Originally written 8/21/2007, revised 7/18/2016
I just watched the movie called “The Bourne Ultimatum”. I wanted to share some insights that were revealed to me as I watched this movie unfold. I believe that a perceptive person, if looking hard enough, can identify spiritual significance, even in the most unlikely of places. I believe this is possible because I believe that all things have the fingerprint of God upon them, for He is the Creator of all. Even when there is no intention to glorify God, I believe that the principles and character of God can be seen in anything. We’ve just got to be perceptive enough to identify it when it is shown to us.
Now, this particular movie is the third of a series based on novels. I did watch the first two movies a couple weeks prior to watching this one so that the story line would make sense. However, this particular movie seemed to stand out more. There were several things that were in the previous movies that seem to become more apparent and extreme with this installment. The major aspect that caught my attention and the focal point I want to discuss is the unrelenting and determined focus of the main character, Jason Bourne.
This character’s focus is unlike any I’ve seen before. Now, as the storyline unfolds, you find out that they were basically trained to be that way—to have this keen sense of focus. These soldiers went through vigorous training, both physical and mental, to be unseen assassins. These soldiers are given an assignment to complete and these soldiers do everything possible to complete the assignment. They don’t come up with excuses, they don’t delay, they don’t hesitate or ask questions—they execute their instructions in the most effective and timely manner possible.
I wonder how effective the Kingdom of God would be if it’s citizens—those of us who claim Christ as Savior—possessed the same focus for the calling on our lives.
One of the personifications of Bourne’s focus came through his seemingly heighten sense of perception. No matter where he was, what was going on, or what kind of pressure he was working under, he seemed to pay attention to every single possible detail. This character was able to memorize the license plate number of every vehicle parked in front of the diner he just entered. He was able to discern unbelievable facts about people at but a glance. He could look someone in the face and somewhat predict their intent and motive. He could look at a particular scene and get up to ten times as much information from it than most people looking at the same scenario. He was not content with merely perceiving the obvious, but sought more with everything, forcing his senses to pick up further information than they wanted.
This focused sense of perception is a discipline that the Church would do well to observe and learn from. He did not just wake up one day with it. It was not some magical gift or power granted him—it was something he had to discipline himself on a constant basis to achieve. It was work to accomplish that objective. Imagine if the Church got a hold of that concept. Imagine if we could see beyond the normal, the obvious, and the expected. Imagine if we looked beyond that which is presented us and ventured deeper. We would see so much more that could aid us in the ministry calling that was been placed on each of us.
Another aspect to Bourne’s superior focus was his ability to adapt to his surrounds and to utilize anything and everything to be a resource as needed. To Jason Bourne, there was no such thing as a “comfort zone”—he felt so comfortable and confident in his own skin, no matter where he was at, he was never caught off guard. It did not matter where he was, who was around, how many obstacles he faced, or what odds were against him—his focus allowed him to see his surround as an endless source at his disposal as opposed to seeing them as potential hindrances.
I recall in one scene he was in an office looking for someone when some people were sent after him. It seemed as if he was trapped, but he used the layout of the room and common items found in the room to his advantage to trick those seeking him so that he could maintain the element of surprise. To get away, knowing that more were on their way, he made a call to the police so that their arrival would be a distraction to cover his escape.
In another scene, he was in a fight with a fellow soldier, and he was using everything in the room to aid him in the fight, from a picture frame, to a rag, to other common things that people typically would not think would be beneficial in a fight.
I believe this example too can be applied to the Kingdom of God. I have heard so many people (myself included) come up with excuse after excuse as to why they cannot do the thing that God has called them to do. Most of them have to do with lack of resources. Perhaps the problem is not that we lack the resources to do what we are called to do, but rather lack the ability to perceive the resources that we do have at our disposal. Could it not be that we are too busy looking for the magnificent, the miraculous, the extravagant, and the supernatural to see what God has actually provided for us to use? Yet we sit around and wait on God to show up when it is quite possible that God is sitting around waiting on us to use what we have already got.
Yet another aspect to Bourne’s supreme focus was his seemingly reckless abandon. When this guy has his sights on something, he does not allow anything to impede his progress. He did things that do not make sense to the natural mind, just to accomplish what he set out to do. In one scene, he drove a car off of a roof to escape. In another scene, he jumps out of a window from several stories up because there were no other options left to him. Yet another scene, while driving a car, he sees that he cannot make it past a vehicle blocking his passage, so he turns the car around and backs into it at full speed.
This guy was so focused on what he was doing that little else mattered. No heed was given to the expense or ramifications involved with accomplishing what he set out to do. Even to the extent and expense of his own well-being. Several times throughout this movie, he put himself in direct danger merely to continue his pursuit. Why did he do this? Because he understood that the thing that captivated his focus was of greater value than his own welfare.
To me, this is a perfect example of Philippians 1:21, where Paul says, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” We too should display this reckless abandon when it comes to the things we are to focus on—our purpose, our ministry calling. We should be so focused on building the Kingdom and on witnessing to people that nothing else matters. Because, in reality, nothing else does matter in comparison.
We should focus so intently on how we can connect with the people around us that it doesn’t matter what happens to us in the process. So many Christians are concerned about their own personal preservation of life—it is sad. What good is this life if you don’t actually live it? For, you cannot truly live until you walk in the purpose God created you for. What good is your life if you are not fulfilling your purpose?
It is my hope that I am not the only one who can see how this character’s focus can apply to all of us who have been adopted into the Kingdom of God. I hope that people can understand the need for a keener sense of focus in their lives. I pray that God would reveal the truth of this to everyone who reads this. Perhaps one day a movie will be make based on the lives of Christians that read this and decided to personify the principles therein and call this movie, not “The Bourne Focus”, but rather “The Christian Focus”.