the truth according to the Bible. It is something I consider, cover to cover, to be the Word of God. I use that as my guideline. God says it, I believe it and that's really all I need to know.

      I find going to church always refreshing. I don't mean a legalistic approach to going, I mean a voluntary act. But as Pop says, God truly is everywhere. I often say to other Christians, "Your mission field can be in the middle of a crowded grocery store or at a baseball game." Our relationship with God doesn't have to be contained within the walls of a church.

      I know God calls me to be my very best for Him - I fail that often. I used Kevin Costner's dedication to his art as an example I feel I should apply in my life. I asked the question "Do we have this kind of dedication..." rhetorically. The answer - as Pop indicated, is personal to us all.

      I thank you for taking your time to share what you thought on the matter. Please stop by any time. Your thoughts are very interesting and well written. God bless.

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      I tend to agree with Poppy, it is something very personal and so much within. I know there are those who decry the silent Christian citing examples from the Bible. I am not arguing with that but at the same time I feel there are many ways to celebrate our faith and values. If they are truly ours, then that is the way they must come forth, through our own personality and manner. When it does, it is truly genuine and that is what is important to the receiver. Your example cites Costner's dedication and determination to see things through in the ways that he saw it. I think that is the exact parallel that I point out here in terms of personality and manner. Sometimes sustaining our faith and dedication is painful, maybe physically painful, but like Costner, we know the end result is worth that distraction. Faith pushes us back toward our centerline of line and we all need that from time to time. Thanks for a nice read! WB

    • cjv123 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Michigan

      Well said Pop - I don't disagree with you at all. But I do find that Iike the structure somewhat to fellowship with like-minded people. But I certainly understand what you're talking about. There is much that could be improved about organized religion.

      Thanks so much for your wise words!

    • breakfastpop profile image


      8 years ago

      Dear cjv,

      Very powerful and interesting piece. I always have so much to learn from you. For me, religion, is not about a building whether it be a church or synagogue. Everywhere you are is a church or synagogue because we all have a pathway to God. Religion is entirely personal to me and I have often found that once it gets "organized" the meaning is lost.

    • Tom Whitworth profile image

      Tom Whitworth 

      8 years ago from Moundsville, WV


      Very thought provoking and unique view of faith but I think the analogy is quite powerful and valid. Good hub.


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