October 6, 2021
“Every day I think about what you said to me that day on the bridge. I’ve tried to live my life the best that I could. I hope that was enough. I hope at least in your eyes I earned what all of you had done for me.”
This is one of the final lines in the epic World War II movie, Saving Private Ryan, directed by Steven Spielberg. Spoken by Ryan, he’s addressing a white cross at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in France honoring Captain John H. Mills. Captain Mills and his soldiers were responsible for saving Private Ryan. They all died in their efforts to do so.
So, what did Captain Mills, breathing his last, say to Private Ryan that day on the bridge?
He was referring to the sacrifice of all the men who died to save him. I remember tearing up the first time I watched this heart-wrenching scene unfold. I cried many times during this movie.
Those two words stuck with Private Ryan for the rest of his life. As an old man, with his children and grandchildren standing nearby he needs affirmation from his wife that he lived a good life and that he was a good man. It’s a powerful ending.
I was reminded of this scene as I prepared for Father + Son Day at Twin Rocks Camp last week. The theme was “The Big Life” and I taught from Ephesians 4:1-3.
“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
Paul is urging the Ephesians to “live a life worthy of the calling” they had received. He’s not saying “earn this,” but he is saying to live a life worthy of the life, suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus earned eternity for us through his sacrifice, and it’s only through his victory over sin and death that we enter into a relationship with our Heavenly Father.
We have a high calling and Paul is URGING us to live a life worthy of it.
We’ll look at this more over the next few weeks.
River West Men