Never Ever Say Never Again
He was who you went to the movie to see! When he first made his appearance his debut was the same. As a way of uniquely introducing himself he presented his card and said in his familiar voice “Bond, James Bond”…It was his signature statement and when we heard it we knew that action was soon to follow. When confusion and depression about what happened set in James Bond brought hope with those three little words!
Sean Connery played the first James Bond and did it for many years. From 1962 to 1969 Connery played Bond in 7 movies. He defined Bond in how people thought of him. His Bond had a Scottish accent and he had a mysterious masculinity about him He also had many sides as he dressed in his work suit for business and his tuxedo for more formal parties. Connery was also a quick wit who could bring fear to his enemies and love from the opposite sex. The whole package with Connery was known when you saw his movies and his character. How he adjusted to different cases varied depending on how he decided to solve the mysteries. Connery was very popular doing James Bond. He had a good thing going it seemed but there was a problem. Increasing tension between him and the producer was bringing him stress on and off the film set. After awhile it just wasn’t worth it in his eyes. He announced that he wouldn’t be doing Bond anymore and a replacement was brought in. The actors name was George Lazenby and he did not fill the giant shoes that Connery had stepped out of. In 1971 two years since Connery had played his last James Bond film, he was persuaded to make one more James Bond movie. It would be “Diamonds are Forever” and Connery made it clear that after this one he would never play Bond again.
Sometimes it can be a dangerous thing to say never. I have a friend named Jeremy who is also my pastor that faced the temptation of saying never but didn’t succumb to it. Not only is Jeremy our pastor but he is the lead singer of his band and every year they make a tour to England. This tour through the years has resulted in many people giving their lives to Christ. Since the trip takes several hours it is very taxing on their bodies but they make that sacrifice in hopes of reaching the lost. One trip Jeremy was telling us about was an even more unpleasant trip than usual. You see Jeremy was in the back of the plane right by the bathroom. Apparently the toilet overflowed and sewage water flooded the back of the plane. Jeremy was in the middle of all of that sewage and not only did his feet get wet but the smell was almost too much to take. Although temptation came Jeremy would not say the words “I’ll never go on this trip again.” His experience was totally unpleasant but he looked at the mission over his comfort. He also preferred to look at the positive and the good results over this bad experience.
There are times in every day life when people say never. It may be an isolated experience such as I experienced earlier this year. I was eating at a Japanese Restaurant with my son and a close friend. I had never eaten at a Japanese Restaurant before and the food was delicious. It was so good that I was trying everything on the plate and decided to eat this green stuff with a pudding like texture. It stuck together and I ended up putting the whole portion into my mouth. I discovered soon after what an awful mistake I had made. I started gagging as my mouth and throat were on fire. I had some water handy and tried to cool them off by gulping down the water. The water seemed to make the burning increase and I was literally coughing uncontrollably as the tears started running down my cheeks. It took a minute or two to finally recover. I later found out that this dish that I had so quickly stuffed in my mouth was one of the hottest things you can eat. It is called Wasabi and it is a Japanese horse radish. It’s name comes from the Wasabi tree that is grown in Japan. It was intended to be used for dipping very sparingly on the sushi part of my meal. This unpleasant experience could have made me say never again and I do think that never again will I eat Wasabi like I did. However I can see us going back to this restaurant. The food was delicious and I didn’t let the Wasabi incident ruin an otherwise delightful meal!
In Matthew 21 verses 29 through 31 Jesus told a parable involving two sons. 21:28 “What do you think? A man had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 21:29 The boy answered, ‘I will not.’ But later he had a change of heart and went. 21:30 The father went to the other son and said the same thing. This boy answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but did not go. 21:31 Which of the two did his father’s will?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, tax collectors and prostitutes will go ahead of you into the kingdom of God! 21:32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him. But the tax collectors and prostitutes believed him. Although you saw this, you did not later change your minds and believe him.” — NET Bible
This story tells us in short that actions speak louder than words. Many of us in the past have stated that we will never do something again. Often it could be warranted as my Wasabi incident would be. Instead of stuffing the whole portion of Wasabi into my mouth I would be better served eating the stuff in small portions as it was intended. Jeremy may have thought “never again” as he was breathing in the disgusting smell of sewage for hours on his trip. He never let that experience overcome him and his desire to bring others the love of Jesus.
Sean Connery made his supposedly last Bond movie in Diamonds are Forever. The movie was a huge success as Connery brought back the Bond character that was so endearing! True to his word he sat on the sidelines as others filled the Bond role. After 12 years Connery had a change of heart. I imagine that the enormous money deal he received was tugging at his decision. That alone couldn’t have been his only motivation however. He had turned down wealth before in refusing to play Bond again. The truth is that things had changed on the set and his attitude was completely different. The film was called “Never Say Never Again.” The title was based on Connery’s own statement about playing the role. The movie was a massive success and Roger Ebert in reviewing the film said it best! “It has been 12 years since Sean Connery hung it up as James Bond, 12 years since “Diamonds Are Forever,” and Connery’s announcement that he would “never again” play special agent 007. What complex instincts caused him to have one more fling at the role, I cannot guess. Perhaps it was one morning in front of the mirror, as he pulled in his gut and reflected that he was in pretty damn fine shape for 53. And then, with a bow in the direction of his friend Roger Moore, who has made his own niche as a different kind of Bond, Sean Connery went back on assignment again.”
Many of you reading this have made the never statement about forgiveness. “I will never forgive them for that!”, you might have said. It’s true that whatever happened might have had a stench comparable to Jeremy’s situation. However, when we use the never word we resign ourselves to limited thinking. It is not in God’s will for us to be unforgiving people carrying grudges. It is his will for us to let things go and let people off of the hook. The results are better for the wrong doers in our lives but more importantly they are better for us! Now we can live in peace with the love of God moving freely in our hearts. In the past you may have proclaimed the old never again slogan. You may have meant it and are on a path to take unforgiveness to your grave. Just because you said it though doesn’t mean it has to be forever. A change of heart is far more powerful than to change your mind. Words can come from an emotional hurt but heartfelt love controls our actions going forward! When God tells us what to do our first response might be NO. The blessings come when we do it anyway!