Faith overcomes all! That’s truly the lesson and story we can take. Its our belief, which sustains us. Faith is something we need on the job. At work. In our office spacing. Sometimes, needing that faith, before entering into the office. That belief guides us to undaunting hope and love that we are cared for and protected. That there is a greater power, than ourselves. And, that protection doesn’t end, even as we labor. In fact, sometimes we need faith and hope, more than ever, in our workplace. When things go wrong, and sudden changes are made, sometimes, we just have to believe, and take that first step.
The film, Overcomer, is a living testimony to the miracles, that can happen when we believe, and take on drastic challenges on the job, and in life. In the “real world,” Hannah Scott had everything going for her to be a statistic. Absence of her father, a drug addicted mother who lost her life, and an overwhelmed grandmother, working 2 or more jobs just to take care of her. It all seemed like the ideal narrative for a young, Black American girl on the verge of being another teen mom, or high school drop-out. Statistically speaking, that is. Much work had been done. And there was much work to do. The question is, who would step out of the comfort zone, to do . . .the work?
For Hannah Scott, her presence was truly a lesson of faith-and not in the way that we think of it!
One of the most important messages within the film is how hope works in mysterious ways. Something often heard in Black American culture. Sometimes, what we thought we were meant to do on the job, is not what we get. What we were aiming for doesn’t come into fruition. We are devastated, disgusted, and downright angry. At work, we had a plan. It was the perfect plan. And yet, it failed to come through. Not only did our plans not come through, they were practically tarnished. Bummer! Who wants to go back to the drawing board after that? Who even wants to look at the board?
Coach John Harrison (Alex Kendrick) faces a huge dilemma. Not only has the local manufacturing plant shut down, but that shuts down his entire sports team for the coming season. Forget about any hopes of securing a state championship. Throw away the playbook because it won’t be needed. What’s a coach to do?
Work has that tendency, you know. Sometimes the boss, or just sheer coincidence, decides to knock us off our feet. We get so caught up in our emotions, and forget its a test. We are being tested, and how are we going to step up to the challenge, is one of the fascinations of this test. Such comes with the territory of work. Yet, we are presented with an option. We can walk away from the challenge-not a very good luck for the higher-ups, by the way-or we can suck it up and. . .step up!
Here’s a secret: Its often from the unlikeliest of colleagues and co-workers, who will help us overcome that challenge.
Walking in to help Coach Harrison meet this challenge is young teen, Hannah Scott (Aryn Wright-Thompson). She’s the new member on the team. Not only is she new on Coach Harrison’s cross country team, but she is the only member of the team. She’s the team! Ta-da! Plus, she has never run cross-country before, and she has asthma. The perfect champion to be made. Seriously. Because in this scenario, Coach Harrison did start off with a top notch athlete. No, Sir! He had to make one! Now, that’s the real challenge. With his wife, Amy Harrison (Shari Wiedmann), son, Ethan Harrison (Jack Sterner), Principle Olivia Brooks (Priscilla Shirer), and another surprising guest, Coach Harrison gets that necessary support in learning a whole new process, in starting over.
Starting over isn’t always fun. In fact, it rarely is. Its never fun. It can be aggravating, frustrating, and enraging. Who wants to start over on a project, that one has been working on for months? Or, what about that department you have been in for years? Without any notice, you have been switched to another wing in the company. Like Coach Harrison never having coached the very sport of cross-country, its unfamiliar territory, and an area that we have not even worked in. Even worse, because we have just started working there, we get a nice little pay cut. Now, isn’t that sweet? I guess Coach Harrison can forget about a winter, family vacation.
Things look like they are going wrong on the job. What if, in actuality, it was all going right? That, although we have had to start over, we are really being led down a new path. Its a journey, that will direct us to a unique, successful passion, we never saw coming. We learn new skills we never thought we had. Furthermore, there is discovery into a new realm in our work space. And, had we not been challenged, and kicked out of our comfort zone, we would have never known that there was another wing in the company, with our name written all over it.
One of the fascinating highlights of the film is the overwhelming support of Coach Harrison , and his training of Hannah. It just goes to show that during that drastic change in our career, it pays to keep our cheer squad around. Whether that pertains to fellow colleagues, family, or friends. There just always needs to be an element of support in some of our toughest, and most unusual, work projects and circumstances. Even allowing them on part of that journey with you, will can make the challenge that much sweeter. Soon enough, with time and patience, you begin to like this new work project. You see how it has transformed your professional career? And, you understand how you have re-discovered yourself, and talents, through an unfamiliar project. Its a wonder!
After having faith, perseverance, and simply trusting in one’s capabilities, Coach Harrison sees the rewards. It was more than what he bargained for. Things were a little tough in the beginning. Getting over that first hurdle. Checking our attitudes at the door, while digging the necessary footprints in the beginning of our new gig. We keep going. Before we know it, we have found success in this new work endeavor. Going into unfamiliar territory paid off. And, we learned that clearly the higher-ups chose us for a reason. No, they were not trying to make your life difficult, or take pleasure in your discomfort. In actuality, they saw that hidden talent, and had to find a way to get you to discover it. They believed in you enough, to propel you into higher grounds. Not only did it boost your self-esteem, but it serves as a valuable asset to the company. You win. The team wins. Its a company win. And, its all because you jogged into unfamiliar steps.