Cary Grant turned down director Robert Broccoli's offer to play James Bond. Regret it? Not so much. He already had a great career and would not have had time to do more than a single film. An ongoing franchise would have been out of the question. Broccoli ended up with Sean Connery who turned the franchise into a veritable brand.
Will Smith turned down the role of Neo in THE MATRIX. Regret it? He says no. “I would have absolutely messed it up." Smith went on to explain, "At that point I wasn’t smart enough as an actor to let the movie be—whereas Keanu was.” At least he's "smart enough" now to see that.
Michael Madsen turned down the role of Vincent Vega in the highly acclaimed film PULP FICTION. Instead, John Travolta famously took the role and re-launched his career into the stratosphere. Did Michael regret it? Michael "Who?" Nuff said.
Sean Connery, who so fortuitously won the role of Bond, went on to have a glorious career. When offered the role of Gandalf in THE LORD OF THE RINGS he declined. Regret it? You betcha. Not because he needed more notoriety, but because he passed on the perk of 15 percent of the worldwide box office receipts. Had he played the role he would have pocketed as much as $400 million!
Hollywood heartthrob Steve McQueen turned down the role of Sundance in BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID because Paul Newman wouldn't give him top billing (if he had, would the movie have been called THE SUNDANCE KID AND BUTCH CASSIDY?). He later turned down the role of Popeye Doyle in THE FRENCH CONNECTION, much to the delight of Gene Hackman who won an Oscar for the role.
Finally, McQueen also turned down Francis Ford Coppola's offer to film APOCALYPSE NOW because he wouldn't budge on his $3 million per movie take on the deal. Martin Sheen was happy to fill the void, to the delight of critics worldwide. Regret it? Who knows. McQueen seemed determined to live his life on his own terms. He left his mark on Hollywood in his short life, but may have gone down as one of the greatest ever he had ventured through these other doors of opportunity.
These great "stars" are not the only ones who have been offered the "role of a lifetime," only to walk away empty handed. Each and every one of us has been offered the role not only of a lifetime, but one that promises to impact eternity itself.
The Director of the Universe wants to make you a star performer in your own sequel to THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD. It's the story of how God's love has radically changed your heart. It's a story of how this new transformed you becomes a channel of love and grace by battling the dark forces of need and despair. It's a story that will be viewed with great interest by this world as well as the one to come. Will you accept the role of a lifetime? Or will you live (and die) to regret it?
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men" (Colossians 3:23).