Labor Day weekend, like most other national holidays, brings out the star-spangled movies and this weekend, it was Saving Private Ryan. That movie is one of my all-time favorites, and I’ve probably watched it five or six times, and it never gets tiring. In fact, it moves me to tears every single time.
It was on TNT at least twice this past weekend and I caught bits and pieces each time. The second time I saw it, it was near the ending. You know the ending: Capt. Miller, played by Tom Hanks, is is trying to hold the bridge against the Nazis until reinforcements arrive. He ends up getting shot and dying as the reinforcements finally arrive.
As he is dying, Private Ryan is beckoned to him and he whispers to the private, “Earn this.” This moving scene transitions to present day when Ryan, now an adult, is standing in front of Miller’s gravestone. He whispers toward the gravestone, “Every day I think about what you said that day on the bridge… I hope, at least in your eyes, I’ve earned what you and the others did for me.”
Then he asks his wife, who comes to stand by his side next to the grave marker, “Have I lived a good life? Have I been a good man?”
Ryan was compelled to live such a life by the sacrifice of others his behalf.
That got me thinking. We don’t have to “earn” our salvation of course, but it’s the same compelling urge at work. Because of the price that’s been paid by Jesus Christ, doesn’t that make you want to live your life to sacrifice for others?
Thanks be to the One who gave His life for mine!