Thursday, January 31, 2013

Will there be Car Chases in Heaven?

Will there be car chases in heaven?  Probably not, as there won't be a reason to chase bad guys in cars.  But, according to this cool story, the master of the big screen car chase is in heaven.

As a kid, I remember my dad always talking up the car chase from the movie Bullitt as being the best ever.  I didn't really care until I saw the movie in my late teenage years and realized that my dad wasn't exaggerating.  If you've never seen the car chase, you should check it out.  It's the only car chase that I know of where the chaser becomes the chasee.  Check it out (warning, it's mildly violent and gory toward the end).

But my favorite Steve McQueen movie is "The Great Escape," the story of European prisoners of war during WWII that conducted the largest and most successful escape during the war.  McQueen plays a fictional American POW (there actually weren't any Americans at that particular POW camp) who is constantly trying to escape but is always caught, and is subsequently constantly being put in solitary confinement.  There are some fun scenes of him being captured and then handed a ball and glove, which were to be his only companions while in the box.  To pass the time, he bounces the ball off the wall.  McQueen even did all of the motorcycle stunts in the film himself.

Off camera, McQueen was apparently quite full of himself.  The article linked to above talks about how, when asked if he believed in God, McQueen replied, "I believe in me.  God will be number one as long as I'm number one."  He was renowned for his debased lifestyle, and by all accounts, was a rude jerk.

But all of that changed toward the end of his life, when he came to faith and was converted.  It's a really cool story.  At the end of his spiritual (and almost physical) rope, McQueen befriended an older, like-minded man who eventually shared his story with him.  McQueen could sense that there was something different about this man.  This piqued McQueen's curiosity, so he investigated the faith for himself, leading to his conversion.

The story goes that one of his last days on earth was spent with Billy Graham, and Graham actually gave McQueen his own Bible.  McQueen died 4 days later, with Graham's Bible on his chest, open to John 3.  This story is yet another example of how God can redeem even what seem to be the most unredeemable of people, including me, and Steve McQueen.  What a cool story of grace.

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