Borg vs. McEnroe

This is a 2017 film about tennis, rated 6.9 on IMDB, but if you have any interest in sports you would rate it much higher. It is a very well told and interesting story of these two apparent opposites. I played tennis in high school and was the number one player on our team. Our coach, who knew nothing of tennis, presented me with a school athletic letter and said before the entire student body, “This is a game that Steve will enjoy his entire life.” I never had one tennis lesson and he was an abominable tennis coach, but he was exactly right, as I still play and enjoy tennis. In fact, one of my best friends ever, taught me many things on the tennis court, the greatest of which was humility. Our fellowship between odd games, included the Holy Spirit, which scripture describes, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:1

This movie touches on the mental aspects of sports, pressures on the athletes, and the pursuit of excellence. John McEnroe was an American, but brought shame and reproach upon himself and the nation with his frequent tirads and unsportsmanlike conduct. Bjorn Borg was Swedish, a solid rock of etiquette and discipline. He had set so many records as a young player that it seemed he would break them all, but he retired at age 26, saying that he lost interest and didn’t wish to continue. Perhaps the highest honor to Bjorn Borg was in Star Trek which named the most deadly and menacing aliens, the “Borg.”

This film is very entertaining such that you can feel the tension of competition, but there is no spiritual insight or significance. Chariots of Fire was a sports movie filled with substance. In the light of eternity this film is meaningless. The world’s money, fame, and adoration are fleeting and unsatisfying even at the highest levels. All people are laid bare before God without the fictions of this world’s “achievement”. The humble servant who faithfully follows Yeshua, (Jesus’ Hebrew name) by the leading of the Holy Spirit will be a champion in heaven, though he is an outcast and laughingstock to the world. Nevertheless, if this movie only reveals the superfluous pursuit of worldly goals, it is worth watching.

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