Film Review: Time to Run
Hello everyone! If you are reading this review on its release day, then I’d like to wish you a joyful and peaceful Sabbath.
This week’s film review is for the film, Time to Run, produced by Frank R. Jacobson
and directed by James F. Collier
Love Gave Him the Chance of a Lifetime
Originally seen by more than 6 million people in theaters, Time to Run is the powerful coming-of-age story of Jeff Cole, a student environmentalist, who shames the legacy of his father. He vandalizes equipment where his father works at the nuclear power plant, abandons everyone who loves him, including his girlfriend Michelle. On the run from his family, the authorities, and most of all God, Jeff finally confronts the deep hole in his life that only one thing can fill.
The film starts with a poetry school assignment that Michelle, is trying to read to her companion. The poem is called, The Hound of Heaven. Michelle identifies the hound of heaven as God. The young man, Jeff, is not interested in listening to it, and keeps interrupting her. Michelle is a Christian, Jeff is not, neither are his parents. The young man, Jeff, has the same relationship to his father that he does to God, his heavenly Father - rebellion. Jeff is determined to rebuke his father through intellectual arguments, which his father rejects by presenting his intellectual arguments. Neither the son or his father are reaching out to each other with love in their hearts. Instead, they use their intellect to try and prove each other wrong. Jeff’s mother is in the middle, trying to keep the peace - unsuccessfully.
I was reminded of these verses: Ephesians 6:4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord and Colossians 3:21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. Even when Jeff retreats to his run, his father pursues him, saying he doesn’t have to knock on Jeff’s bedroom door, because it was his house. His father uses words like stupid, fool and accuses Jeff of not contributing to anything. As Jeff is fleeing his home in anger, the only response his father has is to ask his son to return his credit card before he walks out the door.
Jeff’s mother said her first mistake was trying to explain her husband to her son. This resulted in their relationship being strained too.
There is a scene where a supervisor of the nuclear plant holds a presentation in the school Jeff and his girlfriend, Michelle, attend. The Supervisor presents intellect as superior and man’s creation. Jeff’s father is the Manager of the plant.
We see another scene where the students are discussing the poem, The Hound of Heaven, in class. We hear the different points of discussion depending on the Christian worldview and the non-Christian worldview. Some of the students are offended that Michelle identifies the hound of heaven as God. The teacher states that it is best that each student interprets the poem from their own frame of reference.
We see how Jeff challenges Michelle’s Christian values and how it puts a strain on their relationship, as Michelle was not a believer in Christ earlier on in their relationship. We see how Jeff tries to convince Michelle to live together, which she turns down, as she knows it is wrong, according to the Bible, which she reads regularly. Michelle has filled her hole with Christ. Jeff’s hole remains unfilled and each time he attempts to fill it and fails, he “explodes on everyone,” as Michelle put it.
We witness how Jeff tries to communicate with his father, but it ends up being in anger because he feels frustrated by his father’s way of communicating with him - which makes him feel unworthy. Jeff is trying to live up to his father’s standards and experiences failure over and over again, as he fails to reach the standard his father has set and keeps increasing, for Jeff and himself. Even when Jeff attempts to apologize to his father, his father is more concerned about being right, than he is about making a fresh start with his son. This hurts his son’s pride and the arguments flare up again. Not only is the father and son relationship failing, but Jeff’s parent’s marriage is failing too, as his father puts more time into the nuclear plant than he spends at home.
There is a conversation between Michelle and Jeff’s mother, where Michelle explains that she has more love to give Jeff now, because of Jesus. You see the distinct difference between Michelle’s new worldview - through Jesus Christ and Jeff’s mother’s worldview, which is void of Christ.
The film has lots of examples of people witnessing about how God changed their lives through Jesus Christ, and examples of people who hear the testimonies, but still decide to run away from God. The film shows how prideful humans are and how only God, through Jesus, can transform our hearts and make us understand that we need our Heavenly Father. The verse from Matthew 18:3 is referenced: Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
There is a Christian gathering in a local park and the speaker speaks of how the Bible is truth. The speaker references the parable of the Good Samaritan, in Luke 10, and made a parallel between that and the state of our own lives. I have not thought of the parable in this way before. I had thought of it as us needing to help others, not equating the beaten up man as myself or anyone else before we came to Christ. Jesus told the parable to make a point to the Pharisees, who He accused of preventing others from entering the Kingdom of God.
The film shows a gathering with the preacher Billy Graham, as the speaker. The Bible does not support Graham’s notion that Jesus said He was God in the flesh. However, Graham's speech does encourage people to reflect on what or who they are living for and what they use their free will for. He references Romans 3:23: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and explains Jesus’ sacrifice for us and how he had come to give us abundant life. John 10:10: The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
Graham said we cannot escape Jesus. Every one has to decide about Jesus - who is he, what was he and what demands does he have on my life today. Graham’s speech encourages people to humble themselves, repent and choose Christ, because Christ is the answer to everything. We see how Graham’s speech, which was live and televised, affects the main characters of the film.
There is a parallel between the poem, The Hound of Heaven and God’s unconditional love, that gives us the freedom to run away from him for as long as we wish -but He is there to welcome us when we stop running, ask for his forgiveness and return to him - no matter what we have done. The Hound of Heaven reminds me of the parable of the lost sheep in Luke 15:3-6: So He spoke this parable to them, saying:
4 "What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?
5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'
Time to Run portrays how painful and meaningless life is without God. It effectively shows how people can spend their whole lives trying to replace Jesus with worldly things like money, drugs, sex, popularity, fame, status at work, intellect, the list goes on.
Time to Run explains, by pointing to scripture, how intellect cannot outdo mercy and grace. How material things cannot replace God’s love. How our so-called values and expectations do not come close to what God can help us achieve, through His grace and for His glory - the reconciliation of our relationship with Him, through Jesus Christ.
Time to Run points to the Bible, which points to Jesus Christ, who points to God the Father - our Creator.
I watched Time to Run on www.christiancinema.com
Thank you for reading this review. Until next time - peace be with you.
NB! The links I reference for my films is the source I used, but it is not an endorsement of the entire film streaming company. I am sure this particular film can be found on various digital streaming companies.
Source for thumbnail: www.christiancinema.com